Denver Colorado — Ruslan “Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov unloads heavy bombs to “Mile High” Mike Alvarado making the hometown hero to quit from his stool after Round 10. Provodnikov (23-2, 16 KO) stalks relentlessly towards Alvarado (34-2, 23 KO) throughout the fight. It is the body shot that really workout for Provodnikov, although Alvarado’s eyes are almost swollen shut.
It is very obvious that Alvarado has a great respect in terms of power to his shorter and smaller challenger. Alvarado comes out with a perfect game plan, which is to use his boxing skills. In the get-go he moves around looking to counter-punch the stalking challenger.
The game plan is effective in the early rounds as Alvarado, for me, is comfortably ahead of the scorecards somewhere until Round 6.
Alvarado would even shifts from orthodox to southpaw stance to confuse the pursuing challenger from Russia, which is effective from the distance. Alvarado connects more jabs from the southpaw stance, that at times halted Provodnikov’s from his track.
However, Provodnikov adjusts very well to the southpaw stance of Alvarado, especially at close quarter battle. Provodnikov would slide his right foot towards Alvarado’s back foot while preparing his left hook and fires upstairs.
Every single round Provodnikov — although Alvarado tends to fight from the outside — would lure Alvarado to fight toe-to-toe. Alvarado would lean forward giving up his height and reach advantage to engage Provodnikov in a hit-me-I’ll-hit-you-back type of action, which don’t help against his favor because of Provodnikov’s clear advantage in power.
In Round 8 Alvarado hit by a thunderous shot to body that eventually put him to the canvas as Provodnikov relentlessly unleash more powerful bombs upstairs and downstairs. Alvarado almost can’t beat the count, his legs are totally wobbly.
Several minutes later, again Alvarado takes a knee, for the second knockdown in the same round. I think, from that point it should have been stop, but the referee decides not to stop as Alvarado with all his heart stands up, but with very unstable legs.
In Round 9 it seems Provodnikov tires and slows down a bit because of the amount of energy he used in the previous round. Alvarado survives the round but still shaky, and still wiping the cobwebs.
In Round 10 Provodnikov picks up what he left in Round 8 and again started to pressure and unload more powerful right hand to head and body. Alvarado would eventually finish Round 10, but when ask directly by Tony weeks if he can continue, during the break. With spirit broken and physically battered, Alvarado decides not to continue.
Provodnikov’s failed near knockout performance against Bradley finally realized against Alvarado. And Provodnikov really won big time on Saturday night. A possible showdown with Pacquiao-Rios winner looms in the horizon.