DENVER -- Junior welterweight contender Ruslan Provodnikov spent the last two months being trained by Freddie Roach, but Provodnikov won't have the Hall of Famer in his corner when he goes for a world title.
Russia’s Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) challenges Denver’s Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) for his 140-pound belt on Saturday night (HBO, 9:45 ET/PT) at the 1stBank Center in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, Colo., in a fight most everyone expects to be an action-packed brawl. Manning the corner in Roach’s place will be assistant trainer Marvin Somodio, who has been part of Provodnikov’s training camp.
Roach cannot make it to the fight because he is in the Philippines training his No. 1 client, Manny Pacquiao, for a Nov. 23 welterweight fight with Brandon Rios.
Roach and Provodnikov went their separate ways two weeks ago. Provodnikov had accompanied Roach to Orlando, Fla., to continue working with him while Roach was also finishing up with Miguel Cotto and working the corner for Cotto’s big knockout of Delvin Rodriguez on Oct. 5 at the Amway Center in Orlando.
Following the fight, Roach flew to the Philippines to be with Pacquiao, and Provodnikov came directly to Denver with Somodio.
Provodnikov, a former Pacquiao sparring partner, is OK with the situation. It’s not as though it came as a surprise. He and his team have known this would be the case since training camp started.
“From the beginning, we knew there was a chance that Freddie would not be in the corner on the day of the fight,” Provodnikov said through interpreter and manager Vadim Kornilov. “We knew he had obligations to Manny Pacquiao. We trained with Freddie for eight weeks exactly, and it has been an awesome training camp. Also we have been working on how we defeat Mike Alvarado. It has all come together. I am going to have Freddie’s assistant, Marvin Somodio, in my corner. Marvin has been there every day and I know what to do.
“I know what to do once the fight comes. I am not worried about Freddie not being there. He is obviously the backbone of our team. He is the captain, and I had hoped he could be there.”