Pavlik’s trainer cites fear factor

By Joe Scalzo

Jack Loew feels Joe Calzaghe is afraid to face The Ghost in the ring.

Last weekend, Welsh boxer Joe Calzaghe said he would bypass a bout with Kelly Pavlik to fight Roy Jones Jr., saying Pavlik wasn’t ready to fight him.

The response from Pavlik’s trainer, Jack Loew: You know it ain’t so, Joe.

“How many more excuses is this guy going to make?” Loew said. “If Joe Calzaghe fought Kelly, he’d be in trouble.

“There’s no way he’d beat Kelly. He’s just a slap-happy Welshman.”

The 36-year-old Calzaghe (45-0, 32 KOs) holds the super middleweight and light heavyweight belts and is in negotiations for a July bout with the 39-year-old Jones (52-4, 38 KOs), who indicated a willingness to fight overseas.

The fight would likely be the most lucrative of Calzaghe’s career and seems to carry less risk than a bout with the 26-year-old Pavlik, who would want to fight at super middleweight. Pavlik (34-0, 30 KOs) is coming off a third-round knockout of Gary Lockett, who is trained by Calzaghe’s father, Enzo.

“It’s a smarter fight,” Loew said of Calzaghe-Jones. “This is what happened: His dad went back and said, ‘Don’t fight this killer. He’s gonna knock you out.’

“I’m [ticked] off. He’s telling us that we don’t want to fight him. Yes, we do want to fight Joe Calzaghe. He doesn’t want to fight Kelly Pavlik.”

With Calzaghe out of the picture, Loew thinks Pavlik’s next bout will be in Cleveland in September, possibly against Ricardo Mayorga.

Mayorga (29-6-1) is coming off a victory over Fernando Vargas at 164 pounds last November. It was his first bout since getting knocked out by Oscar De La Hoya in this sixth round in May 2006.

He’s the type of kid who will sell the show just by his mouth,” Loew said of Mayorga. “He’ll be screaming at Kelly and people are gonna want to see Kelly kill the kid.”

Another possibility is Marco Antonio Rubio, but Loew doesn’t think the opponent makes much difference at the middleweight level.

“Any middleweight who goes into the ring with Kelly over the next few years is gonna get just what Gary Lockett got,” Loew said. “At 168-175, the guys are bigger and stronger and can take better shots, but Kelly should clean out anyone in the middleweight division in three, four, five rounds.”

Although Pavlik entered the Lockett bout as a big favorite, Loew came away happy with his fighter’s performance.

“I wasn’t so concerned with Gary Lockett; I was looking to see how well Kelly did,” Loew said. “He went there and dismantled him and knocked him senseless. He didn’t get a one-punch knockout. He used his jab and he blocked shots.

“Everybody talked about how good Kelly looked. They even gave me praise. I was loving it. I saw what I needed to see from Kelly.”

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