Advertisement
Advertisement

Kelly Pavlik's Latest Redemption Tour Starts in Texas

By Jake Donovan

There’s two ways of viewing Kelly Pavlik’s latest ring return: it’s either a mighty fall from grace that he’s forced to serve as the co-feature of a card airing on Azteca America (Saturday, 10PM ET), or that he’s still enough of a name to bring relevance to a card that otherwise flies under the radar.

The combination of the two statements says that Pavlik’s comeback tour is right on course.

The former middleweight titlist made weight for Saturday night’s co-feature versus Aaron Jaco (15-2, 5KO), which airs live from the Illusions Theatre in San Antonio. Pavlik (37-2, 32KO) weighed in at 169.2 lb, slightly less than Jaco, who hit the scales at 169.4 lb for their scheduled 10-round super middleweight bout.

Unbeaten featherweight Evgeny Gradovich – who trains with Pavlik under red-hot corernman Robert Garcia in Oxnard, Calif. – headlines the show as he faces Francisco Leal. Both fighters came in under the featherweight limit – Gradovich (12-0, 6KO) weighed 125.6, while Leal (16-5-3, 10KO) was 125.6 lb. for their 10-round main event.

Pavlik fights for just the second time since his lineal middleweight reign came to an end in April 2010. The run lasted more than 2 ½ years, beginning with a sensational off-the-canvas stoppage of Jermain Taylor in an instant classic. 

High expectations were placed on Pavlik, whose all-action style and ability to bring a posse of fans from his economically devastated hometown of Youngstown, OH were believed to be the formula for the sport’s next budding star. Instead, his reign was littered with disinteresting matchups, injuries, postponements and a lopsided points loss to Bernard Hopkins in a non-title catchweight bout in Oct. ’08. 

The reign concluded with a points loss to Sergio Martinez nearly two years ago; Pavlik has struggled to since pick up the pieces. His lone bout was a lethargic points win over Alfonso Lopez last May, a bout that was lost in a sea of bad press surrounding career low points for the Ohioan. The letdowns included stints in rehab for alcohol abuse and a well-documented withdrawal of a scheduled summer Showtime appearance in his hometown, pulling out of a scheduled bout with Daryl Cunningham during what was supposed to be fight week.

Pavlik has since made amends with promoter Top Rank and has headed west, relocating to California and enlisting the services of Garcia. Saturday’s bout will mark their first together.

As far as opponents go, Jaco appears as safe a choice as they come. The Floridian boasts no wins of note, was knocked out in both of his losses, coming against mediocre opposition before stepping away from the ring in 2006. Jaco returned late last year after a five-year break, scoring a first round knockout in a local club show.

Full card (Michael Campbell at the scales):
Francisco Leal 125.4 lb vs. Evgeny Gradovich 125.6 lb
Kelly Pavlik 169.2 lb vs. Aaron Jaco 169.4 lb
Ivan Najera 132 lb vs. James Lester 131.8 lb
Luis Zarazua 125 lb vs. Victor Sanchez 124.4 lb
Adam Lopez 119 lb vs. Ramon Bayala 119 lb
Eduardo Alicea 173.4 lb vs. Edwynn Jones 169.6 lb
Saul Rodriguez 127 lb vs. Ricardo Valencia 126.8 lb
Bryant Perrella 151 lb vs. Arturo Lopez 155 lb

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter:@JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected] 
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment/View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Early Fight Results From Ontario, California Thurman: Brook Went 12, Do I Stop Porter? I Plan To Hurt Him! Marquez, Sulaiman Disagree on Canelo-Khan Being Mismatch Photos/Weights: Alex Saucedo vs. Clarence Booth, More Roy Jones Jr. To Fight Again - Against a 'Fan' in Odd PPV Event! Gabriel Campillo Explains Decision To Retire From Boxing Eddie Gomez Extends Pact With Golden Boy Promotions Roman Martinez-Miguel Berchelt Lands at Poliforum Zamna, 3/12 Thurman: Khan Took 'Easier' Canelo, Brook Tougher For Him McJoe Arroyo-Jerwin Ancajas Heads To The Philippines on 4/16 Povetkin's Promoter: I Think We'll Reach Wilder Deal Without Bids McWilliams Arroyo Confident He Can Shock Roman Gonzalez Froch: I Think About a Comeback Every Day, But I'm Realistic Felix Verdejo Has April Fight Set For Puerto Rico Willie Monroe Return is Pushed Back After Opponent Snafu Santa Cruz vs. Martinez: Hunter, Mendez, Marrero Added Marquez: Khan Can Win, But Canelo Can KO Him at Any Time Roman Gonzalez-McWilliams Arroyo Done For Golovkin-Wade Avtandil Khurtsidze, Giovanni Lorenzo Set For Broadway Boxing Vargas Predicts He'll Make Sadam Ali Quit; 'Not On My Level' Wlodarczyk Faces Brudov on 3/4, Shumenov in Play For April Abel Sanchez Not Viewing Andre Ward's Inactivity as Advantage Quigg Motivated By Fear of Losing as Frampton Bout Nears Khan: Mayweather, Pacquiao Would Be Easier Than Canelo! Ballisai Replaces Kevin Mitchell in Tatli EBU Title Fight on 3/18 Pungluang Sor Singyu Retains WBO Belt With Technical Nod Win Mayweather Stumped on Who Would Win Fury vs. Wilder Floyd Mayweather: Timing Was Not Right For Amir Khan Bout Roy Jones Jr. and Kevin Mitchell: A Tale of Two Retirements McWilliams Arroyo Creeps In, Eyed For Roman Gonzalez Bout Marquez Says There Have Been Talks For Miguel Cotto Bout Photos: Povetkin Getting Jacked, in Beast Mode For Deontay Wilder Estrada's Promoter Questions Chocolatito's Pound For Pound Rank Luis Ortiz Content With Random Testing To Prove He's Clean Bob Arum: I Don't Ever Want To Retire! Why Would I? Robert Garcia Hopes Brother Mikey is Back in First Half of 2016 Tarver's Suspension Upheld, Fined $50K For Positive PED Test Lucas Matthysse-Pablo Cesar Cano Showdown in Talks Bob Arum Continues To Be The Master of Salesmanship Pungluang Sor Singyu Defends WBO Belt Against Pabustan
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement