The successive, upcoming matchups between welterweights Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, junior welterweights Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov, and 147-pounders Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios heighten the potential for a six-man, mix-and-match tournament once entertained by Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum.
Bradley-Marquez will happen on Oct. 12 on HBO Pay Per View from Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, followed by Alvarado-Provodnikov on HBO from the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo., a suburb of Denver, near Alvardo’s hometown of Thornton. Pacquiao and Rios will then clash on HBO Pay Per View on Nov. 24 in Macau (Nov. 23 in the western hemisphere) in Macau, China.
All six of the above fighters are promoted by Top Rank.
“We’ll see what we’ll see. Let’s see how these fights turn out,” said Arum. “Let’s see how these fighters fight, and then we’ll make a determination on who fights who.”
Alvarado (34-1, 23 knockouts) was last in the ring for a unanimous-decision win over Rios (31-1-1, 23 KOs) that earned him the WBO’s 140-pound belt avenged his seventh-round stoppage loss in a Fight of The Year-caliber bout in October of last year.
In his last fight in March, Provodnkikov (22-2, 15 KOs) scored a 12th-round knockdown against Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs), who, nevertheless, scored a unanimous decision to retain the WBO 147-pound title he won from Pacquiao by disputed split-decision in June.
In Marquez (55-6-2, 40 KOs), Bradley faces a man who is coming off a sixth-round stoppage victory over Pacquiao in the Boxing Writers’ Association’s Fight-of-The-Year.
Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), meanwhile, meets Rios in welterweight bout in an attempt to rebound from the consecutive setbacks to Bradley and Marquez, who was 0-2-1 against Pacquiao coming into that bout.
“For me, it’s based on their most immediate fight, and Rios and Pacquiao will be a great fight, I believe, and Alvarado and Provodnikov will be a great fight, and then, there’s Marquez and Bradley. But believing they will be great fights doesn’t make them great fights,” said Arum.
“So I’d like to see them all fight, because there are a lot of moving parts here. Let’s see who performs, and how well they perform, and then, we’ll decide what best fights to make. I think that anybody who is a boxing fan would want to watch all three of those fights.”
Provodnikov embraces the idea of facing any of the other five fighters.
“If that’s the case, then that would be something that would be very good and that I would be very excited about,” said Provodnikov. “Because all of these fights would mean that we’d be mixing it up in these fights, which would be very exciting for the fans and I’m sure that all of these fights are going to be fan-friendly.”
PROVODNIKOV COMPLETES FIRST DAY OF TRAINING WITH FREDDIE ROACH
Provodnikov recently completed his initial day of workouts with trainer Freddie Roach as well as his strength and conditioning coach, Gavin McMillian at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
“Ruslan started training with Gavin McMillian today,” said the fighter’s manager, Vadim Kornilov. “With the full training camp that Ruslan will get with Freddie and Gavin, I think Ruslan will be a more complete fighter in the ring.”
Provodnikov has also served as a former sparring partner for Pacquiao, who made a surprise visit to Cotto and Roach at The Wild Card on Friday. Pacquiao is also trained by Roach.
“My fate gave me another chance in a big fight to fight for the title,” said Provodnikov, who will board a flight on Monday evening for Denver and Tuesday’s kick off press conference for the bout with Alvarado. “Today, I started training camp, which is the road toward my dream and goal to become world champion.”
ROACH IS ALSO TRAINING VANES MARTIROSYAN
Roach is also working with junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KOs) who is scheduled to fight Demetrius Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) for the WBO’s vacant belt. The two 154-pound contenders were scheduled to fight on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Brian Vera undercard on Sept. 7, but that entire card was recently postponed.
Meanwhile, Chavez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) will have been out of the ring for nearly a year when he rises into the super middleweight division to face Vera (23-6, 14 KOs).
ADRIEN BRONER WILL KEEP BOTH BELTS, WON’T FIGHT FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
WBA welterweight beltholder Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KOs), who won his current title with June’s unanimous decision over Paulie Malignaggi, said that he has no plans to relinquish the WBC lightweight strap he won with November’s eighth-round knockout over Antonio DeMarco.
Broner’s comments were made during an interview on Friday with Showtime’s Steve Farhood.
“If there’s a big name at lightweight, if there is a big name at welterweight, or junior welterweight, I’ll fight anybody. If Maidana wants to fight me, I’ll f–k him up. They’re talking pay per view, let’s make it happen.”
Broner also told Farhood the he would never fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., who will face Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 14 on Showtime Pay Per View with the co-main event matching THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight, Lucas Matthysse with RING, WBA and WBC champion Danny Garcia.
“My big brother [Mayweather,] he’s the greatest that ever lived right now, but at the end of the day, everybody knows his window is closing,” said Broner.
“He only got a couple of fights left. I don’t care how much money they offer me, I’m not going to fight my big brother. That’s stupid. We’re gonna keep the money in the family.”
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo courtesy of Vadim Kornilov
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]