By Keith Idec
If Kelly Pavlik handles his business against Will Rosinsky on July 7, the former middleweight champion expects to secure a high-profile fight that’ll be scheduled for sometime in the fall.
Of all the options in the deep super middleweight division, Pavlik’s preference is to challenge another fighter who has knocked out Jermain Taylor. He knows, however, that he might have to settle for someone other than Carl Froch if Froch pursues rematches against Mikkel Kessler or Lucian Bute.
“I would like to fight [Carl] Froch,” Pavlik said while promoting the Rosinsky fight. “But here’s the big thing — that weight class is loaded. No matter which way you go, it’s just a loaded weight class, with talent. So [I’ll take] any big fight right now. At this stage, [I want] a big fight. Whatever opens up, whatever opportunity presents itself, is going to be the big one. Whatever sanctioning body, it don’t matter.
“But like I said, because of the heated words and some of the things that Froch has said before, it kind of irked me a little bit. But it would be him. He just beat Bute, but Bute is probably still not out of the question. I would like to have that fight. But the main thing it comes down to is, whatever opens up. I could want to fight any of these guys, but if one of them signs on to fight somebody else, or Froch might take a fight with this person, and it could be four or five months from now. So it’s just whatever opportunity presents itself.”
Pavlik (39-2, 34 KOs) was supposed to box Bute on Nov. 5 in Montreal, but the Youngstown, Ohio, native was displeased with his proposed purse ($1.35 million) and withdrew from a tune-up fight against Darryl Cunningham, which was scheduled for last Aug. 6 in Youngstown. The Bute bout was subsequently scrapped and Pavlik didn’t fight again until he stopped Aaron Jaco (15-3, 5 KOs) in the second round March 31 in San Antonio.
Froch (29-2, 21 KOs) has since demolished Bute (30-1, 24 KOs), who is owed a Froch rematch if the Montreal-based boxer wants one. Regardless, Pavlik’s promoters at Top Rank Inc. think he’ll be more than ready for a more meaningful fight if he defeats Rosinsky (16-1, 9 KOs) in what will be the 30-year-old Pavlik’s third fight in barely three months.
“We’re looking for a big fight,” said Bob Arum, Top Rank’s founder and chief executive officer. “HBO wants him in the fall, in a big fight, on HBO. The question then is who is available, and it’s all the usual suspects. So we’ll see what the best opportunity is, but if Kelly is successful on July 7th and looks good, then it’s on to a big fight.”
HBO will televise the Pavlik-Rosinsky fight as part of a “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader from Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The main event will match WBO champion Nonito Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs), of San Leandro, Calif., against IBF title-holder Jeffrey Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs), of Brakpan, South Africa, in a 12-round, 122-pound unification fight.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.