Most boxers who become successful in the pro ranks started as very young amateurs. We’re talking 8, 9 years old. At the latest. That’s why it’s always cool to see someone get a late start and become world champion. Such is the case with Denver’s Mike Alvarado, who Oct. 19 will defend his junior welterweight belt against hard-hitting Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia at First Bank Center near Denver (on HBO).
Alvarado was kind of in no-man’s land a couple of years out of high school when the boxing bug bit him at the age of 20.
“I guess it was just the way I was living,”Alvarado said via telephone this week, when asked what prompted him to take up the sweet science at that late stage. “I mean, after high school I wasn’t really doing anything. You know, work or nothing. So one day I was figuring out what to do with myself and I went to the gym. I was just so determined to do something. I mean, I was multi-talented. I played every sport you can think of. I was a wrestler my whole life.
“I was just so curious what I could do with it, and it was just meant to be. I just went with it and stood with it and gave it my all and it blossomed.”
Alvarado, 33, is 34-1 with 23 knockouts. Provodnikov, 29, is 22-2 with 15 knockouts.