MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach was proud to see Russian fighter Ruslan Provodnikov prevail over Mike Alvarado to annex the World Boxing Organization title in their light-welterweight fight last weekend.
Roach was unable to be in Provodnikov’s corner as he is busy training Manny Pacquiao for the Pacman’s upcoming bout, but Filipino trainer Marvin Somodio was there to help guide the Russian brawler, who went on to win via a 10th round technical knockout.
“It was a great show,” Roach told Boxing Scene. “After a pretty close first five rounds, Ruslan put a lot of pressure on Alvarado.”
Roach added that both Somodio and strength and conditioning coach Gavin McMillan “did a great job” in the fight.
Provodnikov, who has served as a sparring partner to Pacquiao in the past, acknowledged that he missed having Roach in his corner.
“I knew that I had to win it for Freddie,” said the Russian in an ESPN interview. “Not having him here, I miss him, but we did his game plan exactly.”
Provodnikov’s victory opened the doors for a potential clash against Pacquiao, though he may also face off against unbeaten American Timothy Bradley again or fight Alvarado in a rematch.
Roach, for his part, told Boxing Scene that he does not see a Provodnikov-Pacquiao clash happening. “They are good friends and I don’t think they’ll fight,” he said.
Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum, however, refused to rule out the fight. “Why not?” he said.