San Antonio, TX – After almost eleven months out of the ring, Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (38-2, 33 KOs) shook off any semblance of rust to dispatch 35-year-old Aaron Jaco (15-3, 5 KOs) by TKO at 45 seconds of round number two.
The bout took place at the Illusions Theatre, a new makeshift configuration of the cavernous Alamo Dome.
There were questions coming into the fight as to what effect, good or bad, new trainer Robert Garcia would have on the former middleweight champion.After struggling to win a lackluster majority decision in his first fight at 168 pounds over Alfonso Lopez last May, Pavlik ditched longtime corner man Jack Loew in order to enlist Garcia’s help instead.
So far, it appears to be paying dividends.
The first round began with Pavlik establishing his powerful jab.Pavlik shook Jaco’s head back early with hard shots that really seemed to get his opponent’s attention. He strafed him one probing left hook, then dropped him with another one soon after. Jaco made it to his feet, and the patient Pavlik was content to continue stalking him until the bell sounded.
The fight would soon be over.
Pavlik came out in the second coiled like a snake. Again he landed a crisp left hook flush on Jaco’s chin to drop him. Jaco, whose nickname is the “Jedi,” made it to his feet only to have referee John Schorle wave it off, deeming him unfit to continue. There were no complaints from his corner afterwards, though, as it appeared the focused, re-dedicated Pavlik was just too strong.
"I was calm, relaxed,” said Pavlik after. “I thought he was looking for a right. I got him with my left. I feel good. I am back."
“Kelly did everything at a high level,” added Garcia, who seemed impressed with the work of his fighter.
Even Jaco got into the act.
“I’ve never felt power like that,” he said. “He’s a great fighter.”
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV