Kelly Robert Pavlik

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Kelly Pavlik
Real name Kelly Robert Pavlik
Nickname(s) The Ghost, The Express
Rated at Middleweight

Super Middleweight

Height 6 ft 2 12 in (1.89 m)
Reach 75 in (190.500 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1982-04-05) April 5, 1982 (age 31)

Youngstown, Ohio, USA

Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 43
Wins 40
Wins by KO 34
Losses 2
Draws 0

Kelly Robert Pavlik (born April 5, 1982) is a retired American professional boxer. He was a The Ring, WBC and WBO Middleweight champion after beating Jermain Taylor on September 29, 2007, until he lost his titles to Sergio Martínez on April 17, 2010.

Background and early life[edit]

Known as “The Ghost”, Pavlik grew up on the south side of Youngstown, Ohio, in the traditional ethnic Slovak neighborhood of Lansingville.[1] He graduated from Lowellville High School and Mahoning County Joint Vocational School in 2000.[1] Pavlik has been trained by Jack Loew of Youngstown’s South Side Boxing Gym for his entire career. His loyalty to his neighborhood and his unassuming, unglamorous lifestyle have earned him praise inside and outside the world of boxing.[2]

Amateur highlights[edit]

  • 1998 National Jr. PAL Amateur Champion, 147 pounds
  • 1998 National Jr. Golden Gloves Amateur Champion, 147 pounds
  • 1999 U.S. National Under-19 Amateur Champion, 147 pounds

Professional career[edit]

Pavlik turned professional in 2000 and won his first 26 fights before stepping up in competition on October 7, 2005, to face Fulgencio Zúñiga for the vacant NABF Middleweight title. Zúñiga scored a knockdown with a left hook in the first round, but Pavlik recovered quickly and dominated the rest of the fight. Zúñiga was cut over his right eye by a clash of heads, and his corner stopped the fight after the ninth round.

On July 7, 2006, Pavlik defeated the former WBO Light Middleweight Champion Bronco McKart with sixth round technical knock out in his first defense of his NABF Middleweight title. McKart scored a knockdown when both of Pavlik’s gloves touched the canvas in the fourth round. Pavlik knocked McKart down twice in the sixth round before the referee stopped the fight.

Pavlik headlined in his hometown at the Covelli Centre on November 2, 2006, and put on a dominant performance against Lenord Pierre. Pavlik scored a knockdown with a right hand late in the first round, and rocked Pierre repeatedly in the second and third rounds. Pavlik knocked down Pierre again with a left hook in the fourth round and the referee stopped the fight.

On January 27, 2007, in Anaheim, California, Pavlik defeated Jose Luis Zertuche with an eighth round knockout in his second and final defense of his NABF Middleweight title. It was a fast-paced, exciting fight that concluded when Pavlik landed a right fist that froze Zertuche in his tracks and then landed an uppercut that dropped him face-first to the canvas.

Pavlik vs. Miranda[edit]

Pavlik defeated Edison Miranda on May 19, 2007, with a technical knock out in the seventh round. The fight was a WBC Middleweight Title Eliminator bout. This fight established him as the #1 middleweight contender. During the sixth round, Pavlik knocked Miranda down to the canvas twice. After the first knock down, Miranda spat out his mouthpiece, causing the referee, Steve Smoger, to deduct a point. As the sixth round ended, Miranda seemed unable to continue, but came out nonetheless. In the seventh round, Pavlik trapped Miranda in a corner with a barrage of vicious shots, forcing Smoger to stop the fight. Pavlik thus earned a chance for the middleweight title against Jermain Taylor, who had defeated Pavlik during their amateur careers in a bout that was part of the 2000 Olympic Team-USA Box-offs.

Pavlik vs. Taylor I & II[edit]

However, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in front of a pro-Pavlik crowd (approximately 6,231 Youngstown natives made the trip), Pavlik defeated Jermain Taylor on September 29, 2007.[3] In the pre-fight build-up, Taylor’s trainer, Emmanuel Steward, called Pavlik “overrated” and promised a knockout win for his boxer.[4] It nearly happened, as Pavlik was knocked down in the second round and tossed about the ring for much of that round. However, using his reach advantage and ability to trap opponents in the corner, Pavlik slowly turned the tide on Taylor. By the sixth round, many at the ringside, such as the HBO commentator Larry Merchant, saw the fight as even. HBO’s unofficial scorer, Harold Lederman, even had Pavlik leading the fight at the halfway point. Despite this, he was trailing on all three official scorecards. In the seventh round, Pavlik stunned his opponent with a clean left hook to the chin and backed him against the ropes knocking Taylor out with a barrage of punches. With the victory, Pavlik became the new The Ring, WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion.[5] After the fight with Taylor, Pavlik and his father, Mike Pavlik Sr., accidentally left their paychecks in their hotel room.[6] He was named The Boxing Times Fighter of the Year in 2007.[7]

