By Edward Chaykovsky
Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (37-2, 32KOs) returns on Saturday against Darryl Cunningham (23-2, 10KOs) at the Covelli Center in Youngstown, Ohio. If Pavlik wins, he would travel up to Canada to face IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute. A win over Bute (29-0, 24KOs), considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in boxing, would be a major boost to Pavlik's career.
"I think it’s important to go back in there and win a world title. I had a title, I defended it for three years, which is a great accomplishment, but I’m not done yet. I want more. I think if we go over to Canada and knock out Bute or, by some miracle, get a decision up there, which is going to be hard, I think that puts us back on top again. He’s a great fighter with a great name and right now there’s a lot of talk already that it’s going to be a sellout and that’ll be a great way to get a world title," Pavlik told Joe Scalzo of The Vindicator.
Pavlik's trainer, Jack Loew, wants his fighter to be very impressive in the bout. He wants Pavlik to generate a much better effort than he showcased in May against Alfonso Lopez.
"I think to get a lot of people back on board and to make it a more interesting Bute fight, I think we’ve got to look vastly better than we did against Lopez. We should go in there and fight Cunningham like we did Miranda. Balls to the walls and push this kid backwards and test our will and our strength against his and that’s the way it has to be," Loew said.