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 Badou Jack-Lucian Bute - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard James DeGale Digs Deep To Overcome, Decision Rogelio Medina Washington Decisions Eddie Chambers: Benavidez, Gausha Win Badou Jack-Lucian Bute - CompuBox Historical Review James DeGale-Rogelio Medina: LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Andre Berto Gets Revenge, Knocks Victor Ortiz Out in Four Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina LIVE Results: Sharif Bogere Wins Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto II - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Thomas Williams Blasts Out Edwin Rodriguez in Two Rounds Edwin Rodriguez-Thomas Williams - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Jorge Lara Demolishes Montiel With Brutal First Round Knockout Jorge Lara vs. Fernando Montiel - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Anthony Joshua to Have U.S. Network Deal Announced Next Week Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto II - CompuBox Historical Review Liam Walsh Retains British and Commonwealth Titles With TKO Photos: Hughie Fury's Severe Cut Above His Left Eye Hughie Fury Suffers Bad Cut, Gets Technical Nod Over Fred Kassi Amir Khan Eyes MMA: I Fancy My Chances With Conor McGregor! Jamie Conlan Wins FOTY War To Get Title: Walsh Retains His Belt Andy Lee Sets Record Straight on Rumors of Daniel Jacobs Bout Video: Eddie Hearn Discusses Tony Bellew's Big Title Card Video: Theophane on Mayweather-Broner, Jack-DeGale, More Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Anthony Joshua, Kell Brook, Tyson Fury James DeGale: I Want To One Day Be The Pound For Pound Best IBF To Order Shingo Wake vs. Jonathan Guzman For Vacant Title Hughie Fury vs. Fred Kassi LIVE Results: Vijender Singh Wins Photos: Andre Dirrell, Anthony Dirrell, Guzman Get WIns in AC Cameron Dunkin Details His Up and Comers Within Stable Victor Ortiz's Coach on Berto Rematch: It's a Must-Win For Both Warren: I Think Fury Has Klitschko's Number - Mentally, Physically Zac Dunn Stops Les Sherrington In Three, Eyes Title Shot Chilemba Vows To Not Leave Fate in Judges' Hands Versus Kovalev Ramirez's Trainer: Golovkin is Great Fighter, But He's Not a Machine Thurman Will Focus on Danny Garcia's WBC Belt After Porter Hearn: Brook vs. Vargas Possible, Peterson Still in The Running Frank Warren on Hughie Fury-Fred Kassi, Liverpool's Big Win Daily Bread Mailbag: Mayweather-Garcia, Golovkin-Canelo, More James DeGale is Eager To End The Callum Smith Hype Train Canelo's Coach Rejects Claim That Khan's Chin is Poor: It's a Myth! Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto II: Pre-Fight Report Card
Latest Boxing Video Video: Eddie Hearn Discusses Tony Bellew's Big Title Card Video: Theophane on Mayweather-Broner, Jack-DeGale, More Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Anthony Joshua, Kell Brook, Tyson Fury Video: Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto Tense Face To Face at Weighin Video: Jack-Bute, DeGale-Medina Make Weight For Battle Video: Victor Ortiz vs. Andre Berto Final Press Conference Video: Roman Martinez on Overcoming Lomachenko Defense Video: DeGale on Facing Lucian Bute if He Shocks Badou Jack Video: Badou Jack Talks Lucian Bute, DeGale vs. Medina, More Video: Felix Verdejo Talks New York City Return, Critics, More
Recent Top Stories
Latest Active Forum Threads