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Oct 20th
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Home Boxing Pavlik Retains Titles in Dominating Fashion!
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Pavlik Retains Titles in Dominating Fashion!

kelly_pavlikSaturday night, at a half filled arena on the campus of the Youngstown State University, hometown hero Kelly Pavlik, 36-1 (32), retained his WBC and WBO middleweight titles. Pavlik had a bit of an easy title defense against a game, but overmatched Miguel Espino, 20-2-1 (9). This was the first fight in ten months for Pavlik, who has been laid up with a staph infection in his left hand.

Pavlik demonstrated the veterans edge, winning all of the rounds over Espino, and creating a tough situation for the very capable Espino. In the first round, Pavlik looked like he was off on his jabbing, but won the round on his aggression. Espino was deducted a point for hitting after the bell. In the next couple of rounds Pavlik started to land his uppercuts, scoring more frequently and wearing down Espino round by round. In the third round, Pavlik started to pull ahead, landing at will with the uppercut. Espino had no plan to combat this game plan. Espino was warned that the answer to Pavlik’s strength, low blows, was going to cost him points, was taken in by his trainer, John Bray.

In the fourth round, Pavlik poured on the pressure and made Espino take a knee not once, but twice in the round. Espino barely beat the count after taking a knee the first time. After recovering from the first knock down, Espino was caught by a right and took another knee towards the end of round four. Espino was warned once more about hitting low.

Between the fourth round, Espino trainer John Bray pleaded with his young charge to stick to the jabbing game plan they planned. Bray also told Espino that he would not let him take much more punishment without stopping the fight. In the fifth round Pavlik opened up the uppercuts, causing Espino to take a knee again. Espino beat the count and started towards Pavlik, but Bray threw in the towel, causing referee Steve Smoger, the most forgiving referee in boxing, to end the fight at the 1:44 mark.

With this win, Pavlik will now turn his attention to Paul Williams, whom he was supposed to fight Oct. 3. The infection postponed the fight until Dec. 5, but Pavlik stated he could not even make a fist and decided against taking on Williams. Instead of fighting Pavlik, Paul Williams took on Sergio Martinez, a fighter that lost a controversial majority decision. It was a bout that most ring siders felt Martinez won.

Williams and Pavlik will now take place in the early part of 2010, most likely spring 2010. This will be a long awaited middleweight clash.

For more on the Kelly Pavlik - Miguel Espino fight, listen to Bob, Butch and "THE Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr on Fightin Words Radio Show, Wednesday nights from 8-9pm on 1490 AM WWPR. To listen on line, go to and look for the "listen here" tab. Also look at the shows website at

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