Ruslan Provodnikov broke Mike Alvarado on Saturday night and took his WBO light welterweight championship. With powerful left hooks and hard right hands, the rough-and-tumble Siberian hammered Alvarado into submission after the 10th round in Alvarado’s hometown of Denver, Colo.
After a brutal ninth round in which he barely survived, Alvarado quit on the stool.
Provodnikov had floored him twice in the eighth round after swelling the champion’s eye in the seventh.
Alvarado’s best chance to win the fight was to make it a boxing match. He tried early on, but switching to southpaw and employing movement couldn’t keep Provodnikov off him.
When he tried to slug, it was clear which man’s punches had the biggest impact. Despite rehydrating from 139.8 pounds, per BoxRec to an unofficial 157 pounds, per the HBO telecast, Alvarado’s punches still didn’t have as much heat on as Provodnikov’s.
One difference could have been the body punching. Provodnikov was more consistent with his attack on the torso. In Rounds 7, 8 and 9, the shots to the midsection visibly affected Alvarado.
Now that Provodnikov has captured a world title, his options have opened up significantly. He could challenge the winner of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 23 in Macao, China.
He could also pursue a rematch with WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley. Provodnikov first powered his way into the consciousness of boxing fans when he pushed Bradley to the brink in March.
Though Bradley escaped with a slim unanimous-decision victory, Provodnikov got his foot in the proverbial door with a strong performance.
With his impressive win over Alvarado on Saturday night, he has kicked it in.
Alvarado’s future is a bit muddled. He needed this fight to solidify himself as one of the best fighters at 140 pounds. A win could have opened up possibilities for bigger paydays.
With the loss, he is now faced with trying to rebuild.
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