T-minus four days and counting until world middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, defends his title against the WBC’s No. 3-rated contender 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 this Saturday. The suggested retail price is $39.95. Today, both fighters hosted media workouts at Jack Loew’s South Side Boxing Club in Youngstown. Here’s what they had to say.
Espina is in for a butt whipping. I’m back and I’m 100%. My sparring partners have told me I’m hitting as hard as I ever have. My hand feels great. During my first sparring session I took it easy, but when I felt no pain, I switched to normal sparring gloves and never looked back. I don’t think the layoff was a detriment to me. I just wish it had been for a different reason. But I feel excited and refreshed. My weight is on target and I’m raring to go. As the saying goes, ‘There’s no place like home.’ Making my return in Youngstown in front of family and friends is just what the doctor ordered.
The snap in Kelly’s punches is back. Over the past seven day of training Kelly has returned to his world championship form. Kelly is ready to drop Espino more times than Tiger Woods’ trousers!”
I know I’m considered an underdog. That doesn’t bother me. It never has. I’ve been training to win this fight. I’ve been training to become a world champion. My trainer John Bray and I have not wasted one moment of training camp. It’s a tough fight, perhaps the toughest I’ve ever had. But I have full confidence in my abilities as a fighter. If Kelly has chosen to take me lightly, he’s made a big mistake. I can’t wait until Saturday night.”
Miguel and I have been together for 10 years and this is by far his best training camp. He won’t be overwhelmed by the experience, he will embrace it. We are very appreciative for this opportunity and we intend to make the most of it. Kelly Pavlik is a very talented fighter. He is a good champion, a strong champion. But we have prepared well. Miguel is ready. This is going to be a great fight and a great night for boxing.
Remaining tickets 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.