This fight was named Fight of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

After the defeat, Taylor activated his clause for a non-title rematch, which was held on February 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada, with both fighters weighing-in at super middleweight.[8][clarification needed] Pavlik won the fight with a unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112 and 115-113), handing Taylor his second defeat.[9]

Pavlik vs. Lockett[edit]

Pavlik made his first title defense of the Middleweight Championship against the WBO #1 mandatory challenger Gary Lockett on June 7, 2008, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Pavlik defeated Lockett with a third round technical knock out after Enzo Calzaghe, Lockett’s trainer, threw in the towel when Lockett was down for the third time.

Pavlik vs. Hopkins[edit]

In a HBO PPV non-title bout on October 18, 2008, 43 year-old Bernard Hopkins (49-5-1 with 32 KOs) won a unanimous decision over Pavlik. Hopkins and Pavlik fought at a catch weight of 170 lbs (5 pounds below the light heavyweight limit) in a twelve-round non-title bout. Hopkins dominated the whole fight with multiple punch combinations, good defense and movement. Both fighters fought after the bell and needed to be separated by their corners.

Pavlik vs. Rubio[edit]

On February 21, 2009, his first bout after his defeat to Hopkins, Pavlik defeated Marco Antonio Rubio (the WBC #1 contender) in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, at the Chevy Centre with a ninth round technical knockout. Pavlik dominated the fight, forcing Rubio’s corner to concede the bout before the start of the tenth round.[10]

Pavlik vs. Espino[edit]

Pavlik fought The Contender alumnus Miguel Espino on December 19, 2009, at the Beeghly Center on the campus of Youngstown State University and won with a fifth-round technical knockout.[11]

Pavlik vs. Martinez[edit]

Kelly Pavlik-Sergio Martinez

Following his win over Espino, Pavlik was set to fight Paul Williams. However, due to a major staph infection and an allergic reaction to some antibiotics that nearly killed him,[12] Pavlik was forced to drop out of the fight. He was eventually able to fight again against the Light Middleweight Champion Sergio Martinez.

On April 17, 2010, Pavlik attempted to defend his middleweight title for the fourth time against Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City. The fight was for Pavlik’s WBC, WBO and The Ring Middleweight titles. Pavlik was defeated by Martinez by a unanimous 12-round decision.

Martínez controlled the early rounds with quick in and out movements, refusing to heavily engage with Pavlik. Martínez managed to cut Pavlik’s left eyebrow in the first round. Pavlik then started to mount a comeback in the middle rounds by blocking Martínez’s punches more effectively. Pavlik spent most of his time headhunting trying to land a hard right, which did help Pavlik score a knock-down in the seventh round. In the late rounds, Martínez came back and started to open up Pavlik’s cuts more, making his face extremely bloody. In the post-fight interview, Pavlik stated that he could not see due to the blood.

Rehabilitation and return[edit]

Pavlik was set to move up the super middleweight division and fight Brian Vera, as the co-main event to Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito on November 13, 2010. However, roughly two weeks before the fight, Pavlik suffered a rib injury and had to pull out of the fight.[13] He checked himself into the Betty Ford Center for alcohol rehabilitation.

Pavlik then fought Alfonso López III in the main card of Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley. He won with a majority decision (95-95, 98-92, 99-91).

After taking nearly a year off from boxing, Pavlik defeated Aaron Jaco in a largely unpublicized fight in San Antonio, Texas. Three months later, on June 8, 2012, Pavlik made his return to the national spotlight, defeating Scott Sigmon on ESPN2‘s Friday Night Fights. Sigmon had attacked Pavlik on Twitter, leading Pavlik to respond, “I’m gonna hurt this kid”. Despite never knocking Sigmon down, Pavlik attacked the face of Sigmon, especially in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. Badly bloodied, Sigmon conceded after the seventh round. On July 7, 2012, Pavlik fought the fairly-highly-touted, up-and-coming prospect: Will Rosinsky. He defeated Rosinsky with a unanimous decision, to earn the fortieth win of his professional boxing career.

