Pavlik ‘ready to roll’ in title bout
Where: Beeghly Center, Youngstown State University
Tickets: Prices are $250 (ringside), $150, $100 and $50. Tickets are available at the Web site www.tickets.com. Each ticket has an $8 processing fee. Tickets also are being sold at the Beeghly Center box office. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
Pavlik-of-old slugs his way through Tuesday workout.
By JOE SCALZO
Vindicator sports staff
YOUNGSTOWN — Kelly Pavlik shed the 18-ounce sparring gloves for his Tuesday workout as his trainer, Jack Loew, winced with every Pavlik punch on his sparring mitts inside the ring at the Southside Boxing Club.
Afterward, Loew walked to the corner of the ring, looked at Mike Pavlik Sr. and said, “It’s different with those 10-ounce gloves.”
“You were making faces like a sissy on the playground,” Pavlik Sr. said.
“Why don’t you come in here with me?” Loew said. “One miss, and I’m [in trouble].”
The sore, sluggish Pavlik of last week’s public workout disappeared Tuesday as the Pavlik-of-old made an appearance — just in time for Saturday’s middleweight title fight against Miguel Espino at YSU’s Beeghly Center.
Over the past few days, Pavlik stopped lifting weights, cut down on the hard-core workouts and, consequently, looked looser with the familiar snap on his punches.
“We’re ready to go,” Pavlik said. “We gave our body time to heal and recuperate, and now we’re ready to roll.”
Boxers tend to talk in the plural — Pavlik always says “we” when referring to his body, as does Loew — and it’s because getting ready for a fight is such a team effort.
Pavlik’s father is in charge of making sure his son hits the 160-pound limit — Pavlik sees a lot of broccoli, fish and rice during the weeks leading up to the bout — and Loew is in charge of making sure his fighter is at his peak on fight night.
So far, things are on schedule.
“I’m back to 100 percent,” said Pavlik. “I wouldn’t say like the first [Jermain] Taylor fight [when he won the title], but I’m back. Believe me, I’m hitting my sparring partners with good shots, hitting the bag hard, the snap is back on the punches, the hand speed is there and everything feels great.
“I would say if I’m not 100 percent, I’m real close — 99.9 percent.”
Youngstown hospitality: Jack Loew, Kelly Pavlik’s trainer and Southside Boxing Club owner, opened his gym Tuesday to Saturday’s opponent Miguel Espino and undercard fighter Vanes Martirosyan. It’s a benefit Pavlik didn’t have before his major fights against Jermain Taylor and Edison Miranda. “For all my world title fights in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, we had no gyms to work out in,” Pavlik said. “We had to go to the hotel room and use the workout room inside there. He has a little bit up on us there.” Strangely, there seemed to be a heat problem for Espino’s workout that was miraculously solved when Pavlik arrived afterward. The gym went from 62 degrees to more like 70. “We had that cold wave come through,” Pavlik said, grinning. “It got cold all the sudden so we had to turn the heat up.”
Other than that, I’m fine: Like a lot of top middleweights, Pavlik and Espino will spend this week starving themselves to get down to the 160-pound limit. When asked how he was feeling Tuesday, Espino said, “Well, I’m pretty thirsty. I’m like every fighter in that I get moody at this point. It’s true. You’ll see Kelly later and he’ll be grouchy because we’re three days away from weighing in.”
Roy Jones sighting: Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. is expected to be in Youngstown on Saturday night. He has a heavyweight, Gabe Brown, who is fighting former world champion Sam Peter on the undercard.
Come on down(town): Today at noon at Youngstown State University’s Beeghly Center, Pavlik and Espino will hold their final news conference before Saturday’s bout. The event is open at the public and fans should enter through the front lobby. The weigh-in is Friday at 1 p.m. at Beeghly and also is open to the public.
Undercard fighters: Local fighters Jake Giuriceo (of Campbell and Struthers) and Chris Hazimihalis (Campbell) will be on the undercard of Saturday’s bout. Giuriceo (5-0, 2 KOs), who made his pro debut on the undercard of the Pavlik-Marco Antonio Rubio bout in February at the Covelli Centre, will meet Henri White in a six-round junior welterweight bout. Hazimihalis will make his pro debut against Lucas Roadas in a four-round lightweight bout.
T-shirts: Pavlik fight T-shirts are on sale at outlets throughout the Mahoning Valley. The shirts are black with light blue and white lettering and feature the words “Team Pavlik” and the Pavlik ghost logo. Outlets are Cornersburg Italian Specialties, Clemens Wine Cellar on Meridian Road, Jensen Locksmith on Belmont Avenue, Jimmy’s Italian Food Specialties on Belmont Avenue, Bedford Trails Golf Course, Tudor Physical Therapy, Groover Roofing & Siding in Girard, Patrone Brothers Landscaping & Garden Center in Girard, East Side Civics and The Shirt Wizard.