HBO has a near certainty of a stellar clash on Saturday night, pitting Ruslan Provodnikov against Mike Alvarado. They will rumble in Denver, and expectations are sky high (maybe too high?) for a FOY sort of rumble.
Provo said on a Monday conference call to hype the Top Rank card that he has had a great camp with Freddie Roach, eight weeks, and "I'm ready to go," to kick off the call.
Alvie said he was happy to defend his crown in his hometown, to start out.
Vadim Kornilov, manager for Provo, was on the call, as was Alvie's manager, Henry Delgado.
Promoter Bob Arum was on the call, and he said that HBO pays the most money, and expects stellar matches. There "are no appearance fights" anymore, he said. No more light fights after wars, he said. He finished the call saying that it will be great, great fight, and said that no more questions need to be asked or answered, a rumble will occur.
Alvie was asked about the high expectations. He said this fight has "war written all over it." He said he will box the way he needs to, to win the fight. A rumble of the sort he had with Brandon Rios could break out, he allowed. "You never know," he said. Whoever is best at making adjustments during the fight should win, he said. Ruslan said whoever is "stronger mentally" will get the W.
Ruslan was asked the same, about people thinking this will be a fight of the year type fight. The Russian boxer said he doesn't think or worry about that, and just wants to perform well. He said that he thinks the fight could provide more rumble moments than his bout against Tim Bradley, in fact.
Ruslan was asked what sort of gameplan Alvie would bring. He isn't sure what Alvie (34-1; age 33; has 23 KOs) will do, he said. But he doesn't think Alvie can outbox him for 12 rounds.
Ruslan said that he expected Tim Bradley to outbox Juan Manuel Marquez, and knew that JMM couldn't take him out. "You have to break him down, inside and outside, you cannot outbox him," the Russian said.
He said that he was surprised and dismayed that one judge gave Marquez so much credit, as well.
Alvie said he gives Bradley immense credit for fighting the way he did against the Mexican. The Colorado resident said he doesn't dwell on his first fight (Oct. 2012) with Brandon Rios, which he thought might have been stopped prematurely. He isn't too bummed that he didn't get a megafight off his win vs. Rios, in March, and is psyched to defend in his hometown. He knows bigger fights are to come, as well. "I'm ready for this fight, it's a dream feeling, I can't wait," he said.
Alvie said being in wicked rumbles helped him adjust to being a skilled boxer. Wars "can catch up to you," he admitted.
Ruslan (22-2; age 29; has 15 KOs) was asked if he takes confidence that he could hurt Bradley, whereas Bradley and Manny Pacquiao couldn't. He said it's up to the writers and fans to decide that stuff. He said he came into the Bradley fight knowing he had to break him, not take the easier route.
Ruslan said he's not worried that trainer Freddie Roach won't be in his corner, but that there is a chance he will be present on fight night. Marvin Somodio will work the corner, instead.
The Gatti-Ward Legendary Night will follow the fight, and Alvie said he understands that was scheduled not by accident.