PAVLIK FLAUNTS FOR CALZAGHE!
WILL MIDDLEWEIGHT KING ENTICE OL’ JOE?
Union City, NJ- The fickle may have already begun their occasional kvetching on the inevitable apocalypse looming over boxing, and even the most loyal boxing fan cannot face blame for feeling a little empty inside regarding the action in the past few weeks, but all signs point to the future being worth the wait. At least for the following week the boxing community is promised some good action, with Kelly Pavlik (33-0, 29 KOs) fighting to prove that he is ready to take on a 30-something Welshman… a sheltered, 30-something Welshman with what amounts to a sheltered record.
LOCKETT AN APPETIZER PRIOR TO CALZAGHE
Sure, at first sight this appears to be yet another instance of a champion putting on an exhibition mismatch to embellish his skills feasting on an easy appetizer in Gary Lockett (30-1, 21 KOs) before the main course –can anyone say Ricky Hatton (44-1, 31 KOs)?—but to assume this implicitly denies Pavlik’s career the position on the timeline which it inhabits and deserves. Kelly has surpassed all the expectations any critic had of him with his solid defeats of promising upstart Edison Miranda (30-2, 26 KOs) and bona fide champion Jermain Taylor (27-2-1, 17 KOs), and of course these successes merit a significant amount of praise. But Pavlik has only enjoyed his superior position in the sport for a year (since he defeated Miranda, but arguments for him only being a force after his September defeat of Taylor can certainly be valid), and now he seeks to challenge in Joe Calzaghe (45-0, 32 KOs) a champion that had the talent to maintain his title for more than a decade and remain at age 36 undefeated. For him to take on someone of Lockett’s caliber is not only expected, but completely respectable at this juncture in his career. Call it a double-standard if you will, but recently-crowned champions should be held to a different standard than those that tout themselves Hall of Famers without yet having even retired.
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