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Q&A: Provodnikov unfazed by fighting on Alvarado’s turf

Fighters Network

Rugged Russsian fighter Ruslan Provodnikov shared his thoughts with 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.

Promoted by Artie Pelullo, of Banner Promotions, Provodnikov addressed all of the above during this interview translated by his manager, Vadim Kornilov. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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]