A ‘Motivated’ Kelly Pavlik returns on ShoBox

By Francis Walker BASN Boxing Reporter
Updated: August 2, 2011

NEW YORK, NY. (BASN)—Former unified WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik returns on Saturday, August 6, during a special edition of SHOWTIME’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series. Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) will face Darryl Cunningham (23-2, 10 KOs) at the Covelli Center in Youngstown, OH. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds in the super middleweight division beginning at 10:30 PM/ET.

“Any fight is a dangerous fight, especially if you don’t take it seriously,” Pavlik said about his upcoming bout with Cunningham. “If you’re looking past him that can be a dangerous fight. At this point in his career this could be his last big name. He is 36 years old so I think he’s going to come in hungry and wanting to win more than anything. So any fight like that is a dangerous fight.”

Pavlik added: “I think I’ve fought a lot more dangerous fighters in my career though.”

Namely, Pavlik has fought boxing’s oldest world champion in history, 46 year-old Bernard Hopkins, Sergio Martinez, Jermain Taylor (twice), and Edison Miranda, a once great puncher at 160 pounds. Pavlik is experienced and should be well-prepared for Cunningham, who is riding a 3-year, 16-bout win streak.

“If you give him momentum or you let him come forward, he likes to throw a lot of big punches, big shots,” Pavlik said. “If you put pressure on him, he likes to go backwards – he goes straight backwards. We’ve seen that a lot. I think our game plan for this fight is to fight like we always had earlier on.”

“Put the pressure on him and not come straight, not head first but side to side angles, keep the punches moving and land some big shots.”

It has been a while since we saw the Pavlik that stream-pressed Taylor, Miranda, Gary Lockett, and Jose Zertuche en route toward the middleweight championship. Pavlik has had problems both inside and outside the ring having been admitted into a rehabilitation facility for alcohol related issues and simply losing focus on boxing.

In two of Pavlik’s biggest fight to date, he looked terrible in his decision losses to both Hopkins and Martinez. During his comeback fight against —–, Pavlik proved too easy to hit and looked nothing like the “Pavlik Express” everyone raved about four years ago.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Kelly,” jack Loew, Pavlik’s longtime trainer and friend said. “But like Kelly said, anytime you go in there with another professional fighter there is always danger. He has everything to again and nothing to lose so he’s going to go all out. This is an opportunity for [Cunningham] to make a name for himself. We picked a left-hander because, we’re looking at things past this and what people have been mentioning but we’re not looking past Darryl Cunningham.”

Dreams of a fight with Bute

An impressive win against Cunningham at home could result in a big fight against longtime IBF super middleweight champion, Lucian Bute. Cunningham, a southpaw, has been chosen because he will serve as a “live warm-up” for Pavlik’s preparation against Bute.

“We want to fight big names,” Pavlik said. “Big fights are key for me. I don’t want to finish my career off fighting meaningless fights. I want to go in there and get a chance to win the title back and defend it a couple times.”

It appears as though Pavlik is thinking about the end of his career. Some fighters give you the impression that they are ageless and can fight forever. Others give you a feeling that they are on borrowed time. Pavlik is still a young guy, but stints in inactivity, outside distractions, and talk of only wanting bid fights leads to speculation about how much Pavlik has left in the tank.

Perhaps Pavlik’s time is coming to a close. Hopefully, Pavlik is motivated enough to look spectacular enough to beat Cunningham so that we can call a potential fight with Bute “super.”

Gabriel Rosado earns another KO

During another edition of Lou DiBella’s “Broadway Boxing” series from the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, NY a number of DiBella Entertainment’s prospects were on hand to showcase their skills.

Undefeated junior welterweight prospect, Gabriel Rosado (17-0, 3 KOs) knocked out Danie Van Staden (8-7, 2 KOs0 at 1:08 seconds of the third round. The win marked Rosado’s second consecutive knockout victory this year and he could very well become an attractive television commodity. Rosado scored knock downs in round one, two in round two, before a vicious right hook put Staden down and out in round three.

Unbeaten light-heavyweight prospect, Seanie Monaghan (8-0, 5 KOs) entered the ring to the sound of bagpipes to the delight of his Irish supporters. Monaghan didn’t disappoint, as he knocked Brian Bernard (10-9-2, 6 KOs) out at 1: 29 seconds of round one.

Undefeated light-heavyweight prospect and former Golden Gloves champion, Travis Peterkin (3-0, 3 KOs) once again proved that he has “Notorious” knockout power in his left-hand. The 20 year-old southpaw from Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY scored three knockdowns en route to a TKO victory over Damion Reed (2-7-1, 1 KOs). The time of the stoppage was 1:50 seconds.

In what was the most competitive bout on the card, Melissa McMorrow (6-2-3) retained her New York State flyweight title with a split-decision win against Keisher McLeod-Wells. After eight rounds, the three judges scored the bout 78-74 (McMorrow), 77-75 (McLeod), and 78-74 (McMorrow).

Unbeaten middleweight, Johnathan Cepeda (11-0, 11 KOs) TKO’d Rahman Yusubov (10-3, 8 KOs).

Light-heavyweight Joe Smith (7-1, 7 KOs) knocked out Santos Martinez (2-2, 2 KOs).