Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Kelly Pavlik vs. Sergio Martinez Press Conference
At Gallagher's Steakhouse in Manhattan this afternoon, Top Rank C.E.O., Bob Arum, addressed the media.
"It's been a great, great division," declared Arum. "Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall the tradition continues."
This will be Pavlik's 4th appearance at Boardwalk Hall, where he previously captured the WBC and WBO middleweight titles from Jermain Taylor in 2007. Martinez's last fight occurred at Boardwalk Hall, in which, he lost a highly controversial 12 round majority decision to Paul Williams.
HBO's Sports President Ross Greenburg stated, "There are certain fights you buy that are can't miss fights. This is one of them."
"Ross Greenburg really made the fight happen," acknowledged Lou Dibella, C.E.O. Dibella Entertainment. "Kelly took the hardest guy who wanted him. It will be a battle of techniques; speed and agility versus punching power and aggressiveness. There will be a new champion on Saturday night."
Martinez appears eager to display his skills on Saturday night.
"You will see a great fight," said Martinez. "All this year I have been training for this fight."
Pavlik's trainer, Jack Loew, does not seem too concerned about Martinez's talent.
"Kelly is in the best shape ever," said Loew. "Monzon won't be there, Martinez will. I'm glad he knows how to ride a bike because he will be on one Saturday night. We respect him, but we'll go back to Youngstown with the belts."
Bob Arum believes Pavlik, 28, is one of the hardest punchers he's seen in years. Pavlik is definitely one of the heaviest hitters in the entire history of the middleweight division, and holds an 86% knockout percentage over his opponents. As a result of Pavlik's knockout power, many observers overlook his complete boxing arsenal. Pavlik's jab is one of the best in the business, and he drives the opposition backward regularly when he utilizes it. Since suffering his only professional defeat to Bernard Hopkins, Pavlik has been widely ridiculed for his lack of lateral movement. In that bout, Hopkins repeatedly beat Pavlik to the punch and used an incredible amount of angles to keep him off-balanced, which is the reason why numerous people are picking Martinez to win.
Martinez, 35, fights at a fast pace and possesses outstanding boxing technique. Will the southpaw from Argentina be able to nullify Pavlik's power? Martinez is an exceptional fighter from the outside and will exchange with anyone, although his power is underrated. Against a devastating puncher like Pavlik, Martinez may want to fight at a distance where he controls range and dictates the pace of the bout. Pavlik does not see the fight turning out that way.
"I see him starting fast in the early rounds and slowing a bit in the middle rounds," stated Pavlik. "I expect a dominating performance."
When he faced Hopkins, Pavlik weighed 168 lbs. As far as moving up in weight again, Pavlik does not anticipate that happening soon. "I will fight at 160 lbs. until I cannot make weight anymore," said Pavlik. "Right now, I don't have a problem."
For Martinez, this will be his first notable opponent at 160 lbs. If Martinez wins, it will probably be the result of him outworking Pavlik with a great deal of volume punching, as well as minimizing heated exchanges with a bigger, deadlier puncher. Can Pavlik catch the slick moving Martinez? Or will Martinez find his range like Hopkins and beat Pavlik to the punch all fight?
With so many questions, there are so many answers. Yet, this epic fight should produce a definitive conclusion.