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Provodnikov’s Big Night!
Ruslan Provodnikov came close to winning a title when he had Tim Bradley down twice for his WBO welterweight title last march but Bradley survived the two knockdowns to win a close decision and maintained his title. Then the stone faced Provodnikov challenged Mike Alvarado for his WBO junior Welterweight title in Alvarado hometown of Denver.
Provodnikov pressed the action over the first three minutes as he pushed Alvarado around the ring and landed solid rights over Alvarado defenses. Alvarado won the second round as he boxed and maneuver himself in position to nail Provodnikov with solid shots including straight rights followed by stinging left jabs. Alvarado left jab allowed him to shoot the right hand over Provodnikov gloves and Provodnikov output dropped from his fast first round pace. This round proved to be the exception as the third round saw both men go back fighting toe to toe but Alvarado was able to get the better of the inside action with accurate uppercuts and solid left hooks to the body.
The fourth and fifth round was close rounds with both fighters landing equal number of punches but Provodnikov power gave him advantages as his body shots landed with slightly more authority. While HBO Harold Lederman gave both rounds to Provodnikov but the round was close enough for Alvarado to have won.
Alvarado upper cuts and accurate right hands allowed him to control the sixth round as he nearly doubled punches connected. His left hooks appeared to weaken Provodnikov and this onslaught continued into the first two minutes of the seventh round. After sixth round, Harold Lederman had he fight even and there was no doubt that the fight was up in the air.
Provodnikov changed the tenor of the fight as he landed several over hand rights and left hooks to Alvarado’s face after Alvarado won the first two minutes of the seventh round. Provodnikov; whose right eyes was cut due to Alvarado’s left hooks, forced Alvarado to retreat over the last sixty seconds of the round. With ten seconds left, Alvarado nearly went down from Provodnikov left hook and overhead right.
This continued unto the eighth round as Provodnikov assault wilted Alvarado power. Provodnikov’s body shots forced Alvarado to retreat to the rope and a left hook followed by a right forced Alvarado to take a knee. Alvarado got back up but once again he was retreating to the other side of the ring as he hit the canvas a second time. With a minute and half, Alvarado fought a desperation battle as he attemped to survive the round. With thirty seconds left, Alvarado managed to nailed Provodnikov with a serious of right hands.
The ninth round was another round that saw Provodnikov pressing Alvarado and while Alvarado did manage to fight better in the ninth; it was Provodnikov body shots took the round. Alvarado came out fast in the tenth round but soon wilted under Provodnikov counter. With the round ending, Provodnikov trapped Alvarado on the rope and Alvarado was defenseless as he was getting pounded.
Alvarado couldn’t answer the bell for the eleventh and Provodnikov won his first championship. This was impressive performance by Provodnikov as he looked like a mini Rocky Marciano. Provodnikov never stopped pressing the action despite a bleeding eye and his face swollen on the right side.
Provodnikov has shown power in both the junior welterweight and welterweight division and is now ready for bigger fights. Wouldn’t a Garcia-Provodnikov fight be something?