Ruslan Provodnikov def. Mike Alvarado by TKO, round 10 3:00
What an unbelieveable performance this was from Ruslan Provodnikov. The Russian fighter burst onto the scene this year with his FOTY loss to Timothy Bradley, but this is the fight that may truly make him. Provodnikov walked into Alvarado's hometown and did what seemed impossible - he broke Mike Alvarado.
The first half of the fight was incredibly close, with Provodnikov pressuring Alvarado and Alvarado responding by mixing up brawling and technique. In round 8, things turned definitively in favor of Provodnikov, as he dropped Alvarado twice in the round - one of which was perilously close to a KO. From there, he never let up, ultimately dropping Alvarado again in the 10th. After the 10th round, referee Tony Weeks spoke to Alvarado in his corner, asked him if he wanted to quit, and after hearing the response of the seated Alvarado, waved off the fight. The super tough Mike Alvarado had had enough.
Post fight, Max Kellerman asked Provodnikov what he wanted next. He declined to answer, but for anyone watching, the answer was clear - big things are next for Ruslan Provodnikov.
Check out these links below for fight video highlights courtesy of @HBOBoxing, and gifs courtesy of our Zombie Prophet:
ROUND 1 - Provodnikov sets the pace with his aggression.
ROUND 8 - Alvarado hits the canvas:
ROUND 10 - Highlights from the closing round.
Mike Alvarado, finished on the stool: