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« Ringside Seat

90 minutes away

By Joe Scalzo (Contact)

Published February 16, 2008

Ronald Hearns knocked out Juan Astorga in the eighth round in the first pay-per-view bout of the night. Hearns’ father, of course, is Thomas Hearns and his son looks like a very good young fighter. He improved to 18-0 with 14 KOs. If Pavlik sticks around at middleweight, Hearns looms as a terrific future opponent. Hearns fought Saturday night at 154 pounds and can easily add six pounds to his frame.

Between the sixth and seventh rounds of that bout, a ring girl walked through the ropes and got big cheers. Problem was, they weren’t for her.

At that moment, on each of the four big screens in the arena, Kelly Pavlik was shown walking through the hallways to his locker room. (He looked really focused, by the way. Kelly’s a really friendly guy most of the time but he turns into someone entirely different on fight nights.) So the large Youngstown contingent in the stands was cheering Pavlik’s mug, not the girl.

OK, maybe a few of the cheers were for the girl.

We’re about 90  minutes away from Pavlik-Taylor II. I’ll be blogging round-by-round updates once it begins.

Earlier in the week, I predicted a Pavlik knockout in the sixth round. I’d hate to back away from that prediction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens in the seventh or eighth instead.

Regardless, I think Pavlik knocks him out.

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