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Pavlik tops Lopez

Published: Sun, May 8, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.



Kelly Pavlik, left, exchanges punches with Alfonso Lopez in the third round during a WBO World super bantamweight title bout, Saturday, May 7, 2011, in Las Vegas.



Kelly Pavlik lands a punch to the body against Alfonso Lopez in the fourth round during a WBO World super bantamweight title bout, Saturday, May 7, 2011, in Las Vegas. Pavlik won by unanimous decision.

By Andy Samuelson



If Kelly Pavlik had one or two more rounds Saturday night inside the MGM Grand, he might have proven the point he had promised all week.

But instead of a signature win in his first fight in more than a year, the Youngstown native had to settle with a narrow victory over previously unbeaten Alfonso Lopez in their 10-round, 171-pound catch weight battle on the undercard of the megabout between Manny Paquiao and Sugar Shane Mosley.

“Obviously there was a lot of ring rust,” said Pavlik, who scored a majority decision as judge Adalaide Byrd scored the contest a 95-95 draw — but judges Dick Houck and CJ Ross overruled her with scores of 98-92, and 99-91 respectively.

“I don’t know what that one judge saw, but I know I clearly won that fight.”

Indeed Pavlik (37-2, 36 KOs) proved that in the final two minutes as he unleashed the most damage he had all night on Lopez with a series of vicious left hooks, which staggered the Cowboy-hat wearing 28-year old from Cut and Shoot, Texas on multiple occasions.

Had the fight went two more rounds like most of the former WBO and WBC middleweight champ’s previous title fights, the bigger Pavlik (who jumped up to super middleweight for this bout) might have scored the signature victory he had talked about earlier in the week.

But the narrow decision didn’t bother Jack Loew, Pavlik’s longtime trainer, especially considering it was his first time in the ring since losing his WBO and WBC middleweight titles to Sergio Martinez in April 2010, as well as Pavlik’s first time in the spotlight since his much-publicized stint in rehab for his battle with alcoholism earlier this year.

“We won two times tonight,” Loew said. “First just by returning to the ring. And then the second win is we emerged victorious in the fight.

“There was quite a bit of ring rust, but I thought Pavlik did enough and we walked away with the win. That’s all you can ask.”

But early on things certainly weren’t going “The Ghost’s” way as the fast-firing cowboy controlled the first few minutes with a flurry of blows.

The combinations of body blows mixed with head shots weren’t very damaging, but proved Pavlik was in for a fight.

“It seems like every time Kelly Pavlik starts something, Lopez finishes it,” said Showtime announcer and former middleweight champ Antonio Tarver, who scored the first two rounds for Lopez, who entered with a 21-0 mark.

Pavlik bounced back in the next few rounds, and overcame an accidental head butt in the fourth, which opened a small cut on his left cheek.

By the sixth, Pavlik — who connected on 180 of 369 punches compared to Lopez, who landed 168 of 374 — had not only caught him in punch count, but also power punches as he started to let loose with his signature right hand.

In the seventh, Pavlik misfired with a low blow that forced ref Russell Mora to say “Get your punches up. I don’t play. I will take a point.”

The brief respite reenergized Lopez, who came out of the break with another flurry of combos, a scene he continued in the final rounds.

But in the 10th-round Pavlik and his new power punch, the left hook, proved to be too much.

“I want to put on a show for everyone, but honestly being off for a year and with everything that has happened, I’ll take a win however I can get it,” Pavlik said earlier in the week.

The Pacquiao-Mosley fight was not completed in time for this edition.

In another undercard bout, former three-division champion Jorge Arce also stopped Wilfredo Vazquez in the 12th round of an action-packed fight, claiming Vazquez’s WBO 122-pound belt.

Arce (57-6-2, 44 KOs) and Vazquez engaged in a tremendous bout that ended with Vazquez slumped defenseless against the ropes as Arce unloaded countless punches.


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years ago

“We won two times tonight,” Loew said. “First just by returning to the ring. And then the second win is we emerged victorious in the fight."

How true !

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2MLC75(654 comments)posted 5 years ago

Great Job Kelly !

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3MLC75(654 comments)posted 5 years ago

@harrymuffin you are a a$$ loser ! Kelly has more money and class than you ever will,loser.

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4cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

you don't have to buy him a drink harrymuffin54. Drinks are free in Vegas. He probably is passed out in his hotel room.

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5cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

i think mlc75 has a man thing for Kelly.

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6MLC75(654 comments)posted 5 years ago

@cord53,I support people from Youngstown who have put us on the map.

You are nothing more than a loser who hides behind a key board.

