Kelly Pavlik: 5 Opponents We would Love to See Him Fight Next
Welcome to the super-middleweight division Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik.
With his victory over previously unbeaten up-and-comer Alfonso Lopez, the former middleweight champion gets a shot at the WBC super-middleweight champion, Carl Froch. That is, if Froch makes it through the Showtime Super Six Tournament.
Pavlik (37-2, 32 KO) returned tonight to win a majority-decision over Lopez in a good but far from perfect performance over 10 rounds.
The 29-year-old is guaranteed a shot at the WBC champion so it will either be a long wait for that bout or another tune up. Either way, these are five opponents we would love to see him fight in his new division.
No. 5 Andre Ward (23-0,13 KO)
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Out of all the super-middleweight boxers in the world, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Andre Ward may be the toughest matchup for anyone in the division, including Pavlik.
This wouldn’t be as exciting of a fight as the others on this list, but it may be the best way for Pavlik to prove he is back to full form.
Undefeated and highly skilled, Ward, who went 110-5 as an amateur, is beginning to enter his prime, and he proves it every time he fights.
He is one of the most technical boxers competing right now at the highest level, and he has used his superior skills to defeat Mikkel Kessler, Allen Green, Sakio Bika and Edison Miranda.
Ward is currently scheduled to face Arthur Abraham next weekend in the semi-finals of the Super Six tournament.
No. 4 Arthur Abraham (32-2, 26 KO)
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Germany’s own “King” Arthur Abraham is one of the hardest punchers in the division and has the spectacular knockouts over boxers like Jermain Taylor, Khoren Gevor and Elvin Ayala to prove it.
This match was talked about when Pavlik defeated Taylor for the middleweight championship in 2007, but Pavlik would go on to defend it twice against easy opposition before losing to Bernard Hopkins at a non-title catchweight of 168 pounds.
Pavlik later lost his title to Martinez.
Abraham hasn't had the easiest of fights lately. After rebounding from two defeats to Andre Dirrell and Carl Froch, Abraham returned to get a tune-up victory over Stjepan Bozic.
The winner of Abraham vs. Ward will get a shot at the winner of Glen Johnson vs. Carl Froch. The winner of that would be a perfect opponent for Kelly Pavlik, but he will have fought someone else till then.
No. 3 Carl Froch (27-1, 20 KO)
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The Showtime Super Six middleweight tournament semifinalist from the UK is one of the top fighters in his division.
He is also the WBC super-middleweight champion, and that means he has a future date with Pavlik who is the number one contender. He just has to make it past his Super Six opponents, and that's no easy task.
Coming off a dominant decision victory over Abraham, “The Cobra” has reinstated himself as one of the top middleweights in the world and may be the very best.
His only loss was to Mikkel Kessler by a unanimous decision, which many thought could have gone his way.
A bout between Froch and Pavlik would result in nothing but 12 rounds of action at the highest levels of the sport.
Two exciting fighters with great chins that aren’t afraid to trade makes for a great fight, and this would be that and more.
No. 2 Sergio Martinez (47-2-2, 26 KO)
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A lot of people forget just how well Pavlik was doing against the top five pound-for-pound boxer in their first fight.
After earning a knockdown and getting a lead on the scorecards, the 29-year-old from Youngstown, Ohio, got two bad cuts on both of his eyes in the 9th round, and it was downhill from there.
Without being able to see, Martinez started to unload on Pavlik to take the last four rounds to earn a unanimous decision.
With the way Martinez has been destroying his recent opponents, including Paul Williams and Serhiy Dzinziruk, looking back on what Pavlik was able to do to Martinez before getting cut warrants a rematch between the two.
The only thing holding this back from happening is the weight class it happens in. Martinez is a middleweight at the moment and has no intentions of moving up to 168. He may go up if it's for a rematch against Pavlik, but he might want Pavlik to come back down.
No. 1 Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KO)
Romanian-born fighter Lucian Bute is one of the fastest rising stars in the sport. His 27-0 record is filled with impressive knockouts over Librado Andrade, Edison Miranda, Jesse Brinkley, William Joppy and Fulgencio Zuniga.
In fact, seven of his last eight bouts have ended by KO or TKO.
He is tentatively scheduled to fight in July against Jean Paul Mendy, but the winner of the fight could be next for Pavlik, and it should be a welcoming match from all boxing fans.
A lot of people want to see just how good Bute is, and a match with Pavlik could give the perfect answer.