by Cliff Rold
Making his third start since losing the Middleweight crown to Sergio Martinez in 2010, 30-year old Kelly Pavlik (38-2, 33 KO) of Youngstown, Ohio, battered game but outgunned 25-year old Scott Sigmon (22-4, 12 KO) en route to a seventh round technical knockout. It was Sigmon’s first stoppage loss. Pavlik won his third in a row since moving to Super Middleweight, inching his way back towards serious contention.
Both men weighed in one pound below the division limit at 167 lbs. The referee was Jay Nady.
The first round was a feeling out stanza, Sigmon moving and trying occasional shots while Pavlik worked to establish his strong, long jab. Late in the round, some hammering rights started to come behind the stick as Pavlik warmed to the task.
In round two, Pavlik started to pick up the pace and Sigmon couldn’t keep up. A left hand stunned Sigmon near the ropes and a crimson stream opened from the nose. Sigmon gamely stayed close and plugged away into the third, Pavlik landing the harder stuff but Sigmon giving him work.
Sigmon got away with a butt to the face in round four and tried to lead with his skull to start the fifth only to be clipped with a short left. Pavlik got in some hard lefts to the body and kept firing the right even as Sigmon had the left positioned to block the head. As the fifth wore on, Pavlik’s leather brought more blood from the nose of Sigmon and busted up his mouth as well.
Pavlik used his shoulders to roll shots and blast away with leveraged uppercuts in the sixth. Sigmon flailed away but could land nothing of note. Pavlik was smeared in the blood of Sigmon, chopping away with power shots but unable to drop the gutsy underdog.
The thrashing continued in the seventh, a cut opened over the right eye of Sigmon drawing a look from the doctor during the round. Sigmon was allowed to finish the frame but was given no more as the bout was waved off by Nady at round’s end.
Pavlik acknowledged in the post-fight interview that the night was about getting in good work as he continues his rebuilding process. “One thing I did work…was my uppercuts. I worked on bending, getting those uppercuts, body shots.” Asked where he is in terms of his schedule, Pavlik gave a nod to the division as “loaded” and said he’s looking for a big fight next. At Super Middleweight, he won’t have to look too hard.
Fans were treated to a look at a serious prospect for the future at Jr. Featherweight. 20-year old Jesse Magdaleno (10-0, 7 KO), 122, of Las Vegas, Nevada, blitzed 30-year old Puerto Rican Carlos Valcarcel (12-5, 5 KO), 122, of Miami, Florida, for a first-round stoppage. It was Valcarcel’s third straight loss after going the ten-round distance in his previous two starts. The referee was Tony Weeks.
The southpaw Magdaleno showed his speed right away, clipping Valcarcel with a double lead left down the middle. Shortly after, he finished a quick combination with another left. Valcarcel scored with a right to the body. With just less than a minute to go in the first round, Magdaleno showed his speed again. He backed Valcarcel into the corner and connected with a bombing left to send his man to the floor.
Stunned, Valcarcel pulled himself up with an assist from the ropes and Weeks allowed him to continue. He would not continue long. Magdaleno rushed in and finished his man with an assault of power puncher. Weeks jumped in to save Valcarcel at 2:25 of round one.
In the televised opener, 24-year old Light Heavyweight Mike Lee (9-0, 5 KO), 177, of Chicago, Illinois, won a pedestrian eight-round decision over pudgy 29-year old Eliseo Durazo (4-3, 1 KO), 180, of Agua Prieto, Sonora, Mexico. Durazo lost a point in the fourth and seemed surprised to find out the fight was scheduled to go six. Lee took unanimous scores of 59-54. The referee was Russell Mora.
The card was broadcast in the U.S. by ESPN2 as part of its “Friday Night Fights” series, promoted by Top Rank.
Cliff Rold is a Managing Editor at BoxingScene, and a member of the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]