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7LittleMo(10 comments)posted 5 years ago

To all the people here who think it's cute to say you'll buy Kelly a drink, or he's already passed out - that's disgusting. It takes a hell of a man (or woman) to admit they're an alcoholic and to get help. Returning to a normal life after that can be unbearable but for somebody like Kelly whose profession is an athletic one that takes place entirely within the public eye it takes an enormous amount of courage. To start at recovering from what excess alcohol does to your body to healing to becoming athletically fit enough again to do this, shake the man's hand and wish him well. If he falls off the wagon in the future that's another issue but don't be so eager to push him off. Congratulate him and encourage him to stay sober.

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8MLC75(654 comments)posted 5 years ago

Well said LittleMo.

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9mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years ago

I must admit--------I had my doubts-------good job Kelly. Good luck in the future.

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10cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

not from Youngstown. sewer pit. Cincinnati Ohio.

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11MLC75(654 comments)posted 5 years ago

@cord53,you call Youngstown a sewer pit and you live in Cincinnati LOL .

I'm glad you stated where you live,your opinions now mean nothing,you have no idea what Youngstown and the surrounding areas are about.

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12gbonafide(7 comments)posted 5 years ago

Way to go Kelly! Lopez was a game opponent and made it hard for u. The judges were generous in ur favor but u pushed the action, hit him with the harder shots and deserved the win. I suggest another tune up before Bute or one of the other top dogs in the division.

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13MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 5 years ago

@ The People Who Live Around Here and Matter:
It's really easy to be critical and judge people and where they come from in anonymity. You'll get that a lot. Sometimes egos cloud the real issue. Sure, Youngstown and it's Sons have their fame and infamy. But we're still standing, and like Kelly has proven over and over you have to try pretty damn hard to knock us down. So, don't too butthurt when some nameless faceless person who doesn't rate starts tapping away on a keyboard. Pavlick really dug down for this one. I was impressed.

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14Buckeyeplat(7 comments)posted 5 years ago

Great win for Kelly and Y-Town! Takes a lot of resolve and toughness to do what Kelly is currently doing.Hope the rust continues to fall off and he is soon back in contention for a world championship.Even if that never happens wish Kelly and Youngstown nothing but the best in the future!

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15cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

mlc75 i was born and raised in Youngstown. i was smart enough to get out.

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16cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

mlc i know what y town is about. i still call it my hometown. but you act like kelly is the greatest figher to come out of there. he can't handle success. he blew his career. He lost his following and nobody really cares if he wins another fight. he was lucky to beat this nobody. do you really think he is going to win another title. REALLY. REALLY.

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17copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

wow, somebody really has issues here. First I thought it was with kelly, then maybe with youngstown itself. So lets break it down:

"i know what y town is about. i still call it my hometown"
Well, not sure cincy is an improvement. You may as well have moved to Cleveland, or maybe Detroit.
(Side note, if you really meant you were from Canfield, Poland, Boardman, or Howland that doesn't quite cut it. Growing up on those streets had to have been tough.) If you really had it tough in ytown, why the hell did you trade it in for a larger version of home. Suspect is what this comment is.

"but you act like kelly is the greatest fighter to come out of there."

No one said that. I obviously read english, and I haven't seen it here. You also get boxing points deducted for an earlier post where you stated " the only real champion from Youngstown is Mancini and arroyo." Guess you forgot Jeff Lampkin and Greg Richardson. Craig Kikta and Ken Sigurani even won a minor titles. Did you consider them? If you can't even figure out all the big names in boxing from "your hometown", then you shouldn't be discussing it and passing judgement here. Just bringing up names that everyone in town knows doesn't count. And also lets look at title fights.

Manicin won his tile vs Frias
Arroyo vs Charlie Brown (Not joking, charlie brown.)
Pavlik vs Taylor.
So between the 3 who lost the above fights, who was better? Does it really matter.
OK, Manicini fought Alexis Arguello and lost. Pavlik fought Bernard Hopkins and lost. Think about that one. Bottom line should be look at how many great fighters came from your hometown, and I'm sure I missed someone. Again, suspect.

"he blew his career."

Never knew it was over. Guess he just felt like showing up in vegas and putting on a show. And lets just say that if it was his last fight, he's made enough to leave YTown just like you, except he can afford to move farther than cincy. So how did he blow it? Also I refer to your expert opinion on ytown boxing, so you lose credibility in the career ending" statement.

"he can't handle success"

I hope you are not as good an expert on drinking as you are on ytown fighters. I think you are, suspect! And on the handling thing, hows cincy working out for you?

"He lost his following and nobody really cares if he wins another fight".

