Ward vs. Pavlik: Why?

By Robert Ecksel on November 29, 2012
Ward vs. Pavlik: Why?
Ward will be right in front of Pavlik, beating him to the punch, on the way to another victory.

No one ever seems to ask why any more—and it’s easy to understand why. The answer, when we’re lucky enough to get an answer, might not be might we want to hear, and the last thing anyone wants is to reassess their preconceived notions.

WBC/WBA super middleweight champion and pound-for-pound claimant Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) has signed to fight Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) on Jan. 26 at the Galen Center at USC in Los Angeles. Ward, while he has his detractors, by any quantifiable measurement is the best of the best. He cleaned out the super middleweight division courtesy the Super Six, defeating Mikkel Kessler, Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch, and in his last fight he decisively stopped light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson.

Given the dearth of competition among the super middles, it would be reasonable to expect Ward to maybe test the waters at light heavyweight. But that’s not happening. Instead, he has decided, or to be fair his promoter has decided, that Ward should defend his titles, this time against the once credible but now questionable Kelly Pavlik.

We have nothing against Pavlik. He was a terrific fighter in his day. He was middleweight champion from 2007 to 2010. But beatings at the hands of Bernard Hopkins in 2008 and Sergio Martinez in 2010, not to mention less-than-stellar behavior outside the ring, have eroded his abilities if not his prospects.

“I’ve heard all the talk about Kelly Pavlik,” said Ward, “but I know better than that. He’s beaten plenty of the big names. Bob Arum has done a great job of keeping Kelly busy until an opportunity like this came along. You can bet that a former world champion like Kelly Pavlik, being afforded another title shot, he’s going to be primed and ready.”

Arum got Pavlik out of Youngstown, Ohio, and away from his former trainer Jack Loew. He also relocated him to sunny California and into the capable hands of Robert Garcia.

That’s the good news. The less than good news is that his three fights in 2012 were against Will Rosinsky (16-1), Scott Sigmon (22-3) and Aaron Jaco (15-2), whose respectable records are less a reflection of their talent than savvy matchmaking.

“Andre Ward’s a helluva world champ,” said Pavlik. “He’s the super middleweight king right now. He went through a tough tournament and proved where he’s at. He beat everybody that he was supposed to fight and he’s top dog. When I was champ, I was the one being pursued. Now he’s champ and I’m in hot pursuit.”

Hopefully the pursuit will be hot. But Pavlik won’t have to go looking for Andre Ward. He’ll be right in front of Kelly, beating him to the punch, on the way to another easy victory.

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Andre Ward vs Chad Dawson [HD] full fight 2012-09-08

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  1. No10Point 11:59am, 12/01/2012

    This is just to pad Wards resume.
    There are other better fights at 168.  Dirrel - Bute , & Froch.
    After that move up to 175.  TBH I think he is a natural LHW.  Pavilk is a 160 lber.

  2. Jason 11:03am, 12/01/2012

    yes raxman

  3. raxman 12:21am, 12/01/2012

    this will just be the exact fight that pavlik lost to b-hop. beaten to the punch, countered at will, smothered and generally embarrassing. if pavlik were to take a rapid step up in 168 quality i’d much prefer to see him fight kessler or froch. they be much better fights to watch anyway. outside fighting lanky white boy vs outside fighting lanky white boy!

  4. mike 08:12pm, 11/30/2012

    I think a motivated and prepared Kelly Pavlik will fare much better than expected.

  5. Jason 07:30pm, 11/30/2012

    Nah, thresher. I understand your point. I alluded to the same in my brief comment. This is likely going to be a long step into a sinkhole for KP.

  6. the thresher 10:53am, 11/30/2012

    HMM AM I dancing? Maybe I was too harsh

  7. the thresher 10:51am, 11/30/2012

    He has not earned this fight. He has not earned this payday. His comeback has not been impressive. Let him fight Bute. Ward is going to chop him up badly.  However, i CAN’T BLAME KP FOR TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY. AND I DO LIKE GARCIA.

  8. Jason 07:09pm, 11/29/2012

    NYIrish, I agree with statement. Pavlik’s right hand-right uppercut and left hook can keep him in most fights. It is possible he can hurt Ward but unlikely.

  9. Jason 07:07pm, 11/29/2012

    Nah, Thresher I wouldn’t put it like that. But I have wondered why this fight and why now. I know KP is, what, 30 or 31, and probably doesn’t see too many of these opportunities left. I just don’t see why he signed to fight AW. Then again, this is the fight game and KP is a fighter. Maybe he thinks he can knock him out provided the opportunities in a 12 rounder. Personally, I think Pavlik is gong to take a terrible head beating.

  10. NYIrish 01:53pm, 11/29/2012

    Erratic fighters like Pavlik sometimes rise to the occasion. He’s only lost twice and never been stopped. I wouldn’t throw dirt on him yet.

  11. The Thresher 09:19am, 11/29/2012

    Hopefully to put KP out of his misery.

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