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Feature Story

No rest for Pavlik!

Arum wants champ to return in June

By Antonio Castro

Photo: Rafael Soto/Top Rank

Photo: Rafael Soto/Top Rank

It was business as usual at last night’s post fight press conference in the Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. After Kelly Pavlik’s stoppage of Marco Antonio Rubio in the tenth round in the first championship fight in nearly 25 years in the area, Bob Arum was quick to point out his future plans for the middleweight champion of the world. “We’re planning a fight as soon as possible,” Arum noted. “In Cleveland if we can.” Arum is planning to have another of his fighters, Miguel Cotto, fight on the eve of the Puerto Rican day parade on June 13th. If everything goes right, Arum would like to put Pavlik in the ring a week later. The one question mark that remains would be the playoff schedule of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The good news regarding that is the NBA doesn’t schedule it’s Finals participants on Saturdays.

After discussing the future for Pavlik, Arum noted the success that a promotion using a local fighter can be a tremendous success. “The gate receipts here in Youngstown exceeded those in New York at Madison Square Garden,” Arum pointed out.

Its that type of success that has Arum looking to continue to promote Pavlik in the area. With Cleveland being about an hour commute from Youngstown, with a larger indoor facility, it makes perfect sense. The event would be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

Arum also noted that the names being thrown out there as possible opponents for Pavlik’s next title defense are Vernon Forrest, Sergio Mora, and Felix Sturm. In terms of John Duddy, another name that has been in the mix, Arum wants that fight to be held in Madison Square Garden.
Rubio made a short appearance at the press conference and explained what went wrong.

“I was too tight tonight,” Rubio explained. “I came to give a better fight, but I couldn’t let my punches go.”

When asked whether or not he could have continued after the ninth round, Rubio said, “I have to listen to my corner.”

Pavlik then took the podium and offered many thanks to his team, family, and friends. Despite being on the stage at the highest level with the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Jermain Taylor, Pavlik felt that last night was special.

“I’ve been on the biggest stage, but when you come back home to fight, you can’t explain it. This is going to be a memory that I’m never going to forget,” said Pavlik.

The most important element that Pavlik took out of the fight with Rubio is knowing that he can bounce back from a loss mentally.

“Mentally, that’s the biggest thing for this fight,” Pavlik explained.

Despite the corner stopping the fight in between the ninth and tenth rounds, Pavlik felt that it was only a matter of time before he landed the telling blow that would have ended matters anyway.

“By the eight round, he didn’t have anything,” Pavlik said. “I knew it was a matter of time.”

When asked about the potential of fighting in nearby Cleveland, Pavlik was all for it.

“I would love it. Everything would be close to home,” stated Pavlik.

While there will still be critics out there, Pavlik, by winning every round on all three judged scorecards, proved that he is a dominant middleweight champion. It shouldn’t be long before he is proving more critics wrong in the future.

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