Kelly Pavlik: An Appreciation

pavlik43By James Slater – By now, fight fans have almost certainly read or heard about former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik’s retirement announcement. “The Ghost,” 40-2(34) and just 31-years-old, told of his decisions, citing concerns for his long-term health and a lack of drive as his main reasoning. Pavlik was all set to fight Pound-for-Pounder Andre Ward, and the cancellation of this big fight (due to Ward’s shoulder injury/subsequent surgery) reportedly left the Youngstown legend disappointed and this too may have partially inspired his decision to walk away from the sport that made him great and he in turn helped make a little greater.

A genuine blue collar hero and an inspiration to millions of “small guys” the world over, Pavlik especially made the good people of his home town feel proud. This article is intended to say a small thank you to Kelly, a fighter who made this writer jump off the couch on more than one occasion. Pavlik was, above all else, exciting!

Who can forget his give and take battle with the then unbeaten Edison Miranda? The May 2007 win (a 7th-round TKO win for Pavlik) saw “The Ghost” – then aged 25 and, as we now know, in his absolute, arguably never to be better, prime – earn a shot at another unbeaten fighter: the middleweight champion of the world, Jermain Taylor. If Pavlik, a punishing puncher who had a great left jab, a reliable chin and a fine engine, wasn’t at his best against Miranda, he sure was against Taylor.

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Pavlik to retire from boxing

pavlikBy Bill Phanco: According to espn, former WBO/WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s) is retiring from boxing after a 13-year pro career. Pavlik is concerned about the health risks for him if he were to continue to fight. He’s not seeing any problems now but he’s worried about could show up later in the future if he were to continue his career.

Pavlik said to Dan Rafael of ESPN “When you stay in the sport too long you have health problems. That’s a big, big thing for me. I’m talking about in the future. I’m talking about when I’m 55 or 60…I don’t think the drive is there anymore. I’m moving on to a new chapter in my life.”

The timing for this move is somewhat strange being that there’s been talk of Pavlik facing former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute in Montreal, Canada. That’s a fight that not only would have given Pavlik a nice little payday but it also could have possibly reignited his boxing career if he were to have beaten Bute.

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Arum: Pavlik vs. Bute possible for March

bute554By Marcus Richardson: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says a fight between former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (31-1, 24 KO’s) and Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s) is possible by March of this year. Bute is one of the names that Pavlik’s management is working on putting a fight deal with for March.

Arum said to “I talked with Cameron Dunkin. They’re working on a big fight with Pavlik for the first three months of the year. One of the names is Lucian Bute.”

Bute’s promoter Jean Bedard mentioned recently that he’s interested in putting together a fight between Pavlik and Bute. Whether it can happen is still unclear, but it’s a great fight for both guys. Pavlik needs a big win over a fighter with a name because he’s done nothing for the last two years other than facing weak opposition.

Bute lost to Carl Froch last year in May in a disappointing 5th round TKO loss. Bute didn’t look like he had put a good game plan together because he didn’t have a plan B to fall back on after it was clear that Froch had too much power for him to fight in the center of the ring in a toe-to-toe battle. Bute needed to shift into a hit and run style that he had used earlier in his career to great success.

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Pavlik-Bute in talks for a fight

bute454341By Jeff Sorby: Former WBO/WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik isn’t too happy about losing out on his fight with WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who had to pull out of his scheduled February 23rd fight after hurting his right shoulder in training.

Pavlik could be in the process of getting a much more winnable fight against former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute in March or April next year. Pavlik’s manager has been in talks with Bute’s promoter Jean Bedard and thus far it’s looking good.

Both Pavlik and Bute are badly in need of a big win right now. Pavlik has done little with his career since losing to Sergio Martinez in 2010 by a 12 round decision in 2010. Pavlik has fought sparingly since then, mostly against C level opposition. Pavlik passed up the chance to fight Bute last year and instead chose Antonio Lopez, who almost beat him. Since then, Pavlik has really downgraded his opposition and has done a lot better.

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Andre Ward will need shoulder surgery, fight with Kelly Pavlik off

ward3343By Bill Phanco: WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KO’s) will reportedly require shoulder surgery on his right shoulder to fix a problem that occurred in late November while sparring to get ready for his fight with Kelly Pavlik.

It was originally thought that Ward’s injured shoulder would heal with rest, but unfortunately it’s not healing the way they thought it would and he’ll need surgery. Ward’s scheduled fight with Pavlik on February 23rd has been cancelled, and Pavlik’s manager Cameron Dunkin is reportedly looking in another direction. Steve Kim is reporting that Pavlik could face former IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute in March, although nothing was said about that from ESPN.

