Frances Martel


Union City, NJ- In the pre-fight analysis to middleweight (160 lbs.) champion Kelly Pavlik’s (34-0, 30 KOs) stellar performance last Saturday it was asserted that the only purpose of this fight for Pavlik was to exhibit his talents in a manner marketable enough for UK audiences in an attempt to pair him with Super Middleweight star Joe Calzaghe (45-0, 32 KOs). What Pavlik’s intentions against the grossly mismatched Gary Lockett (30-2, 21 KOs) were are muddy given his reluctance to have public preferences regarding his career, but after listening to both his comments and those supposedly in the know afterwards, one must wonder whether the known path that is best for the fans is the that is best for Pavlik and his handlers.


The fighter is still maturing, so much so that he carried himself last Saturday with a much different air than he did when we saw him before. He knows he’s a champion and behaves like the kind of fighter that now has something to lose. Of course the fact that he has two major middleweight titles and a pristine reputation might have something to do with that. And the fact that it took little to no time to dispose of Gary Lockett and his persistently nauseated expression— his “poker” face perhaps?— is only going to boost his ego even more. And while he appeared frank post-fight when telling HBO talking head Max Kellerman that he’s open to fighting anyone, Pavlik’s career is at a crossroad, with his fans cheering him in one direction and his promoters dragging him by at least in the other. Both roads lead to Europe.

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