Kelly Pavlik doesn’t fear Sigmon, Friday’s opponent in Las Vegas

By Joe Scalzo

When Kelly Pavlik talks about his upcoming opponent, Scott Sigmon, he uses words like “goofy” and “annoying.”

He doesn’t use words like “scary” or “threatening.”

“No, not at all,” Pavlik said, when asked if he views Sigmon as a threat. “You can’t take anyone too lightly and I’ll say this, the kid trains hard and he’s always in shape.

“That’s about it.”

Pavlik (38-2, 33 KOs) will meet Sigmon (22-3, 12 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight bout Friday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The fight will be televised on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

Pavlik is coming off a second-round TKO of Aaron Jaco on March 31 in San Antonio. Sigmon was originally in the mix for that bout and when the fight fell through, Sigmon ripped Pavlik in numerous media outlets and on Pavlik’s Facebook page.

“That’s the main reason we took the fight, because of what he started last time, going off at the mouth,” said Pavlik, speaking by phone earlier this week from his training camp in Oxnard, Calif. “The kid, to me, is goofy. I understand him. This isn’t a pay-per-view fight, so I don’t understand why he’s trying to build it up [with controversial comments].

“It’s definitely motivating to me.”

Pavlik, the former middleweight champion, is considered an overwhelming favorite against Sigmon, a Virginia native who has never fought anyone of championship caliber. Pavlik has even begun discussing possible opponents for a fall bout, with his camp targeting IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch. Pavlik would like to fight on either HBO or Showtime — the premier boxing networks.

“If it’s Froch, great,” Pavlik said. “If not, we definitely want to take a step up [competitively]. A top-level fighter or a champ. Whatever they throw at me, I’ll be ready.”

Pavlik wasn’t tested by Jaco — some boxing sites credited him with landing just one clean punch against Pavlik — and some critics wonder if Sigmon will provide enough rounds to shake off any lingering rust from his nearly one-year layoff before the Jaco bout.

Pavlik isn’t concerned.

“My last fight, even though it was only two rounds, I thought my timing was there,” he said. “Anytime in boxing, if you get a chance to get somebody out, you don’t want to play around.

“I’m not too concerned about the rounds. I’ve gotten plenty of rounds in sparring.”

Pavlik sparred 10 rounds on Monday and eight rounds on Wednesday. He said he weighed 172 pounds on Thursday and that training camp has gone smoothly.

“It’s been a hard-nosed, tough training camp,” he said. “Everything has gone very good. I’m very happy.”

After Friday’s bout, Pavlik said he’ll spend a few weeks in Youngstown before returning to California.

“We’re staying busy and staying sharp,” he said.

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