By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (37-2, 32KOs) won a ten round majority decision over previously undefeated Alfonso Lopez (21-1, 16KOs). The scores were 95-95, 98-92 and 99-91. It marked the first ring appearance for Pavlik since last April's decision loss to Sergio Martinez. Saturday's fight took place at a max weight of 170-pounds as Pavlik madd his official debut at super middleweight.
Lopez was landing some very good counters on Pavlik in the first two rounds. There was a lot of holding when they came in close. Pavlik was countering with straight punches that were backing Lopez up and making him retreat for safety. This was a real fight, with Lopez hitting Pavlik with several good counter punches. For the most part it was a rough, inside fight.
In the sixth round, Lopez appeared to be getting tired as Pavlik was coming on with hard punches. After Lopez was hit with a low blow in the middle of the seventh, the fight became a brawl as Lopez stood on the inside to trade shots with Pavlik. In the final three rounds, Pavlik was pushing the action and coming forward with hard rights, but when Lopez would let his hands go to throw fast combinations - Pavlik appeared to have a lot of trouble dealing with the incoming speed.
Lopez was never seriously hurt until the final minute of the tenth and final round, when Pavlik shook him with a few hard shots.