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Pavlik could be fighting on Bute-Brinkley undercard in October

By Matt Stein: Former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (36-2, 32 KO’s) could be fighting on the undercard of the October 15th bout between International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (26-0, 21 KO’s) and challenger Jesse Brinkley at the Bell Centre, in Montreal, Canada, Pavlik, 28, is waiting for the word from Top Rank about whether or not he’ll be fighting on the undercard, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Pavlik’s co-manager Cameron Dunkin is on board with the idea of Pavlik fighting in the Bute-Brinkley undercard, saying “They have talked to me about a small fight in October, probably at 1698. They asked me if Kelly would be interested in fighting again in mid-October, and I said absolutely.”

Pavlik is taking a risk in moving up in weight to the super middleweight division, because he looked horrible in losing his middleweight titles to the speedy Sergio Martinez in a 12 round decision loss on April 17th. Martinez, 35, moves well and has good hand speed. However, his style of fighting isn’t unisial for the super middleweight division, nor is his talent extraordinary compared to other fighters in that division like Andre Dirrell, Andre Ward, Mikkel Kessler and Arthur Abraham. Pavlik could find himself having problems if he ever gets to the point where he’s fighting any of those guys. But first Pavlik has to prove that he can compete at super middleweight. He’ll be matched up with someone good but not too good on the Bute-Brinkley undercard.

If he’s successful and looks good, HBO wants to match Pavlik up against Bute later on in 2011. That could be bad news for Pavlik, because Bute moves as well, if not better, than Martinez and Bernard Hopkins, two fighters that beat Pavlik with movement. Pavlik is a good fighter, and has excellent power, but he does well generally against fighters that stand in one place and don’t move. Bute will be moving all night long against Pavlik and will keep him from getting set to throw his shots.

If Pavlik takes that fight, he’ll get a good payday, but you can expect to see Bute badly school Pavlik and beat him by a lopsided 12 round decision. If Pavlik really wants to become a champion at super middleweight, at least in the short term, he needs to go after WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz. He’s seen as a paper champion, and doesn’t have the speed or the boxing ability that the other top super middleweights do. Pavlik can probably beat Stieglitz without too many problems.


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