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Home Boxing Team Espino Speaks
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Team Espino Speaks

miguel_espino_boxing_champiBoos turned into cheers Saturday night on the Youngstown University campus, as middleweight contender Miguel Espino (20-3-1, 9 KO's) went toe-to-toe with world middleweight champion Kelly "the Ghost" Pavlik (36-1, 32 KO's ) for five rounds, lifting himself up off the canvas three times willing to exchange some more leather with the hometown favorite.  Espino showed a lot of heart trading shots with Pavlik, but after the third knockdown in the fifth round, trainer John Bray asked for the bout to be stopped and referee Steve Smoger halted the bout at 1:44.

From the beginning of round one through the end of three, Espino was bringing the fight to Pavlik as both men exchanged body punches early with Espino not backing up once.  He was then dropped to his knee twice in round 4 with uppercuts from Pavlik, getting up both times charging Pavlik like a true warrior.  The fifth round is where Espino's night would end as Pavlik again caught Espino with an uppercut for the third time in the bout.   Espino showed great courage as he got up ready to throw toe-to-toe again with Pavlik before trainer John Bray asked for the fight to be stopped.

At the end of the fight, Pavlik's hometown fans were cheering on Miguel Espino thanking him for giving fight fans an exciting night of boxing.   When Espino was asked how he felt after the fight, Espino noted, "Man, I'm just disappointed in myself because my trainer had the perfect fight plan for me but I didn't follow it.  I know I could have had a chance to beat him if I followed the plan because I hurt him; but, once I got hit, it didn't
hurt very much and the plan went out the window.  I was like, okay Kelly, let's do this and felt confident trading shots with the world middleweight champion.  I idolized watching the Mexican greats get in there and just go toe-to-toe and that's what I did tonight.  Kelly's a great fighter and I tip my hat to him."
 
When Bray was asked about why he threw in the towel, Bray stated that, "the kid is tough and if I didn't stop it, he would have fought that way the whole night and I didn't want Miguel to get hurt.  After the point was taken away and it appeared as if Pavlik won a couple of those first five rounds, what's the point of taking the chance of Miguel getting seriously injured fighting the remainder of the fight?  My job as a trainer is to protect my fighter and that's what I did tonight.  Miguel is a tough kid and will be back."

When asked about Miguel's future, Bray noted, "Well; Miguel's going to take a week off and enjoy his Christmas with his family and then get back in the gym.  The heart he showed tonight is what the fight fans want to see and every time Miguel steps into the ring, that's what you're going to get.  We appreciate the support and opportunity that Mr. Bob Arum and Top Rank have given us and look forward to fighting again for them in the near future."

Miguel and Team Espino would like to thank all of the fans that have supported him during training camp for this fight.  We would also like to thank the people of Youngstown, Ohio and Union City Boxing who were very gracious and supportive of Team Espino during our time in Youngstown.
 
We would especially like to thank Frank Divito, owner of Dona Vito's Italian Grille in Struthers, Ohio for opening his restaurant to Team Espino.

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