PROVODNIKOV: 139.8 LBS.
ALVARADO: 141.1 FIRST ATTEMPT, 139.8 SECOND ATTEMPT
PREDICTION: As you can see from the pictures, defending WBO junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado looks like an extra from The Walking Dead. However, we’ve seen fighters resurrect themselves 24 hours later to elite form (most recently Mikey Garcia overcoming weight issues to brutally KO Juan Manuel Lopez).
The big concern for Alvarado fans shouldn’t be the weight, but the fact he’s fighting before a sellout hometown crowd at the 1STBANK Center. The crowd will be electric and it’s that type of atmosphere that may push Alvarado into unnecessary exchanges.
On Provodnikov’s end, a win can only come by non-stop pressure and a KO. He has the chin to withstand Alvarado’s power, and he’s in there with an opponent who isn’t as nimble on his feet as Timothy Bradley was.
In deciding this fight, I believe it comes down to who’s learned more from their previous wars. Alvarado is the clear choice here because of the boxer-puncher strategy we witnessed in the Rios rematch. For all his toughness, Provodnikov is a limited brawler who needs cooperation (ie. stand in front of him) at the championship level to compete. Alvarado is a much better boxer than Provodnikov — if he follows the Brandon Rios rematch blueprint of a strong jab, lateral movement, and a sharp counter right to keep Ruslan honest, he should take a close but clear decision despite taking a few lumps.