Well there certainly are alot of facebook posts, twitter posts, and videos on our news sites. Hell, even your posting here. Most of your 22 posts are about this guy. So I guess you actually care as well. I guess you contradicted yourself. Have fun with that argument. Sus..you get the point.

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18copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

You gave me lots to go on....

"do you really think he is going to win another title"

Again, first off i refer to your above boxing knowledge. Second, if he does, its not your opinion that will count. Third, I thought you "didn't care". And lastly, since there are so many titles, and you didn't say which one, Try this. 21-0 Lopez held a belt didn't he? You should know this, lopez ain't from ytown. And Bute, Froch, and Ward aren't the only belt holders. Robert Stieglitz is prime for the taking, and Bute is lucky to still have his belt. He got saved in the first Andrade fight. Who knows, maybe abraham will get a belt back and finally give kelly a shot. And if by some miracle he could go back to middleweight, Marinez wasn't that superior. Did he win, yes. But if kelly takes his time and has a good camp without distractions, he could very well beat Martinez. But since this about just winning a belt that you said he couldn't do, There is no way in hell he loses to Zbik, Sturm, or Geale. (Hint: pretty sure you don't know who any of these guys are. They are fighters, not from youngstown, who hold belts)

So I might address what your real issues are if I were you before I would come on here and make alot of assumptions without knowledge. If you were truly from ytown you would know that if you are gonna come, come correct.

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19cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

Ok i just mentioned a couple of fighters. i know about Lampkin and Richardson who by the way fought for the great Pedro TOMEZ on the north side. And KEN SIGURANI who first started boxing for EMIL TANNER. OUT OF STRUTHERS OHIO. AND I LIVED IN THE HEART OF YOUNGSTOWN.. you see i know all these guys. frank gentile (trainer Struthers Ohio) FRANK WEST WHO TOOK OVER FOR TOMEZ YOU SEE MR KNOW IT ALL I HAD A BOXING GYM FOR YEARS IN YOUNGSTOWN. So i kind of know what i am talking about. So he could not touch ray as far as being a class act fighter. OH by the way ray and harry started out with the GREAT ED SULLIVAN. Look at this kids record that kelly barely beat (are you kidding me) I am trying not to be to hard on kelly but you get some people on here that think he is ready for a world title when he is not. just calling it like i see it.no harm done.

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20cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

I don't think he could beat Sturm right now. maybe a year and a half ago i would say yes.

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21copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

Oh, it looks like I touched a nerve. OK so maybe you do have some boxing intel, but until the post above you haven't shown but what seems to biased and tainted opinions.

OK, so Lopez hasn't fought anyone, Don"t remember Rubio having any big fights either, and if I am not mistaken he is line for the Zbik vs Chavez winner. And in some folks opinion outside of the valley Kelly had this same opinion at one time as well. Lopez had a big opportunity, fought hard and showed some smarts, but couldn't get it done. My hats off to him and he deserves some respect.

You still haven't shown who id such a class act and why that even means anything here. This wasn't an issue for anyone who posted here until you came along. Maybe its that you wish you had found such a fighter here during you stay.

You claim to be not being hard on the issue, well oops, you are. You been doing it of r what seems like a year. Does it matter to him, no. Me? I just think its messed up to run down a guy who has meant so much to the valley, and that cares so much for it.

And as for sturm now compared to a year and a half ago, what changed, nothing. New promoter, and same biased fights in Germany he ain't gonna lose. Biased fights, but you know all about that would't you?

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22TrippleSet(1 comment)posted 5 years ago

Not too long ago, Cord53 posted on a prior Kelly Pavlik article to look up his son, Jim Cordova, to assist as a Nutritionist. Now the guy takes potshots and says that "you don't have to buy him a drink harrymuffin54. Drinks are free in Vegas. He probably is passed out in his hotel room."

I take it his son was not hired by Kelly to be his nutritionist.........................................

He also personally knows every trainer that ever worked in Youngstown. CopStarkey, you are out of your league here buddy...........did you not see this guy sitting beside Emanuel Steward in Vegas this past Saturday, he knows everybody!!!!!!
Typical Youngstown thought process....... it's not about what you know, but who, and in all caps!! So, he automatically wins that round as he knows all these people personally. He is also a trainer, and a real professional one at that; taking potshots at a guy who has an addiction, and then out of the other side of his face says he is trying not to be hard on the guy............. Cord53, you are a class act buddy!!!!!

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23copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

yep this dude is classy. We have one post that says it all. I can quote it here

Cord53: "Drunk"

Maybe he is boxing smart, maybe he made a new start in cincy. But that ytown defeatist attitude is still stong with this one. Kinda suprised I didn't see a history of talking smack here about M Clarett or the ytown kid who got busted for drugs at Iowa. Or even about other boxers from ytown who had issues. But unlike this guy I ain't gonna dime this boxer out or make allegations.

