Tonight, in the performance of his life, Ruslan Provodnikov became a world champion. The fight started well for Provodnikov, who came out strong from the opening bell, cutting off the ring and forcing Mike Alvarado to fight his fight. Provodnikov landed strong shots to the body and head and had Alvarado reeling early into round one. Alvarado came out smarter in the second round, boxing and moving and using his jab; he continued to box well in spurts throughout the next few rounds. Provodnikov came back and started to get inside around the middle part of the fight, as Alvarado began to slow down. In the eighth round Provodnikov dropped Alvarado early into the round and then put him down once more, although he appeared to slightly punch himself out and was unable to finish him off. Alvarado remained on shaky legs through the ninth and tenth rounds, getting caught on the ropes. After the tenth round, as Alvarado was shaky and badly swollen, he had a tough time finding his corner and the writing was on the wall; his corner graciously stopped the fight in between rounds.
Provodnikov once again proved tonight that not only is he one of the most entertaining fighters in the world, he is also one of the most underrated. From here Alvarado will need to take a long break and think about possibly moving up to welterweight, as he had a tough time making weight for this fight. While Provodnikov’s stock has never been higher, he has potential big money fights on the horizon with the winner of Pacquiao vs Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, or a rematch with Pound for Pound star TIm Bradley.
What did you guys think of the fight? Let me know in the comments section who you think he should fight next, and look out for more picks next week.