The Boxing Diary

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov Preview and Prediction


Here I am again giving you my preview and prediction. This time will be between Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov. Let me begin with question: Why Alvarado vs. Provodnikov is considered to be a potential "Fight of the Year" candidate?

Boxing fans, media, writers, and bloggers expect this fight to be a strong candidate for "Fight of the Year" award (as early as even before the fight was signed), based on each fighter's previous performance. And I do agree.

If you look at Mike Alvarado's fight against Brandon Rios here, on March 30, which is also a strong fight-of-the- year contender. And so with the first fight last year here, that cost Alvarado's precious "O" in his ledger: you'll probably agree that indeed this could be a potential 'Fight of the Year" candidate. Alvarado  34-1 (KO 23) fought like there is no tomorrow in the first fight and got knocked out in the seventh round, but adjusted well in the rematch to win a unanimous decision.

But, if you're still not in agreement, then what about taking a look back at Ruslan Provodnikov's fight here, with Timothy Bradley on March 16? The fight would take you to the edge of your seat. And if you're a Bradley fan, Provodnikov 22-2 (KO 15) is breaking your heart. He wobbled Bradley and almost knocked him out several times.

Now, imagine these two meet in the squared circle, Ruslan Provodnikov having in mind Alvarado's WBO light welterweight belt. But not only that, he is also aiming for more recognition that he fell short against Bradley. In the opposite corner -- Mike Alvarado, a fighter determined to defend his title and seeking for higher glory. A win could mean a fight of the winner between Pacquaio-Rios on November.

Ruslan Provodnikov I believed has what it takes to knock out Mike Alvarado. I think he has the power needed to finish the job. If the same punch that wobbled Bradley would land on Alvarado -- I think that would be the end of the story.

Alvarado, based on his fight with Rios wasn’t able to clinch when he was hurt, which was the wise thing Bradley did in the same situation. Provodnikov should follow through more once he feels that he hurt Alvarado. He should step up his killer instinct.

If Alvarado will box more from the outside, Provodnikov should double up and work on the jab and lure Alvarado for a slug-fest. Provodnikov's ability to take a punch will be tested here, which wasn't against Bradley.

Stylistically Alvarado is more of a boxer-puncher. But can be easily lured into a hit-me-I'll-hit-you-back kind of action, which is of course a fan-friendly style, which is a big factor, I believed, for Fight of the Year selection.

Alvarado said that he will use his boxing skills. This is the adjustment he made for the Rios's rematch. He stuck to the game plan, which is to move and box around, looking for more angles before throwing combinations to avoid direct counter-shots.

If Alvarado can execute the same game plan, and finish the entire fight, I think he will win on points in a very close decision that could go either way. I'm afraid what boxing called a "hometown decision" might play a part here -- I hope not.

Provodnikov will be dealing with the hometown favorite Alvarado in 1STBANK Center, Broomfield, Denver, Colorado, on October 19.

My prediction:

Don't get me wrong, maybe you're thinking that what I mean above is that: Alvarado's chance to win is to finish the fight. No. Anything can happen to this fight. I think real time adjustment is the key to win for each fighter.

I put my prediction this way:

If Provodnikov can’t take Alvarado's power especially that vicious uppercut, then it's Alvarado by TKO.

If Provodnikov could handle Alvarado's power and can land his own I think he will win via knockout somewhere between Rounds 8 to 11.

If the fight will finish till Round 12 due to adjustments made by both fighters to avoid each other's power, then I am inclined to favor Alvarado to win on points.

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