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24cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

am i touching a nerve

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25cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

if kelly wins a title i will apologize. but it's not going to happen. the only way he will win a title if they get him 5 more fights and i don't mean a title fight in between. you could see the ring rust in him. very sluggish. if greed sets in and they go for a title shot before he gets the ring rust out of him forget it, do you really think he looked good saturday night?

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26cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

ok wait a minute do you think he represented y town as an athlete kids could look up to? be honest in your answer. was Mancini ARROYO LAMPKIN RICHARDSON EVER IN ANY KIND OF TROUBLE. THE ANSWER IS NO. THEY REPRESENTED Y TOWN PROUDLY. all I AM SAYING IS HE KIND OF SCREWED UP. I APOLOGIZE FOR THE DRINKING JOKES. IT WAS CLASSLESS ON MY PART.

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27cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago


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28cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago


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29copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

good? In some ways yes. It was apparent he had been out of the ring for awhile. So there was definitely ring rust. However, I saw him get away from alot of shots the commentators said landed, so I saw alittle more defense than I had seen in awhile. There was some head movement that some say isn't there. The lack of flowing combinations was concerning, but the new/ reemergence of a left hook was encouraging. I think you add that to him getting some timing issue worked out, adding it to an awesome 1-2, and he's getting somewhere. I also liked that he went to the body some. Haven't seen him take that to an opponent since Espino. And he definitely didn't seemed phased in between rounds or in the ring with Lopez moving. So I think he looked good and it is a nice start. IS he ready for a title shot? Don't know. Don't think 5 is the right number, but I would like to see more before he goes at a title. However, I think he gets Steiglitz in a title fight outside of Germany, he has a chance right now. Abraham, again outside of Germany, same thing. Bute outside of Canada, much better chance, but not like the previous 2 guys. (You know you want to say if he's so great he can win anywhere, but I have seen fights outside of the US, and they can be BS. Don't agree, watch Bute vs Andrade 1st fight.) I do not like the ideas of Froch, Kessler, or Ward anywhere, but I am biased. I like kelly as a middleweight. Froch and Kessler could move up in weight, let alone be at supper middle. Ward I haven't seen so much of. But what I have, just don't like the style match up.

You know folks always seem to go back to Hopkins and Martinez when critiquing kelly. I watched both fights more than once. Kelly was not himself vs a very crafty veteran in Hopkins. And folks run kelly down over Hopkins? Hopkins got knocked down, what twice vs Pascal. Hopkins looked to dominate the rest of the fight, and I believe as many others Pascal got a gift in a draw. So was/is hopkins washed up? If not than why is kelly losing to a future hall of famer, current contender such a shame. Martinez is a different story. Martinez won the first rounds. You think, well just like Hopkins, Kelly is out of this one. Kelly won the middle rounds. He adjusted to Martinez's movement and had the timing down pretty good. But the hand speed of Martinez contributed to that nasty cut, and a failure to control it to me led to a loss. But Kelly looked good in many ways that night. I do feel that a Kelly that doesn't have to kill himself to make weight, and a good cut man, he very well wins in a rematch. As for Marinez himself' he destroyed the "Invincible and avoided" Williams in the rematch and I felt he got ripped in the first fight. So again, is losing to Marinez such a shame. People just can't let it go.

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30copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

As for touching a nerve with me, sorry but it will take alot more than you can post here to shake me up. I'm not defending him because i think I know boxing, I'm just a fan who watches alot. I do take issue with folks sticking their nose in business that isn't theirs, getting personal with a guy they do not know, and overall promoting and continuing this ytown "woe is me, so lets criticize this guy so that I can feel better" attitude.

I do this for me, I do this to stick up for a regular guy who tried to do something good for our town, and my home itself. So we can continue to post. I will continue to counterpoint and bring fact if I can. But know that I won't make stuff up, take cheap shot drunk comments, and I will enjoy countering anyone who just seems to like to continue this piss poor ytown attitude. I also noticed that in your reply's you didn't deny much of what I said? again suspect. Or is it, exposed.

Also, you stated look at Lopez's record. Well who had Sturm fought by his 20th win? no one. And he got a shot with De La Hoya at fight 21, whom sturm than lost to. So i guess guys get lucky sometime at 21 and 0. Lemiuex was around 25 and 0. Look what happened to him vs the "much criticized by kelly haters" Rubio.

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31copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

Did not know Clarett got busted? Wow. He took his draft status with Denver, blew the pick, went to jail, served his time, and last year was picked up by the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL.

