How does a "B-side" become an "A-lister?" Just ask Mike Alvarado.
Before "Mile High Mike" fought Brandon Rios the first time, he was the definitive "opponent" despite being 33-0 and Rios losing his last bout to Richar Abril as well as missing weight in two consecutive fights. But following a sensational war (KO by 7) that spawned a TV-friendly rematch that Alvarado correctly won by decision, he has been rewarded with a homecoming fight on HBO.
Provodnikov is trying to follow the same formula. After being an ESPN "A-side," he was Timothy Bradley's party of the second part this past March. Defying all expectations, the fight was extraordinary and though the Russian lost he covered himself in glory just as Alvarado did with Rios in his first fight. If he beats Alvarado in Denver, he might change his status as well.
Statistical factors that may influence the outcome include: