Pavlik likes his chances against Ward
By Dan Ambrose: Former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s) sees himself with a real chance of beating WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KO’s) if they end up fighting next.
Pavlik said to thaboxingvoice.com radio show: “He’ll [Ward] be right in front of me and that will give me an advantage. If he fight me, he will be in a fight. He’s going to be in a real fight…He got dropped by a kid from my own hometown, Darnell Boone.”
Pavlik is betting that Ward will want to slug it out with hi similar to what he did against former WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch, who Ward beat in a grueling fight last December in the Super Six tournament. Pavlik, 30, wants Ward to fight him like that because he thinks he can beat that version of Ward.
It might be tough for Pavlik to get a win over Ward, however, because what Pavlik seems to be forgetting is that Ward likes to fight in close where he negates the long reach of fighters like Pavlik and Froch. Ward was able to shut Froch down by getting in close and working him over on the inside. There were times where Froch looked helplessly at the referee while Ward was pounding away on his midsection.
It was as if Froch had never fought anyone like that before and he was looking for a lifeline by making eye contact with the referee seemingly for help. Pavlik would have just as hard a time against Ward in close that Froch did. The only way Pavlik would do well in this fight if if Ward stood perfectly still at medium distance and tried to fight Froch in this kind of fight. The problem here is that Ward and his trainer Virgil Hunter will have sat down and watched Pavlik’s losses to Sergio Martinez and Bernard Hopkins and noted how hard of a time Pavlik had in dealing with their movement. Ward would then simply duplicate what they did and easily out-box Pavlik to a decision.
Pavlik has won his last four fights since losing to Martinez in 2010. However, his promoters at Top Rank have been slow in putting him back in with top level opposition. Pavlik had an opportunity recently to fight unbeaten super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez, who called him out, but Pavlik sees that as a backwards move for him and not worth his time. It’s a hard argument to understand though with Pavlik fighting the likes of Will Rosinsky and Scott Sigmon, both of which are below Edwin Rodriguez.