And I am not worried that another champ will come out of Ytown. Hell we've done pretty good so far. I cannot think of another city with this many champs, especially ones who's identities are so closely linked to the community.

However, as for him being an example, I honestly feel he has been a good one, and in many ways better.

First off, have the others been in trouble? Who knows, they dropped off the face of the earth, and in a totally different issue 2 of them never recieved the credit they deserved. Who's to blame? I ain't touching that one, buy it was wrong.

But there is something, where are they? I grew up with these guys as someone I looked up to. I watched thier fights, looked for any articles. Ray left town, Harry is still there and works with young fighters, and no clue on the other guys. But I do not remember them doing golf tournamnets, community runs, visiting hospitals or sick kids, or parades. All things Kelly did, and not because he was told to, but because he wanted to. No one ever said that this was part of the job.

And as for actions, most of this opinion on this guy comes from folks who either were not there, heard from someone who knows someone, or WERE in on it all. I take issue with this.

He is human and deserves to have a life.
If he went to rehab as it has been reported, than good for him. I did it and it is no easy task. Over 10 years later and there are times I want a drink. So he is just like any one of us in this aspect. But I don't see anyone getting on vindy speaking of John Doe from the south side pissing on a street corner cause he had a few too many.

But at least he isn't just a poster for this community. Meaning, just a face who hasn't contributed. You stated he couldn't handle the pressure. Well if that is so, it is the pressure we have put on him. The pressure of critical "Fans, and I use that term loosly here." who throw out either unsubstanciated claims they know nothing about. (You live in cicny, When did you see him in a drunken state? You said it. But even with you admitting it, it is done and you are not alone.) or folks who claim to have been there or heard something who fail to included their part in the story. (Were right there with him, invited him out, took part in all the merriment, then come home and have a morality check. Sorry but I HAVE SEEN THIS PERSONALLY. And it is wrong.)

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32copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

So where is the example in all of this? Here is a regular kid, who went to the average high school (No Mooney or Ursuline.), set his sights on something, worked hard and achieved it. He did not make excuses that it was too hard and give up as many young kids do today. And even if he doesn't win another title, did he really fail? When so many of us are still in ytown making excuses, and wondering when the next big break is going to fall in our laps. Sorry the mills aren't coming back, no one will be waiting at your graduation ceremony from HS or YSU with a job. Life in ytown is what you make it. You either work hard and find something legit than work hard at it, get out and make something of yourself, or stay there making excuses saying that the town is holding you down.

His personal life is not our buisness, no one made us god to pass judgement. If it was really a problem, than the least we could do is show our support for someone who supported us because he wanted to. He cannot do it alone, and the negative support certainly doesn't help and does not reflect positively on the valley and what our parents and grandparents instilled in the children of Ytown years ago.

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33cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

you sound like you have a lot of knowledge in boxing. How long have you been a fan.

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34cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

Copstarkey did you follow the Youngstown golden gloves back in the 80's?

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35cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

i know about clarett and his draft status and all that. on your post i thought he got busted recently. i am a BIG OSU FAN

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36copstarkey(27 comments)posted 5 years ago

That a little before my time. I was a kid in the 80's. I was lucky to be able to catch ray or harry's fights on the old CBS or ABC sat afternoon fights. And of course the HBO Bramble vs mancini fights, Camacho vs Mancini, and Haugen Vs Mancini. I remember wanting to go to a golden gloves event in cleveland but i'm sure it was no place for an 8-9 yr old at the time.

But as I grew up and football lost its appeal boxing interested me more. I've met most of the guys you and I have mentioned. And trained under one.

Boxing just turned out to not be one thing I was dedicated to as a participant. Hitting guys is wonderful, its getting hit back that sucks. So stuck as fan I'll be. And there is no way anyone from Ytown could deny the connection this town has with boxing. There were a few from back in the 40's to 60's that weren't too bad either. But boxing had some different dynamics to it.

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37cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years ago

ok back in the 80's i had a fighter that everyone thought was going to win a world title.He would go to the nationals every year like it was nothing. we turned him pro had him 5 and 0. top rank was even looking at him. than he went sour. would not listen to nobody. ate himself out of boxing. What a wasted talent. SAD. HE was a really good welterweight. than went to 170 lbs. IT was a disaster after that. He was harry arroyo sparring partner for the robin blake fight. would do really good against harry.

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38Iona(10 comments)posted 5 years ago

I have to agree with copstarkey about supporting Kelly. I was surprised to find myself on the same plane as Kelly on the way out to Vegas. He displayed such a calm and humble demeanor...a class act all the way.

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