Pavlik should consider this a good thing that his fight with Ward is off, because he really didn’t have much of a chance to win the fight. It would have been bad for him unless he were to come up with a knockout to somehow negate Ward’s superior skills.

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Andre Ward suffers shoulder injury, fight with Pavlik to be postponed

By Steve Mabbott: WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward injured his right shoulder while working out to get ready for his now cancelled January 26th clash against former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik. The good news is that the 28-year-old Ward didn’t suffer any tears of his shoulder and won’t need surgery.

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Froch awaits Ward after he beats Pavlik on 1/26

Froch awaits Ward after he beats Pavlik on 1/26By Michael Collins: A well paying rematch with IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch is what WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KO’s) has to look forward to after he takes care of business against former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s) on January 26th at the Galen Center, in Los Angeles, California, USA.

There’s little doubt that Ward will take care of the slow moving, slow punching Pavlik without any problems just as Bernard Hopkins and Sergio Martinez did. Ward wants to fight Froch again to shut him up, and prove that his win over him last December in the Super Six tournament finals wasn’t just a fluke thing. Oddly enough, two of the judges scored it a close fight by the scores of 115-113, and this has given Froch the belief that he almost beat Ward.

Froch says he knows how to beat Ward now, and wants to get him over to Europe to face him in his home city of Nottingham. Ward is amused by this, and he hasn’t said no to the idea.

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Is Bob Arum cashing out on Kelly Pavlik?

Is Bob Arum cashing out on Kelly Pavlik?Robert Jackson – It was recently announced that Kelly Pavlik will be facing Andre Ward on January 26, 2013. Good fight for the fans, not so good a fight for Pavlik in this writer’s opinion. Pavlik from Youngstown Ohio – now fighting out of Robert Garcia’s fight academy in Oxnard California, best wins were against stationary, come forwards type fighters, who were there to be hit by Pavlik’s power shots.

Pavlik’s losses came against ring technicians who employed angles and movement to avoid being hit by Pavlik and then countered well. Losing to Bernard Hopkins who mugged, and outhustled Pavlik could be the fight that his January 26th fight may end up looking like tactically and outcome wise. Ward does everything Hopkins does better and with youthful vigor. In Ward’s last fight he even showed power by putting Chad Dawson down 3 times during that fight, even though Dawson’s weight loss played a part.

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Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez: “If Kelly Pavlik thinks I’m so horrible, he should prove it in the ring”

Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez: “If Kelly Pavlik thinks I’m so horrible, he should prove it in the ring”By Joseph Herron – After his dominant performance against previously undefeated KO artist Jason Escalera on HBO Boxing After Dark two weeks ago, Super Middleweight contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) immediately issued a challenge to former universally recognized Middleweight Champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik.

Although the superb match-up would be one of the more fan friendly pairings that could possibly be made in the talent enriched division, the Youngstown, Ohio native stated through numerous media sources that Edwin isn’t an accomplished enough fighter to make a truly meaningful fight at this stage in his career.

The Dominican born puncher had much to say about Kelly’s public commentary on the October 9th edition of “The Pugilist KOrner”.

“In a recent interview I read, Kelly Pavlik stated that I was horrible and that he would rather watch paint dry than watch one of my fights,” stated Edwin Rodriguez. “He also stated that there wasn’t enough money in a fight with me at this time.”

After headlining HBO Boxing After Dark and closing the show with a resounding bang, “La Bomba” found great folly and hypocrisy in Kelly’s response.

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Edwin Rodriguez vs. Kelly Pavlik: Expert trainer analysis

Edwin Rodriguez vs. Kelly Pavlik: Expert trainer analysisBy Joseph Herron: On Saturday night, at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Super Middleweight contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (22-0, 15 KOs) made a major statement to the rest of the talent enriched 168 pound weight class by stopping the previously undefeated Jason Escalera (13-1-1, 12 KOs) in impressive fashion while making his first headlining appearance on HBO Boxing After Dark.

After the sensational performance, Rodriguez was very clear in stating that he wanted to tangle with former universally recognized Middleweight Champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik in the near future.

Though it’s clear this bout would be considered a potential fight of the year candidate by most boxing fans and fight scribes before both men ever entered the ring, it’s uncertain which fighter would eventually hold their arm up in victory.

To give fight fans and boxing enthusiasts a closer examination of this fan friendly match-up, master fight strategist James Gogue analyzes the head to head pairing.

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