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Missed opportunities: Pavlik should have fought Bute when the fight was offered

pavlik34By Dan Ambrose: When you look at where former WBC/WBO super middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s) really blew it in terms of reviving his sagging boxing career, you have to consider his decision NOT to face IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute when the fight was offered to Pavlik in 2011.

Pavlik had the opportunity to take the Bute fight, which would have given him a nice big payday, and he would have been in position to fight Carl Froch in another big fight. When you look at how easily Froch beat Bute recently in stopping him in the 5th round, you can guess that Pavlik would have easily been able to do the same thing to Bute if he had agreed to take the fight.

Unfortunately, instead of taking the Bute fight and the big payday that would have come with it, Pavlik chose to fight little known fringe contender Alfonso Lopez in May of last year in a fight that made a lot less than what he would have gotten for the Bute fight.

Pavlik didn’t look good against Lopez, who spent the better part of the fight moving around the ring and not letting Pavlik get the opportunity to throw his bombs until the 10th round, when Lopez made the mistake of trying to slug it out with Pavlik and ended up getting staggered.

Pavlik hasn’t done a whole lot with his career since the Lopez fight, and has beaten 2nd tier fighters Will Rosinsky, Scott Sigmon and Aaron Jaco.

Pavlik is about to make another mistake with his career by fighting WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Andre Ward in February or March of next year. This isn’t a good idea for Pavlik to take this fight, because he has no chance of winning it, and he doesn’t match up at all with Ward. It’s an even worse match-up for Pavlik than his fight with Bernard Hopkins back in 2008. Ward is like a younger, faster version of Hopkins, and Pavlik is doing to be out of his element.

It’s too bad that Pavlik didn’t take the Bute fight when he had the chance because his career could be so much different now. He’d likely be the IBF super middleweight champion right now, and he’d have had the opportunity to face some of the big names in the division for big money instead of the guys he’s been facing.

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