December 19th, 2009, Boxers Kelly Pavlik Vs. Miguel Espino, met for the World Middleweight Championship at Beeghly Center at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH. It turned out that it was December 20th by the time the fight got started and Pavlik defeated Espino in round 5.
WBC/WBO Middleweight Champion Kelly Pavlik (35-1, 31 KO’s) record speaks for itself at http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=15844&cat=boxer, defeating some of the best know boxers Pavlik won again!
Pavlik’s last fight in February, 2009 was also held in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio giving him a decided home ring advantage over Miguel Ángel Espiño, of North Hollywood, California, United States. You might remember Espiño as a contestant on the NBC boxing reality television show The Contender. Peter Manfredo Jr. defeated Espino who’s record is at 20-2-1, 9 KO’s.
Manfredo was previously stripped of the IBU Light Middleweight Title March 31, 2003, for failure to defend, although that certainly has not curtailed his boxing career. Manfredo slammed Ronald Weaver in a match held Martin’s Valley Mansion, Cockeysville, Maryland, United States on November 5, 2009, knocking him down in the first round and going on to win.
Youngstown, Ohio is familiar with having things stripped from it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youngstown,_Ohio#cite_ref-24 The dignity of being once titled a murder capital of the U.S. along with Gary, Indiana the title has been removed and the city and police have mitigated the crime spree. At one point, Youngstown held the indignity of one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation when the steel mills shut down. It was Pavlik’s obligation now, to defend his title or have it stripped that brought this fight to Youngstown this Saturday night.
The fight mentality of the people of Youngstown is; that fighting for everything you’ve got is mandatory, and that includes a mandatory fight by Pavlik.
“We were supposed to fight Paul Williams on December 5th. The hand still wasn’t 100%. We asked him for another month to get ready, but he still took the fight (with Martinez) on December 5th. We weren’t looking to fight until the end of January or early February, and then the next thing you know, the WBO and the WBC said, Kelly you guys have to fight. You have to, or we’re stripping you of your title on the 19th. Usually we go eight weeks for a training camp. Now, it’s only five weeks,” Pavlik explained.http://www.fightnews.com/?p=32669#more-32669
“Medically, it was tough,” Pavlik said. “Just when we thought we had it, something else came up. Then after surgery, it turns into MRSA and gets worse and worse. Every time we thought we had it beat, there was a reaction. But the hand feels great now. We’re ready to go.” reported Associated Press via http://www.usatoday.com/sports/boxing/2009-12-08-1983809512_x.htm.
Go they did on the last card around midnight. The fight promoted by Bob Arum was hardly a sell out with less than half of the arena filled. Turns out the facility would not accept cash for tickets nor would they participate with Ticketmaster resulting in a blackout of pay-for-view for area bars. About 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. Ironically enough, Pavlik owns a bar in the Youngstown area and his own place could not show his fight.
Whether you saw it or not, which we did on pay per view, Pavlik successfully defended his title and gave his hometown an early Christmas present- victory!
Pavlik, 27, will now turn his attention to Paul Williams, whom he was supposed to fight on 3 October. His hand infection originally caused the fight to be postponed until 5 December, and it was then cancelled when Pavlik realised his left hand was still injured. American Williams decided to fight Sergio Martinez on that date instead, winning on points. Pavlik said Williams is now the priority, but if another deal cannot be reached, he will turn his attentions to WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm according to http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/boxing/8423079.stm.
You can follow Pavlik at http://www.teampavlik.com/ .
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