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19 NOVEMBER 2018


Pavlik Defends Youngstown, Rubio Retires after 9

By Jason Pribila: On Saturday night Kelly Pavlik returned home. Home to defend his middleweight championship, and home to defend his blue-collar town of Youngstown, Ohio. After nine one-sided rounds, order was restored, and Pavlik returned to his winning ways.

In October, without an opponent that made dollars or sense, Pavlik moved ten pounds north to personally send Bernard Hopkins into retirement. “The Executioner” had a different plan, and 12 rounds later, Pavlik was beaten soundly, and disrobed of his cloak of invincibility.

On Saturday night, Kelly Pavlik returned home to a hero’s welcome at the Chevrolet Center in Youngstown Ohio, against mandatory challenger, Marco Antonio Rubio. Rubio quickly found out that having the game plan to defeat Pavlik was only half of the battle; following through with it was a much tougher task.

From the opening bell, Pavlik forced his will and looked like a much bigger man than Rubio, who fought the majority of his career at junior middleweight. Working behind a jab, Pavlik was on the offensive. Lead left hooks alerted Rubio, and his naysayers, that Pavilk had more than one weapon to disarm.

In round two, Rubio found himself in a soon to be familiar place, blocking power punches from the on-charging “Ghost” against the ropes.

By the third round, despite only landing 19% of his power punches, Pavlik was forcing his will on Rubio once more, wearing him down, and distancing himself on the scorecards. That is when Pavlik unleashed a new wrinkle, a triple-left combination that touched Rubio’s body and chin. The rout was on.

Pavlik continued his dominance in the fourth round. When Rubio seeked sanctuary by moving to his right he was stopped in his tracks by another Pavlik lead-left. A big right hand to the body caused ringside announcer, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, to exclaim, “This kid can fight!”

Midway through the fight Pavlik was in complete control. He was fighting at a measured pace, and Rubio’s only hopes would be that the adreneline of fighting in front of an adoring home crowd would cause Pavlik to become arm-weary or anxious.

Pavlik’s right hand made it’s presence felt in the eighth round. His early commitment to the body cleared the route to Rubio’s sturdy chin. A vicious right had Rubio out on his feet, but the bell and heart carried Rubio to his stool.

In round nine, Pavlik again showed patience and took the remaining fight out of Rubio by scorching him to the body. As the round came to a close, with Rubio against the ropes, Pavlik landed two more vicious blows as the bell rang.

Rubio’s corner mercifully prevented their charge from answering the bell, and Kelly Pavlik had successfully defended the middleweight championship; and the pride of Youngstown, Ohio.

February 21, 2009

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