Ten years ago Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward finished what would be known as one of the most exciting, thrilling trilogies that the sport of boxing would ever come to know. They were not PPV fighters, nor were they bringing home millions of dollars every time they stepped into the square circle. They were not boxing purists, and did not care about the easiest fight or the best money fight. What they gave the boxing fans was what they want to find every time they tune into a boxing match, and all out toe to toe brawl with blood, guts, and the only defensive being the other person’s head. It’s the type of fight that doesn’t allow for a long career or undefeated records to hold on to, but what it does do is give the people something to talk about for years to come.
Perhaps no one can sum it up better than Ruslan Provodnikov, who come Saturday night, is expected to be in the type of fight that will try to stake a claim as history’s best when he faces Mike Alvarado at the 1st Bank Center in Denver, CO. Provodnikov’s words are humble, but the meaning could never be truer. “People don’t remember titles, they remember fights.”
Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov have been nothing but respectful and classy in conferences leading up to their fight Saturday night. There is no animosity, no reality show, and no glimmer and glamour to try to sell the fight. They don’t have to be separated, nor are their trainers screaming at each other. In fact, one would think they were preparing for a chess match instead of a fight. However, when that bell rings Saturday night in Denver the war will commence, and what the general public is expecting to get is a toe to toe action packed brawl that will have everyone at the edge of their seats in a fight that could very easily go down in history as one of the best boxing has ever had.
The most interesting thing about these two fighters facing each other in a fight that is expected to be a fight of the year caliber fight is that both fighters have already been there. In 2012, Mike Alvarado’s fight against Brandon Rios either won, or was the runner-up, on every boxing media outlet as the 2012 Fight of the Year. The action packed brawl had Twitter in a frenzy, and a rematch was inevitable. Despite losing his first fight against Rios, Alvarado was able to exact revenge in March of earlier this year in another fight that is expected to be in the running for Fight of the Year.
Standing in the way of Alvarado-Rios II to being 2013’s Fight of the Year, is a fight that his opponent for this weekend, Ruslan Provondikov, partook in March also. Provodnikov battled Timothy Bradley to a unanimous decision loss in a fight that many thought he won. The fight was an unexpected all-out war with drama that could have given any television show a run for its money. On three separate occasions it appeared Provodnikov would be able to win with a knockout but Bradley was able to withstand and pull out a unanimous decision despite getting battered with hard punches that left him concussed for nearly two months after the fight. The fight is the leading candidate for the 2013 Fight of the Year.
These guys know what it’s like to be in a brawl. They can dish out hard punches, they can withstand hard punches, and they don’t consider defense as a tactic. Neither of them like to back up. When these traits can be found in two fighter’s that are matched up against each other it’s a certain that the fight is going to be thrilling. There is no way that it cannot be. Fans of the sport will watch it whether or not they follow the fighters. They do not care who wins or how they win. What they want to see is what they saw in fights like Gatti-Ward, Corrales-Castillo, and Vazquez-Marquez. Blood, drama, and a toe to toe action packed war that will embed them with the great memory of a fight that they will never want to forget about. A fight that ten years down the road they will still want to see. Both Alvarado and Provodnikov have already given us those types of fights within the past year. When they face each other this Saturday night it is expected that they will deliver the same.