The Kelly Pavlik Dilemma
By Mike "Mykers" Boehm (Jan 13, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Most fans of boxing understand no match is finalized until both fighters step into the ring. However, this insight is concluded with all the major accusations, drug testing, and preliminary talks that ensue. More importantly, this aspect was clearly shown with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. While this is completely another story altogether, there’s one fighter whose name is thrown in the mix. Kelly Pavlik, the undisputed middleweight champion; a guy who has failed to satisfy the boxing communities ultimate goal. That is, a Paul Williams versus Kelly Pavlik super fight.

There has been recent speculation of an upcoming unification bout between Kelly Pavlik and Felix Sturm. We all adore unification bouts no doubt. However, is Felix Sturm a viable opponent? More importantly, is this a wise decision for Kelly Pavlik? Nevertheless, Pavlik is the only one who can answer this question though, it seems most would prefer the latter.

Felix Sturm is coming off a July win over Khoren Gevor, in which he retained the WBA world middleweight title. Sturm has proved too many individuals he is a sound ring technician, and quite the tactical fighter. The thirty year old fighter sports an impressive 33 wins with two losses and one draw. The two losses came at the hands of Oscar De La Hoya, and Javier Castillejo. Since his last loss in 2006, Sturm has blasted, and outworked several opponents in the last three years and earned the inevitable reputation as a middleweight workhorse.

Kelly Pavlik on the other hand is coming off a fresh fifth round TKO victory over Miguel Espino. Espino entered the ring as an 11-1 underdog, and was consequently out punched and put on the defensive the majority of the contest. However, Espino came on as a late replacement after Kelly Pavlik pulled out several times (due to a hand injury/staff infection) for the suspected Williams/Pavlik matchup. To recap, the Pavlik/Williams fight was originally supposed to happen October 3rd. However, the fight was postponed and had the possibility of being canceled due to a staph infection in Pavlik's hand. Then, the bout was rescheduled to December 5. Once again Pavlik pulled out. The key word is “hand;” it seems the hands of Pavlik are the first and foremost excuse of evading the public’s ultimate wish, and so it goes…

Surprisingly, Pavlik’s record, and knockout ratio appears to remain the key factor for nailing down opposition. Kelly’s only loss came at the hands of Bernard Hopkins; in which he was schooled, patted, and highly outworked throughout the fight. Nevertheless, Pavlik is a people’s fighter, that is, when he actually fights. The suspected unification bout with Felix Sturm will no doubt send the wheels turning in the Pavlik camp, and we should see results and signatures in the next few months.

As for the fight itself, this type of fight is right down the line for Pavlik. The 6’2 ½ fighter is an intimidating presence, constantly backing his opponent into the ropes with the hope of landing that one punch to end the fight. Most speculate that Sturm will not fare well against Pavlik. However, as clearly shown with Bernard Hopkins, any skilled technician can dethrone the cream of the crop. Furthermore, Felix Sturm has plenty of options when fighting the taller opponent in Kelly Pavlik.

While the unification bout will draw plenty of hype, there is still the lingering score left for Kelly Pavlik to settle. When are we going to see a Kelly Pavlik vs. Paul Williams fight? Both fighters have already expressed numerous interests to resign the anticipated matchup. At this point, it appears the questions and answers all lie in the “hands” of Kelly Pavlik. Realistically, the safe bet would be for Kelly to fight Felix Sturm. The supposed low risk fight is right up Pavlik’s alley and posses no immediate knockout threat.

Ultimately, the potential blockbuster unification fight will happen instead of a Williams/Pavlik bout. However, you can’t go wrong wither way. The two credible fighters in Pavlik/Sturm; both possess the key attributes to dismantle each other. Of course, if Felix Sturm is the chosen opponent, we might have to wait through several postponements on Pavlik’s behalf before we see the matchup happen.

With all the public’s speculation aside, my thoughts are a bit one-sided. . I feel Kelly Pavlik is intentionally pulling out of the Paul Williams super fight, and diminishing his reputation by evading the best! On the flip side, a potential Kelly Pavlik/Felix Sturm fight will suffice. The bottom line is this: give the public what they want and end the talk…a Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik super fight! Until then, lets the rumors fly, and outshine any potential “what if’s” surrounding Kelly Pavlik.

For the latest boxing news and stories, stay tuned with Doghouse Boxing for further information regarding Kelly Pavlik.

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