Kelly “The Ghost Pavlik has a tough job ahead of him when he defends against Argentina’s Sergio Martinez on Saturday. But that’s the way he likes it.

“I’m anxious to get in there and do my thing, Pavlik said.

The no nonsense middleweight from Youngstown is blue collar all of the way.

Pavlik’s bringing his lunch bucket again when he fights Argentina’s Martinez (44-2-2, 24 KOs) on Saturday April 17, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The Top Rank promoted title fight will be shown on HBO along with another world title fight. We’ll talk about that later.

The tall hard-punching Ohio middleweight has stuff to prove and knows he can regain instant credibility if he can beat southpaw slugging Martinez.

Martinez, who trained in nearby Oxnard, California for this fight, lost an exciting decision to feared prizefighter Paul “The Punisher Williams last December in a battle that many people felt was the Fight of the Year in 2009. The left-hander’s ability to box and punch with effectiveness has quickly gained him fans in the U.S. though he also fought to a draw against Kermit Cintron a year ago. In both fights arguments arose on whether American judges were objective enough.

Pavlik sees Martinez as very dangerous.

“He’s awkward and punches from different angles, which sometimes helps him and sometimes that could leave him wide open and get caught coming in, said Pavlik (36-1, 32 KOs) about his title challenger Martinez.“I didn’t see anything overly impressive. But he’s somebody you’ve got to respect. You can’t go in there face-first.

After suffering an infection to his right hand that just wouldn’t heal, Youngstown’s hometown hero was forced to cancel several fights including world title fights with Sergio Mora and Paul Williams. The cut not only left a scar on his hand, but caused another to his career as a fearless champion. That probably affected Pavlik most of all.

“It was a frustrating 2009 and there wasn’t much we could do about it, said Pavlik, who captured the middleweight world championship in 2007. “It was a little upsetting to hear what people were saying (about the cancellations of the Williams fights) but I couldn’t pay too much attention to that. I wanted to fight Williams and they said I was lying. The doctors had to prove that I wasn’t lying and we couldn’t make the fight happen. So the next best fight out there was Martinez.

Although Martinez has yet to beat an elite fighter on American soil, his back and forth battle with Williams in December and his draw against Cintron last February not only gained him respect among peers, but drew raves from fans who felt the Argentine had won both contests. Even Pavlik agrees with fans.

“I thought Martinez won the fight to be honest with you, said Pavlik during a telephone press conference call. “What Martinez did against Paul Williams I think Martinez has really made a name for himself.

Pavlik’s trainer Jack Lowe believes his fighter has turned the corner on the injury bug.

“People are going to see the best Kelly Pavlik they’ve seen in a long time, Lowe said.

Other world title fight

Canada’s Lucian Bute (25-0, 20 KOs) defends his IBF super middleweight world title against Colombia’s Edison “La Pantera Miranda (33-4, 29 KOs) on Saturday in Montreal, Canada. The fight will also be shown on HBO.

Bute has led a boxing revival in Canada that has helped regularly fill arenas with 18,000 fans as he did in two fights against California’s Librado Andrade in October 2008 and November 2009.

In his first battle with Mexican-American Andrade he survived a knockdown with the help of a referee’s long count in the last round with seconds remaining, but in the rematch he regained his reputation with a fourth round stoppage via a well-placed body shot. Hence, Bute now faces Miranda a murderous puncher for a fifth title defense since grabbing the belt in October 2007.

Other notes

Lorraine Chargin, 79, a boxing promoter passed away last week from cancer at her home in Cambria, California. She was one of the few female promoters in the business and had learned much of her craft from another female promoter Aileen Eaton while working at the historic Olympic Auditorium. She was married to famed boxing match maker Don “War a Week Chargin and both handled Don Chargin Promotions that still exists. Lorraine Chargin was known for her take-charge, no-nonsense attitude and for her generosity to those in need. She was honored by the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007 for her contributions to boxing. “We will never forget her, said Bill Caplan who has known the Chargins for decades.

A fight between WBO junior welterweight titleholder Timothy “Desert Storm Bradley of Palm Springs and Argentina’s big punching Marcos Maidana is being negotiated, said Cameron Dunkin who manages Bradley. Maidana recently beat undefeated Victor Cayo and Victor Ortiz in back-to-back junior welterweight fights. HBO is interested in matching the Argentine with undefeated Bradley who was unable to lure a name opponent. Maidana is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Bradley by Gary Shaw Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions. No site nor date has been determined.

Shawn Porter (13-0, 10 KOs) faces Colombia’s Raul Pinzon (17-4, 16 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout in Salisbury, Maryland tonight. Porter trains at the Wild Card Boxing gym in Hollywood and was recently seen sparring with former amateur star Donyil Linvingstone. He also was a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao when that fighter was preparing for Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto. Porter’s fight will be televised on Showtime.

Riverside’s Josesito Lopez was scheduled to fight undefeated Mike Dallas on April 24 on the under card of Chris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek, but due to a an injury it has been moved to another date. Henry Ramirez, who trains both Arreola and Lopez, said that Lopez will now be fighting on May 8 at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Dallas is still the opponent on the Goossen-Tutor Promotions card.

Chicago’s David Estrada (24-6, 15 KOs) won by technical knockout of Orlando Lora (26-1-1, 18 KOs) of Coachella on Saturday at the Agua Caliente Casino. Estrada, a veteran of many significant fights including those with Sugar Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, and Armando Velardez Jr., had too much experience for Lora who lost his first fight as a professional. Estrada’s win places him back in contention for another welterweight world title shot.

IBO cruiserweight world titleholder Danny Green (28-3, 25 KOs) of Australia defends his title against former super middleweight world champion Manny Siaca (22-6) of Puerto Rico on Wednesday April 15. Green’s last fight was a first round stoppage of Roy Jones Jr. in a cruiserweight match. Green is also a former light heavyweight world champion.

Jason Gavern (19-7-3) the fighting policeman upset Bakersfield’s Manny Quezada (29-5, 18 KOs) by split decision in Lemoore, California on Thursday. Quezada was poised to make a world title bid but was tripped up by Gavern who is an experienced fighter. Gavern has sparred with Chris Arreola and James Toney.

Former bantamweight world champion Cristian Mijares (39-6-2) won by split decision over Francisco “Panchito Arce (30-6-2) in a 12-round fight in Durango, Mexico on Saturday. Arce, the younger brother of Jorge Arce, can’t seem to win the big fight though he always comes close.

Junior featherweight world champion Marcela Acuna (34-5) of Argentina defeated Mexico’s Maria Villalobos (6-3) by unanimous decision in Buenos Aires on Saturday after 10 rounds.

IBF welterweight titleholder Jan Zaveck (29-1, 17 KOs) stopped Argentina’s Rodolfo Martinez (36-4-1, 13 KOs) with seconds remaining in the 12th and final round. The fight took place in the champion’s country Slovenia last Friday.