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Pavlik_Lopez_110507_001aNo, he wasn't super sharp. Pavlik will need more time to regain his touch. (Chris Farina)

It was rust shedding time for comebacking Kelly Pavlik, the ex middleweight champ trying out the super middleweight division, and life as an alcohol free human being.

In a chief support bout to Pacquiao-Mosley at the MGM Grand, Pavlik (age 29; 36-2 entering the ring; from Youngstown, Ohio) took on Alfonso Lopez (age 28; 21-0 with 16 KOs entering), something of a mystery man who lives and fights out of Texas. The 28-year-old Lopez came in with a record built on sort of flimsy material, but didn't look out of place against Pavlik, who had the look of a man who'd had some time away from the ring. That said, Lopez gave a decent account of himself, and made the comebacker work for the win. After ten rounds, the judges saw it 99-91, 98-92, and 95-95. 99-91 seemed about right to TSS. The draw card was turned in by Adalaide Byrd, and no one here seemed to agree with her.

The crowd spent long stretches sitting on their hands, as Pavlik looked to land the left hook, and the right cross on Lopez. Lopez touched the Ohioan at times, with both hands, but the power that took out guys on the way didn't bother Pavlik much. There was ample infighting, with neither man being inclined to dance and work from the outside all that much. In round ten, Pavlik hurt the Texan. But he managed to make it to the final bell.


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