by Chris LaBate
Former world middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs) has rededicated himself to the sport of boxing and plans to make a statement on May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pavlik will see action on the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley pay-per-view undercard. Pavlik will face undefeated Alfonso Lopez (21-0, 16 KOs) in a ten round contest. It's going to be Pavlik's first bout since the early 2010 decision loss to Sergio Martinez.
"I’m really, really excited. Training is going phenomenal right now. I haven’t had this much energy in a long time for a fight. I’m getting ready to get back on track and start making a noise for myself in the super middleweight division," Pavlik said.
Pavlik took some time off to get his wild lifestyle in order. No longer dirnking or hanging out at the local Youngstown bars until the late hours, Pavlik is looking to establish himself in a new division.
“I’m not one to make any excuses to say that’s what hurt my career because I wasn’t doing it while I was training. I can easily make it a great excuse, but in my opinion I don’t see it as that. But as of now I think the big difference is I’m able to focus more clearly on my career and take everything serious. I think that’s going to be the big difference now when compared to the past," Pavlik said.
Pavlik has watched some footage of Lopez. He expects a tough fight from the undefeated Texas boxer. Pavlik is not underestimating Lopez's ability or his hunger to showcase his skills on a very big stage.
“He’s a tough kid. He’ll try to box in there and he’ll try to move a little bit. The danger I see is he’s a hungry fighter and this is a golden opportunity for him. He’s no spring chicken in the sport and he’s getting the opportunity of a lifetime. He has a very good record so I think right now he’s coming in hungry for this fight like it’s going to be his last chance. Anytime you get a fighter like that you always have to be on your toes and ready for him," Pavlik said.
"We’ve been watching him on film – he’s always in good shape, so we know that. He can go 12 hard rounds or 10 hard rounds. More so, from what I’ve seen, the kid comes to fight. Nothing phenomenal, but he’s a kid that you can’t take likely and you’ve got to be in shape to fight for 10 rounds.”