Alvarado vs Provodnikov preview: Why Mike Alvarado should be fighting Manny Pacquiao

Josh Hedges

Today, Mike Alvarado faces Ruslan Provodnikov live on HBO. Is Alvarado a potential superstar in the making? And if so, why isn't he the one fighting Manny Pacquiao on PPV? Fraser Coffeen takes a look in this Alvarado vs. Provodnikov preview, and join us tonight for live fight night coverage.

Saturday October 19, Bloody Elbow presents live fight coverage of Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov, live on HBO. HBO World Championship Boxing Alvarado vs. Provodnikov airs live this Saturday, October 19 with a fight time of 9:45 p.m. ET / PT. Bloody Elbow will have live fight coverage, including results and discussion, right here.

One of the common narratives you hear around boxing these days is that it's a dying sport, where corruption and in-fighting has eroded away the support for this long standing combat sport. That's the story a lot of people try to pitch. Unfortunately for them, it's not true. Boxing is, if anything, seeing a massive resurgence right now as the sport is in the midst of their best year in some time. That said, there are indeed issues that threaten the future of boxing. One of those issues: the need for new stars.

For years now, the major boxing landscape of million-plus PPVs has been dominated by two men - Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. But both of those men are winding down their hall of fame careers with not an abundance of big fights left in them. So who will take their place? Recently, some candidates have been offered up, but have, for one reason or another, failed. Juan Manuel Marquez? Lost on PPV, and is also far into his career. Sergio Martinez? Only a very few fights left. Lucas Matthysse? The Garcia loss was a major step back. Timothy Bradley? Unlikely to ever gain mainstream support of fans. There are a few names worth a look though: Gennady Golovkin and Adrien Broner come to mind here.

One other name that has to be mentioned? Mike Alvarado.

More Alvarado vs. Provodnikov coverage:
Bloody Elbow | Bad Left Hook

Alvarado has the tools to be a major star. He is an exciting fighter who delivers action. He has been in a classic 2 fight series with Brandon Rios, and I can't imagine anyone complaining about an inevitable rubber match. This weekend, against Ruslan Provodnikov, he seems primed to turn in another exciting fight that should add to his growing legacy.

Yet with all of that, there still is something missing for Alvarado. That something is big fight opportunities. Look, I get why Manny Pacquiao is fighting Brandon Rios, and I think that will be a great fight. But for anyone to break into that major PPV star level, they're going to need to topple one of the current greats. Alvarado should have the shot to make that happen against Pacquiao later this year, but instead, he's facing Provodnikov on HBO. That's not to say this fight is getting hype - it certainly is. But Rios, the man Alvarado defeated in their last fight, is the one who will be seen by millions, and Rios is the one who, if he beats Pacquiao, may get that superstar rub. The only problem with that is that earlier this year Mike Alvarado showed that he is the superior boxer to Brandon Rios. If they fight again, I would have to view Alvarado as a big favorite. So if you are looking to build up the future stars of the sport, you should be looking at those fighters who can maintain a legacy. And right now, that's Mike Alvarado.

This makes it sound like I am in some way down on tonight's fight. I'm not - it's going to be a great one. But will it be a fight that much advances Alvarado's career? Unlikely. And that's a shame. Because in a time when boxing needs future stars, Mike Alvarado can be that star if they let him. So let's hope they do.

Join us here at Bloody Elbow for HBO World Championship Boxing Alvarado vs. Provodnikov results, discussion, and live fight coverage this Saturday October 19.

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