|Interview with Kelly Pavlik - Ready to Defend Against Rubio
By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Feb 19, 2009)
The ever popular WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik 34-1 (30) returns to his hometown of Youngstown Saturday night before a sell out crowd at the Chevrolet Centre in defense of his titles against top contender Marco Antonio Rubio 43-4-1 (37) the knockout artist from Mexico.
Coming off his first career loss Pavlik is ready to be where he should have been instead of fighting non title bouts with people like Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins. Sandwiched in between those two was a 3rd round knockout defense over the WBU champion Gary Lockett 30-2 (21) of Wales who was stopped for the first time.
The two European champs out of Germany the IBF’s Arthur Abraham 30-0 (24) and WBA’s Felix Sturm 31-2-1 (13) avoid Pavlik like the plague. Pavlik couldn’t even get into the ratings of either organization even after stopping the #1 contender Edison Miranda before fighting Taylor. Through his manager Cameron Dunkin I was able to do a little Q&A prior to this exciting match-up that will be on PPV and connected to the Miguel Cotto 32-1 (26) and Michael Jennings 34-1 (16) welterweight fight out of New York.
Ken Hissner: You last fought in Youngstown in November of 2006 and I understand you are expecting an even bigger crowd this time and may even have a tent holding an additional 2,500 people per your manager Cameron Dunkin.
Kelly Pavlik: We are expecting a larger crowd this time and aren’t quite sure if the tent will be needed or not.
KH: After the Lockett fight I got the impression you were more interested in winning all the belts but it was your promoter Bob Arum who wanted the Hopkins fight.
KP: There are a lot of good fighters out there if we can’t get together with the other belt holders. It’s not easy getting through all the politics.
KH: I saw Rubio in his last two fights. He is a puncher but struggled with Enrique Ornelas in winning his 9th straight fight after moving up to the middleweight division. Do you expect to fight your normal fight?
KP: I have watched the tapes of those two fights and have a game plan to take it to him. We are not planning on changing anything.
KH: I see you are an inch taller (6:02 ½ to 6:01 ½) than Rubio but he has an inch on you in his reach. (76-75)
KP: I was not aware of that. He doesn’t seem to be as big.
KH: Who do you have working with you as sparring partners?
KP: I have Saul Roman (one of two to have stopped Rubio), Jason Naugler (Canadian #175 champ), and Kevin Engle (15-1, 12 KO, #175 fighter out of St Louis) that are giving me good work.
KH: Your humble nature has won over a lot of people. What
roll does God play in your fight and your life?
KP: Everything. That’s how I’m here and have what’s given to me.
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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