All Photos by Chris Farina
A little over 7 months have passed since Kelly Pavlik was supposed to make his second comeback fight in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. However Pavlik chose that he was not willing to fight for “peanuts” last August and instead withdrew from his fight with gritty veteran Darryl Cunningham.
That all changed last night as Pavlik entered the ring in San Antonio, Texas to face Aaron Jaco of Florida. While the outcome wasn’t surprising as Pavlik took out Jaco in the 2nd round, Pavlik had already dropped Jaco in the 1st and from there it was only a matter of time before Pavlik would end the one-sided event.
While the win was expected what was not was how much Pavlik has seemed to change in the last 7 months. Pavlik split from his trainer Jack Lowe, left Youngstown for the west coast and has done so without making much noise about any of it.
Pavlik is now training under the guidance of highly touted Roberto Garcia who in known for training Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire. Garcia has created a group of highly successful and talented fighters over the last decade and Pavlik should follow suit as long as Pavlik himself is committed to getting back to his form circa 2007.
While Pavlik has went up in weight he still has the power to hurt anyone that is in the ring with him and since last night’s fight failed to show much of what Pavlik learned from Garcia so far, Pavlik did look far better than he did when he fought Alfonso Lopez last May.
The question now is how much can Pavlik adjust his fighting style to make him a force he once was? Garcia is the right man to take on the task and the next year and a half should be interesting to see where Pavlik goes from here.
If Pavlik is ready and re-focused and committing to being the Pavlik fans were accustomed to seeing before the Hopkins fight, then fans should be in for a treat, Pavlik is one of boxing finest fighters; can he still be the fighter fans remember for his great comeback win over Jermaine Taylor or will fans see Pavlik revert to drinking and getting into bar fights that seemed to derail his career the last 4 years remains to be seen, but a new start on the west coast with a new team is a step in the right direction. Last night he showed he is ready to be a boxer once again and now fans can get ready to hopefully see a fighter back on the track to winning another title.
Who has made the bigger transformation in look- Kelly Pavlik or Miguel Cotto?
In the last couple years both fighters have emerged with a ton of new ink on their bodies. While it is difficult to clearly see what Pavlik tattoos exactly are, Cotto had the help of HBO 24/7 to shine the light on some of his tattoos. The “last call” on Pavlik’s back seems a little ironic with that being the saying most bars use when it’s closing time. My vote is for Pavlik.