Pavlik continues trek back to top
Ringside by Anthony Springer Jr. & Andreas Hale
Photos by Chris Cozzone
Two years ago, Kelly Pavlik watched the world around him come crumbling down after the former middleweight world champion found himself in rehab due to an alcohol addiction. His love for the sport of boxing dried up and everything that he worked so hard for as a fighter dissolved right before his eyes.
But with a new outlook on life, a new weight class (super middleweight) and a new trainer, Robert Garcia, Pavlik began his journey back into boxing relevancy in 2012 with a knockout victory over Aaron Jaco in March. His quest continued as the headliner of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at The Joint inside of The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Pavlik scored a 7th round TKO over Scott Sigmon when his opponent was unable to answer the bell for the 8th round.
As expected, the main event was an extended welcome back to boxing party for the Youngstown, OH fighter as Sigmon (22-5) provided little resistance for “The Ghost” to walk through. From the outset, Pavlik’s punching power was evident as he tore into the Virginian with heavy hooks and wicked body punching. Although he put on a dominant performance, Pavlik did have a few noticeable complications. By late in the third round, the 30-year-old looked a bit winded despite Sigmon not being much of a threat offensively. It’s obvious that he’s still working to get his boxing legs under him for 12 round fights.
Nevertheless, Pavlik caught fire in the middle rounds with the trash talking “Cujo” being nothing more than a sitting duck. The fifth round found Pavlik landing thudding blows to the body and face of Sigmon that sent blood flowing from his nose and mouth. His face riddled with damage and having no power in his punches, Sigmon’s night could have been halted after the fifth. But referee Vic Drakulich allowed it to continue as Pavlik continued to pour on the punishment with a nasty assortment of uppercuts, hooks and body blows.
Clearly out of the fight, Sigmon’s corner did the right thing and didn’t allow their fighter to come out for the 8th round. With the victory, Pavlik improves to 39-2 with his 33rd knockout. It may have set the stage for a future fight with the likes of Lucian Bute, who Pavlik has sought a clash with since last year. -- Andreas Hale
Magdaleno remains unbeaten, dominates Valcaraeno
Hometown hero Jesse Magdaleno made short work of Carlos Valcarcel in the super bantamweight co-feature, finishing the fight in just 2:25. The undefeated Magdaleno notched his tenth victory on the strength of a left hook that planted Valcarcel (12-5-4). When the action continued, the Las Vegan was all over the hapless Puerto Rican. A flurry of unanswered left and right hands caused Tony Weeks to mercifully halt the contest.- Anthony Springer Jr.
Lee Gets Past Durazo
Notre Dame’s Mike Lee earned a unanimous decision and remained undefeated with a harder than expected test against Eliseo Durazo. With a strong Notre Dame presence in the crowd, Lee (9-0) struggled early to find a rhythm but was able to outwork his soft bodied opponent with combinations and hooks around the gloves. Durazo (3-3) proved to be a stiff test as he managed to connect with his own looping punches and wouldn’t give Lee the opportunity to score the knockout. A point was taken from Durazo by referee Russell Mora in the fourth round for low blows but it was inconsequential as Lee walked away with 59-54 scores across the board. Although victorious, the up and coming light heavyweight proved that he still has a long way to go before he becomes a force in the light heavyweight division. -- Andreas Hale
Puga levels Turner
A swing bout courtesy of a long running baseball game on ESPN ended up looking like an extra scene from the Rocky franchise. In super middleweight action, Rudy Puga, Jr. (3-0_ pulverized Tommy Turner (2-2) in two rounds of one sided beat down action. After Turner taunted Puga in the opener, the Salinas, California fighter unleashed an overhand right that sent Turner to the canvas. The second round proved to be no better as Puga sent Turner crumbling to the mat twice, courtesy of two left hooks to the body. With a TKO victory all but certain, Puga leveled Turner for the final time with a left uppercut. Time of stoppage was 2:19. - Anthony Springer Jr.
Robles edges Gonzales in close decision
When your nickname is “Speedy” it might behoove you to come out fast. A slow start likely cost Roger Gonzalez (27-6) a win over Gerardo Robles (18-10) in lightweight action. There was a lot of moving, but little sticking in the opening rounds as Gonzalez got acquainted with the lights courtesy of a left hook and a body shot in the first and second rounds, respectively. The Fontana, California fighter picked it up from the third round on, but was unable to put together enough of an effort to overcome the first two frames. The judges scored the bout 75-75, and 76-74 twice for Robles. - Anthony Springer Jr.
Crawford topples Rodelas
In a lightweight swing bout, Terence Crawford (17-0) and David Rodela came out trading heavy leather from the opening bell. Rodela appeared to be getting the better of the early exchanges until he was caught behind the head. A temporary halt in the action proved no reprieve as Crawford pounced, dropping Rodela with a quick flurry. Rodela (16-6-4) hit the deck again at the close of the opening frame but complained of another illegal blow. A short hook put Rodela down for good in the second frame. Time of stoppage was 2:30. - Anthony Springer Jr.
Garcia Takes Decision
The Robert Garcia trained Saul Rodriguez improved to 4-0 with effective body punching and a frantic work rate to earn the unanimous decision over Kevin Davila (1-1) in a four round super featherweight bout. Scores were 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37. -- Andreas Hale