T-minus three days and counting until World Middleweight Champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, defends his title against the WBC #3 Miguel Espino (20-2-1, 9 KOs), of North Hollywood, Calif., at Youngstown State University’s Beeghly Center. Promoted by Top Rank, the Pavlik-Espino world title tilt will headline a two-country world championship doubleheader produced and distributed live on pay-per-view, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on Saturday. The suggested retail price is $39.95. Today, both fighters and their trainers spoke to the media at the final news conference at the Beeghly Center. Here’s what they had to say:
It’s been a long year for me, very frustrating because of a series of setbacks. First it was a hand injury, then it was an infection, then it was a bad reaction to the antibiotic. And then rehab therapy for the original injury. But now I’m back. I feel great. I have a huge hunger to get back into the ring. On Saturday night it will be ‘bombs away!’ Two fighters who only go forward. My strategy is simple. I will be leading with double and triple jabs to keep him on his toes. Once I land a big shot, it’s going to be a whole new ball game. Winning is not enough. I need to be dominant and I need to be impressive. I know what the mission is and I have every intention of completing it.
We are taking nothing for granted with Miguel Espino and John Bray. We’ve been in their position. It wasn’t that long ago when were presented our own title shot, against Jermain Taylor. Espino has been fighting since he was 12. He may be easy going outside the ring , but inside he’s a tough veteran who hasn’t lost in four years and is riding an 11-bout winning streak, the last four by knockout. We’re prepared for war.
Kelly is tall, lanky and hits hard. The key for me is to stay focused throughout the fight, stay calm and stick to the game plan. It’s a good one designed to exploit Kelly’s flaws. I have every intention of making the most of this opportunity. I’m excited and I’m ready. This is what every good fighter dreams of, the chance to fight for the world championship. I’m ready to take it to him.
The to Miguel winning is to pressure Kelly back him up. I have watched every professional fight of Kelly’s and know him as well as Miguel. I know his strengths and his weaknesses and there enough of them for Miguel to exploit. Miguel is a very good fighter with a huge heart. He’s going to lay it all out on Saturday night.
RemainingTickets to Pavlik vs. Espino, priced at $208, $158, $108 and $58, including $8 processing fee, can be purchased online at www.Tickets.com. They can also be purchased at the Youngstown State University Athletic Ticket Office. For ticket information call (330) 941-1978.
Produced and distributed Live on Pay-Per-View by Top Rank, the four-bout broadcast will begin at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. It will open from the Arena Itson in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico with WBC super featherweight champion Humberto Soto (49-7-2, 32 KOs), of Los Mochis, Mexico taking on two-time world champion Jesus Chavez (44-6, 30 KOs), of Austin, Tex., in a 10-round lightweight bout, followed by a rumble between WBA interim bantamweight champion Neomar Cermeño (18-0, 10 KOs), of Anzoategui, Venezuela, defending his title against Alejandro Valdez (22-3-2, 16 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico. The pay-per-view action will shift to Youngstown where undefeated Top-10 super welterweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (25-0, 16 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., and trained by three-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach, will challenge NABF super welterweight champion Willie Lee (17-5, 10 KOs), of New Orleans, in a 12-round bout, followed by the main event, Pavlik vs. Espino.