Pavlik’s prediction: A ‘butt-whupping’

Team Pavlik Talks

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Members of Team Pavlik (Mike Romeo, Michael Cox, John D'Altorio, Mike Pavlik Sr., Tank DiCiccio, John Loew and John Hutter) talk about Pavlik's upcoming fight at the Chevrolet Centre during his public workout at Southside Boxing.

Kelly Pavlik Workout

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WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik meets with press and the public at a workout at Southside Boxing Center Wednesday. Pavlik and trainer Jack Loew talk about Saturday's fight at the Chevrolet Centre.

Trainer Jack Loew unsure Rubio realizes what he’s gotten himself into

By Joe Scalzo

Wearing a black vinyl “ fat suit,” Kelly Pavlik climbed into the ring at the Southside Boxing Club in Youngstown on Wednesday, grabbed a white towel and shouted to reporters, “Here’s Rubio’s corner!”

He threw the towel into the center of the ring, cracked a smile and went to work. Three days before his middleweight title defense against Mexican fighter Marco Antonio Rubio, Pavlik looked quick and powerful in his 30-minute workout before the media.

“I’m gonna go in and put a whupping on the kid,” said Pavlik.

Pavlik’s trainer, Jack Loew, was even more animated.

“He’s going to get the worst [butt]-whupping of his life,” said Loew.

Pavlik is close to 100 percent healthy, having broken a blood vessel in his right eye during sparring last week, and his hand speed and power were evident. As for the eye, it’s bloodshot, but it is not expected to be an issue on Saturday.

“There’s no pain,” Pavlik said. “It doesn’t affect anything.”

Pavlik and Loew had been relatively quiet over the last few weeks — some of it by design — but Rubio’s recent predictions of a knockout victory, combined with some inflammatory remarks by his camp, provoked a sharp response on Wednesday.

“I don’t think he realizes what he’s getting himself into,” Loew said of Rubio. “We will knock him out.”

“We want to hit him with the first punch and knock his [butt] back to Mexico.”

Rubio’s camp has grown more outspoken in recent days and his handlers, particularly cornerman Ramon Rodriguez, made some fairly bold predictions about Saturday’s outcome.

“Pavlik’s fate is sealed like one of trainer Jack Loew’s driveway,” said Rodriguez, referring to Loew’s side business. “I hope Loew hasn’t quit his day job.”

Then, referring to Rubio’s nursing training: “At least Marco will be able to patch Pavlik up after he cuts him down to size this Saturday night.”

Loew’s reaction?

“He should be a plastic surgeon because he’s gonna need a whole lot of help that night.”

The verbal sparring is typical before Pavlik’s fights. Edison Miranda and Gary Lockett — both knockout victims by Pavlik — were particularly outspoken before fighting the Youngstown native.

“He lacks confidence,” Pavlik said of Rubio. “The closer these guys get to the fight, the more nervous they get and the more they have to work themselves up.

“He should take a page from the [Jermain] Taylor fights and the Miranda fight and learn to be careful of what he says.”

Rubio said he has been studying Pavlik’s loss to Bernard Hopkins and has formulated a plan for a knockout victory. Like many of Pavlik’s opponents, Rubio views the champion as a one-dimensional fighter and feels his superior movement will allow him to out-maneuver and out-box Pavlik.

“This kid can’t box his way out of a paper bag,” Pavlik said. “He’s a gutty fighter and he’s gonna come and throw a lot of big bombs.

“If he’s going off the Hopkins fight that’s just going to make things worse for him on Saturday night.”

In Rubio’s defense, Loew believes the most controversial quotes have come from Rubio’s handlers, not the fighter himself.

“That’s the bad thing,” Loew said. “His three little amigos, they don’t have to take the punches.

“They can just go out and collect their checks and move on.”

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