No, Kelly Pavlik isnt overly irked that hes not the headliner in his next fight, against Daniel Edouard.
Its kind of hard. But Im the co-main event on the Manny Pacquiao fight, he told TSS in a Thursday phoner. If it was Joe Blow and not Manny, Itd be hard to deal with. Ill be headlining again soon.
But at what weight?
He still isnt completely sure. The Cowboys Stadium fight against Eduoard, a Haitian hitter with a 23-3 mark, and just 14 KOs since turning pro in 2002, will be fought at a catchweight, of 164 pounds or less.
Making 160 took too much out of him, Pavlik told us, and he hit a wall in the eighth round of his last fight, against Sergio Martinez, in April in Atlantic City. Pavlik dropped a UD12, and gave up his WBC and WBO middleweight crowns top the slick, energized Argentine.
The Youngstowner has drawn flak, even from within his own ranks, for not training the right way, but he played down that talk to TSS. He worked with a nutritionist for that Martinez fight, he said, and its not like he takes random workout suggestions from strangers and incorporates them. But, he told us, his workouts were up to seven hours a day, and looking ahead, it might be wiser to work smarter, not harder.
Pavlik, age 28, should not have too much trouble with Edouard, who is coming off a loss to 18-7 Alfonso Mosquera in July (SD11 in Panama). Edouard drifts between middleweight and junior middleweight, so Pavliks power should be enough to stop him for the third time as a professional.
Hes tough, but I should be able to beat him up, The Ohioan said. After that, Pavlik says he wants bigger game, though he makes sure to mention that while his people might see Edouard as a rust-shedder, he isnt. A rematch with Martinez would make sense, of course. The rematch clause window, a 60 day span, closed, so The Argentine looked elsewhere, to a name familiar to Pavlik: Paul Williams. He and Pavlik two were supposed to get it on about a dozen times, but the last time, last December, Pavliks staph infection, now fully erased, got in the way. So Martinez and Williams will instead get it on, on Nov. 20, site TBD. It would make sense for Pavlik to get the winner. Another name in the mix is WBA super middle champ Felix Sturm, but he likes to fight easier touches on his home turf, and keep most of the money, so we shall see. You wont see Pavlik parachute into Showtimes Super Six tourney, he told us. No one from Showtime ever reached out to him on that front, for the record.
Its tempting to say that Pavlik is at a crossroads, but do you know hes only 28? Its been a bumpy stretch since the fall of October 2008, when Bernard Hopkins gave him the business. It is possible he has peaked. But I suspect he has a couple peaks on the rollercoaster left to experience. What about you, TSS U? Has Pavlik seen his best days, or could 2011 be his big bounceback year?