After hearing news of Kelly Pavlik's rather easy TKO victory over journeyman Aaron Jaco last night, I wasn't at all surprised. Pavlik could probably beat 98% of the worlds middleweights and super middleweights on his talent alone.
So despite his win last night not really proving anything, it did sell me on one crucial thing.
Kelly Pavlik finally appears to be taking his career seriously and is going to make a legitimate run at regaining his middleweight championship (or capturing a super middleweight title).
Pavlik's move out west to train in Oxnard, CA with Robert Garcia is probably the best career decision he's ever made. Long gone are the distractions of his native Youngstown, Ohio, where he was constantly distracted and tempted to resume his nagging alcohol habit that has long affected his career negatively.
It appears, for now at least, that Pavlik is living clean and is finally focused. Garcia is an excellent trainer, and if Pavlik listens to him he has a great chance of success.
Looking at the current title picture, Pavlik could possibly fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for a middleweight belt, in a fight that I really think Pavlik would win easily. In my opinion he would steamroll Chavez Jr and take him out in 6 rounds or less.
Another fight out there is a rematch with Sergio Martinez, the true middleweight kingpin. Pavlik was having success in their April 2010 fight, until he was literally blinded by two of the worst cuts, over both eyes, that you'll ever see.
His face was totally covered in blood, which made the fight with Martinez even more difficult, but he still managed to make it competitive, and had it not been for the cuts and the numerous outside distractions, there's a good chance he would've retained his title.
I'm not sure that I'd favor Pavlik in a rematch, but I think he could definitely win.
And at 168 pounds there are a lot of guys for Kelly to fight, like Andre Ward, Lucian Bute, Carl Froch, Andre Dirrell and others. So he's got a lot of options.
I guess the bottom line here is that it's too early to tell, but as of right now it looks like Kelly Pavlik has a good shot to get back on top in the sport of boxing.
If he stays clean, listens to Robert Garcia, maintains his focus and still has the hunger and desire to train hard, he'll be difficult for any fighter from 160-168 pounds.
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