At Ruslan Provodnikov’s media day at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood a few weeks ago, the esteemed trainer told RingTV.com that he’d be in the corner on fight night against Mike Alvarado. The fight takes place on Saturday night in Broomfield, Colorado, close to Alvarado’s Denver home. HBO will televise.
“Manny [Pacquiao] has given me permission to go,” said Roach, referring to the fact he’d have to leave Pacquiao’s camp in the Philippines in order to make it out to Denver for the fight.
“I’m going to be able to make the fight by a little bit and then I’ll have to leave right away. I don’t know exactly how that is going to play out yet.”
Reports since have indicated that Roach will in fact not be in the corner on fight night and that Provodnikov will instead have assistant Marvin Somodio working the corner on fight night.
RingTV.com reached Provodnikov’s manager Vadim Kornilov on Wednesday afternoon to see if anything had changed.
“As of now, it is likely he will not be there,” Kornilov told RingTV.com via phone.
Kornilov told RingTV.com that he last spoke with Roach last Thursday, and at that point Roach said there was a possibility he’d be there on fight night.
As of now, Provodnikov’s team is preparing as though they’ll be without the multiple trainer of the year and is confident the change won’t affect their chances.
Pelullo happy with appointed officials
Saturday’s much anticipated fight between Provodnikov and Alvarado will be the second time in just a few weeks that Top Rank, who handles Alvarado, and Banner Promotions, who handles Provodnikov, will co-promote a big fight.
The two promoters worked together on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Bryan Vera fight that began as a circus during fight week and only got more controversial when the fight was over.
Chavez Jr. infamously failed to be near the contracted weight early in fight week, prompting the two sides to negotiate a new deal that awarded Vera more money as well as changing it from a 12-rounder to a 10-rounder.
Despite the disadvantage, Vera out worked and out hustled Chavez Jr., deserving the fight in a large majority of observers’ eyes. Chavez Jr. wound up nabbing the decision with two wide scores in favor of the famous namesake, causing a huge uproar.
Now a few weeks later, Banner Promotions’ Artie Pelullo told RingTV.com on Tuesday that he expects none of the controversy that came with that fight to come into play on Saturday night.
“Part of the deal for coming here [to Denver] was that it was in there contractually that all of the officials for this fight be from outside the state of Colorado,” said Pelullo via phone.
“I knew they were appointing officials from outside the state. The Colorado commissioner was very amenable to everything.”
The officials on fight night will be referee Tony Weeks and judges Robert Hoyle, Denny Nelson and Levi Martinez.
Martinez, of New Mexico, recently scored a flyweight championship bout between Brian Viloria and Juan Francisco Estrada in favor of Viloria, who barely made it to the finish line after taking a beating. Estrada prevailed on the scorecards of the other two judges and he was properly awarded the victory.
Hoyle is a Las Vegas judge that hasn’t really botched a major decision in a number of years.
Nelson is a 77-year-old experienced judge who has worked few big assignments in recent years, largely working in his home state of Minnesota.
Nelson was notably the only judge who properly scored the February 2012 light heavyweight title bout between Tavoris Cloud and Gabriel Campillo, as he scored it 115-111 for the Spaniard. That score was overruled by two totals in Cloud’s favor that made it one of the most controversial verdicts in years.
“I think it’ll be just fine,” said Pelullo about the appointing of officials. “I’m hoping that they score the fight the way they see it (and) being that they are neutral, there will be no reason for any of them to make a mistake in judgment.”
Photos / Kevork Djansezian
Mark E. Ortega is a contributing writer for RingTV.com and has seen his work published in a number of publications and newspapers. He also pens a regular boxing column for the Northern California tri-weekly Martinez News-Gazette. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MarkEOrtega.