A potential interim WBO light-welterweight title clash between current belt holder Mike Alvarado and big-punching contender Ruslan Provodnikov is on the cards for Denver, Colorado this October, according to the challenger himself.
Provodnikov, 29, has told WBN that he is fully on board for the HBO clash on Alvarado’s home soil and hopes that the deal is confirmed for what will be his second title chance in succession this year.
The 22-2 Russian, who boasts 15 stoppages, pushed 147lb WBO champion Timothy Bradley all the way in March and continues to count himself unlucky at being edged out by a big money on offer to the American by Juan Manuel Marquez for his prospective rematch.
“I would have loved to fight Timothy Bradley again, or even Marquez or Brandon Rios would be a great fight, but right now I know that my promoters Banner Promotions and my manager Vadim Kornilov are working on my next fight against Mike Alvarado for October on HBO.
“I have given my agreement to this fight and have agreed to fight Alvarado in his hometown of Denver, Colorado. I hope that Mike will be man enough to take the fight because I heard there were some difficulties in getting him to agree to the fight.
“This is going to be another fight of the year candidate and a fan-friendly fight that everybody wants to see. I know that both Mike and I will only gain from this fight no matter who wins.
“With Alvarado being the interim champion, I think it will be at 140 – even though I feel very comfortable at both 140 and 147.”
There are early indications that Marquez’s decision to fight Bradley could leave the full WBO belt at light-welterweight vacant and that may now see HBO and Top Rank pitch the idea to the World Boxing Organisation for the full belt.
Either way, Provodnikov is enjoying his breakthrough into the big leagues after his close fight with Bradley (which I scored a draw) and has his sights set on more big names with a victory over the battle-hardened Alvarado.
“I would love to fight Lucas Mattysse, he would be another great opponent for me., but right now I am focused on the fight against Mike Alvarado because I know it’s what HBO wants.
“I want to cooperate with them and show them more exciting fights just like my fight with Timothy Bradley.”
On former opponent Bradley’s chances against Marquez, Provodnikov added : “I don’t like to make predictions and you never know in boxing who will be victorious, but I think Bradley might be able to just outbox the older Marquez..
Marquez does have a chance of catching Bradley somewhere in the fight – but it will not be easy for him,” he added.