Rugged Russsian fighter Ruslan Provodnikov shared his thoughts with RingTV.com regarding his HBO-televised junior welterweight bout with Mike Alvarado on Oct. 19. The fight will be for Alvarado’s 140-pound WBO belt and will take place in Broomfield, Colo., a suburb of Denver.
Provodnikov (22-2, 15 knockouts) is expecting to arrive late next week to begin preparing with trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. He’ll join three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto, who will be in the gym training for his junior middleweight clash with Delvin Rodriguez on Oct. 5.
Coming off a unanimous-decision loss in March to Tim Bradley, Provodnikov reflected on past sparring with Manny Pacquiao, whom he worked with in advance of Pacquiao’s split-decision loss to Bradley, and prior to his own second-round knockout victory over Jose Reynoso.
Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) was last in the ring for a unanimous-decision win over Brandon Rios to avenge his seventh-round stoppage loss in a Fight of The Year-caliber bout in October of last year.
RingTV.com: I understand that part of the agreement to fight Alvarado is that none of the judges can be from Colorado?
Ruslan Provodnikov: Yes. I was aware of that. I know that one of the contingencies that my manager and promoter has made is for all the judges and the referee to not be from Colorado.
RingTV.com: Are you concerned, nevertheless, that you won’t get a decision in the event that the fight goes the distance?
RP: I am not worried about that, and I trust that my team, my promoter and the WBO will make sure that this fight has a fair decision.
There has been a lot of bad press and consequences to bad decisions in the last year, and I think everyone is a lot more focused on promoting boxing with correct scoring to keep the boxing world happy.
RingTV.com: Are you concerned that you won’t get as much time with Roach given that Roach will be with Miguel Cotto also, preparing him for an Oct. 5 fight?
RP: Freddie is my good friend. We have a very good relationship, and I know that he will give me everything I need for this fight.
I have no worries about training camp at all. I know that if Freddie couldn’t give me what I need to win this fight, he would not take the task of being my trainer. He is just that type of person.
RingTV.com: Do you expect Alvarado to box some, as he did against Rios in the second fight?
RP: I expect that everyone would try to box with me, especially after my last fight with Timothy Bradley. But it’s easier said than done.
RingTV.com: Do you believe that you are as strong and powerful, or more strong and powerful than Rios?
RP: I think Brandon Rios is a great fighter, but until the fight happens, we won’t know who is stronger or more powerful. The fight will show.
RingTV.com: Do you expect to spar with Cotto?
RP: My manager, Vadim Kornilov, told me that Freddie has mentioned Miguel Cotto and I working together and possibly sparring to the extent that it works for both of us.
RingTV.com: Before which your own fights did you spar with Pacquiao?
RP: I sparred with Manny before my fight against Reynoso, and I felt very confident coming into that fight.
RingTV.com: For which fights did you spar with Pacquiao to help Pacquiao prepare for, and how beneficial was that sparring for you?
RP: I sparred with Manny for his fight against Timothy Bradley. This experience helped me gain a lot of confidence and really helped me grow mentally as a boxer. I was lucky to have all the sparring I had with Manny.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]