Ruslan Provodnikov (23-1, 16 KOs), defeated Mike Alvarado (34-2, 23 KOs) earning him the WBO light welterweight title in last nights' featured bout from Denver. The event was presented by Top Rank, and televised on HBO Championship Boxing.
Action from the first bell, Provodnikov wasted no time throwing punches, landing some hard shots to the body of Alvarado. The hometown favorite would answer back, throwing a combination of blows to Provodnikov who was doing a nice job cutting off the ring.
Alvarado came out in round two using his jab, followed by an uppercut and executing more movement. Provodnikov continued his assault of body shots, which would be a factor in the later rounds, the two would continue trading blows in an action packed round.
Round three, Alvarado making good use of the ring and finding his range, uses his jab, steadily throwing punches from a distance. Provodnikov landed his hard overhand right on Alvarado, which were very effective and altering Alvarado's game. Solid uppercuts by Alvarado would get the attention of Provodnikov, as a southpaw stance by Alvarado changed the angle of attack for Provodnikov.
The fight was still close as round four would begin, Alvarado would bring his game, throwing his constant jab followed by a hard right and a deadly uppercut. They both continued trading, with Provodnikov ending the round with some solid shots.
Round five had Provodnikov landing hard body shots on Alvarado, using his left hook to the head as a follow-up. Alvarado continued with his jab and made use of a couple of body shots to Provodnikov, but it was apparant that the scale was tipping in Provodnikov's favor at this point.
Alvarado remained busy at the start of round six, landing picture perfect combinations to the head and body of Provodnikov. A hard right followed by a left by Provodnikov had Alvarado at bay, but Alvarado would continue to attack, landing a nice left hook. Both fighters were fighting with pure grit at this point.
In round seven, Alvarado continued with his jab and switched again to a southpaw stance, it proved to be effective as a cut over the right eye of Provodnikov would appear. With a sense of urgency, Provodnikov steps up his game with a combination punches, stunning Alvarado and finishing the round strong.
Clearly, having Alvarado rattled in the previous round, Provodnikov starts round eight with a crushing body shot, followed by a combination of punches to Alvarado, dropping the hometown hero to the canvas. Alvarado, fighting with grit and heart beats the count to continue the fight. Provodnikov again throws a series of unanswered blows to a dazed Alvarado, dropping Alvarado for a second time. Alvarado again beats the count, and continues to fight and survive the round.
Round nine, Alvarado regains some of his composure, but continues taking some toll taking body shots from Provodnikov. A determined Alvarado shows he still has some game left, throwing some effective punches on Provodnikov. A cut-off ring by Provodnikov corners Alvarado as the two exchange blows, but it's apparant at this point Alvarado is losing the fight.
Knowing he is down on the cards, round ten has Alvarado digging deep with with a hard right, but Provodnikov keeps coming, mounting his attack with constant combinations to the head and body of Alvarado. Pinned on the ropes, Alvarado continues to be schooled by Provodnikov who was landing some dangerous head shots. Alvarado goes down one final time, this time for good. Referree Tony Weeks makes an assessment, Alvarado can't continue forcing Weeks to call a halt to the bout. Ruslan Provodnikov has won the WBO light welterweight title.
Check out the pictures and post fight press conference video, it's a great break-down of the fight from TRBoxing.