- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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If interim junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov fight each other -- and a deal is in the works -- it will be a can’t-miss action fight.
If it’s finalized, they would meet for Alvarado’s interim belt on Oct. 19 (HBO) in Denver, Alvarado’s hometown.
Alvarado has been in several tremendous battles, including two memorable fights in a row with Brandon Rios, with the March 30 sequel a leading candidate for fight of the year honors. The first fight in October was the 2012 ESPN.com fight of the year runner-up.
Russia’s Provodnikov is also a guy who has regularly been in exciting fights, including his close decision loss to welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. on March 16, which is right behind Alvarado-Rios II in the discussion of fight of the year honors.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who promotes Alvarado, and Banner Promotions’ Artie Pelullo, who represents Provodnikov, both told ESPN.com that they have made a deal with each other for the bout. Pelullo also said he has wrapped up a deal with Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) and HBO for the fight.
“Me and Bob are done on our end,” Pelullo said. “I also have my deal done with HBO. We are done and on board. Now I am waiting for Bob to get Alvarado on board. I think they will get it done. It’s going to be a great fight.”
What remains to be done, according to Arum, is for he and Alvarado to come to an agreement on his purse and for he and HBO to finalize the license fee. Arum said he is trying to get more money from HBO in order to satisfy Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs).
“We’re working on the money, and I think we’ll get it done with a few more bucks,” Arum said.
Alvarado took to Twitter on Wednesday to explain the hold up, and it is hard to argue with him. He deserves to be paid well after all the blood he has spilled for our entertainment in so many of his fights.
“My last four fights been fight of the year candidates,” Alvarado said. “I'm very grateful to Top Rank, but it's my turn to get paid like a world champ. Listen, the fight (with Provodnikov) will probably happen, but we need to get my money right first. Mr. Arum is a great man and I'm sure he will get it done.
“Let’s put it this way: I'm not gonna take A LOT less money to fight Provodnikov than Tim Bradley did. I've been in war after war. I'm just as good.”