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October 19, 2013

PROVODNIKOV BREAKS THROUGH TO THE SPORT'S HIGHEST LEVEL WITH A STUNNINGLY BRUTAL PERFORMANCE
By Scott Shaffer

Ruslan Provodnikov TKO10 Mike Alvarado... Ruslan Provodnikov tortured Mike Alvarado for ten rounds and broke Alvarado's seemingly unbreakable fighting spirit. After the badly swollen Alvarado quit on his stool and handed over the WBO 140-pound title, Provodnikov kissed him. It wasn't a taunting kiss, it was a genuine kiss, a mark of respect between two warriors of the highest rank. Prvodnikov, a Siberian mauler, delivered on his promise to take boxing skill out of the equation by turning the bout into a forehead-to-forehead brawl. Alvarado was down twice in the eighth, and probably should have been counted out after the first knockdown, as he got up just when the ten count should have been reached. Alvarado roared back and landed some huge punches of his own in the eighth round, likely the best three minutes of action 2013 has seen in the ring. But the rally was short-lived. The right side of Alvarado's face began to swell grotesquely, and after ten rounds, his corner pleaded with him to surrender. When referee Tony Weeks asked Alvarado if he wanted to continue, Alvarado did not answer, and Weeks wisely stopped the bout. No shame should be assigned to Alvarado, who took more punishment than any human should while trying desperately, but in vain, to outslug and outbox a man who simply would not be denied. Provodnikov himself was a bloody mess, leaving his own mother covered in his blood when he kissed her in the ring afterwards. His career-defining performance was ten rounds of savage beauty. source: hbo



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