Pavlik vs. Ward[edit]

Pavlik was scheduled to fight on HBO the lineal super middleweight, as well as WBA and WBC, champion Andre Ward for his title on January 26, 2013 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California. The fight was initially rescheduled for February 23, 2013 after Andre Ward suffered a shoulder injury in a sparring session leading up to the fight.[14] However, the shoulder injury was more severe than originally thought and the fight was ultimately canceled.[15]


January 19, 2013 Kelly Pavlik announced his retirement from boxing.[16]

Kelly Pavlik was charged with theft on September 18, 2013 after he had refused to pay cab fare.[17]

Professional record[edit]

40 Wins (34 knockouts), 2 Losses, 0 Draws
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 40–2 United States Will Rosinsky UD 10 (10) 2012-07-07 United States Carson, California
Win 39–2 United States Scott Sigmon TKO 7 (10) 2012-06-08 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 38–2 United States Aaron Jaco TKO 2 (10) 2012-03-31 United States San Antonio, Texas
Win 37–2 United States Alfonso Lopez MD 10 (10) 2011-05-07 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Loss 36–2 Argentina Sergio Martínez UD 12 (12) 2010-04-17 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey Lost The Ring, WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.
Win 36–1 United States Miguel Espino TKO 5 (12), 1:44 2009-12-19 United States Youngstown, Ohio Retained The Ring, WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.
Win 35–1 Mexico Marco Antonio Rubio RTD 9 (12) 2009-02-21 United States Youngstown, Ohio Retained The Ring, WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.
Loss 34–1 United States Bernard Hopkins UD 12 (12) 2008-10-18 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey A non-title fight at 170lbs catch weight.
Win 34–0 United Kingdom Gary Lockett TKO 3 (12), 1:40 2008-06-07 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey Retained The Ring, WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.
Win 33–0 United States Jermain Taylor UD 12 (12) 2008-02-16 United States Las Vegas, Nevada A non-title fight at 170lbs catch weight.
Win 32–0 United States Jermain Taylor TKO 7 (12), 2:14 2007-09-29 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey Won The Ring, WBC and WBO Middleweight titles.

BWAA Fight of the Year.

Win 31–0 Colombia Edison Miranda TKO 7 (12), 1:54 2007-05-19 United States Memphis, Tennessee WBC Middleweight Title Eliminator.
Win 30–0 Mexico Jose Luis Zertuche KO 8 (12), 1:40 2007-01-27 United States Anaheim, California Retained NABF Middleweight title.
Win 29–0 Haiti Lenord Pierre TKO 4 (12), 0:46 2006-11-02 United States Youngstown, Ohio
Win 28–0 United States Bronco McKart TKO 6 (12), 2:45 2006-07-27 United States Uncasville, Connecticut Retained NABF Middleweight title.
Win 27–0 Colombia Fulgencio Zúñiga TKO 9 (12), 3:00 2005-10-07 United States Las Vegas, Nevada Won vacant NABF Middleweight title.
Win 26–0 United States Vincent Harris TKO 2 (8), 2:19 2005-08-26 United States Houston, Texas
Win 25–0 United States Daniel Neal TKO 1 (8), 1:49 2005-06-10 United States Chicago, Illinois
Win 24–0 Dominica Dorian Beaupierre TKO 2 (10), 2:35 2005-03-04 United States Choctaw, Mississippi
Win 23–0 United States Ross Thompson UD 8 (8) 2004-11-27 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 22–0 United States Carlton Holland KO 2 (8), 2:59 2004-09-18 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 21–0 Mexico Pedro Ortega TKO 6 (10), ?:?? 2004-07-02 United States Struthers, Ohio
Win 20–0 Mexico Roberto Baro KO 2 (8), 2:16 2004-03-26 United States Phoenix, Arizona
Win 19–0 United States Anthony Ivory UD 8 (8) 2004-01-23 United States Kansas City, Missouri
Win 18–0 United States Rico Cason KO 2 (10), 2:02 2003-07-01 United States Niles, Ohio
Win 17–0 Mexico Cesar Avila TKO 6 (6), 2:00 2003-03-22 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 16–0 Mexico Eduardo Gutierrez TKO 2 (6), 2:59 2003-02-08 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 15–0 United States Edson Madrid UD 6 (6) 2002-09-14 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 14–0 United States Abel Hernandez TKO 1 (6), 2:54 2002-07-30 United States Concho, Oklahoma
Win 13–0 United States Eric Olds KO 1 (6), 2:45 2002-06-21 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 12–0 Russia Robert Dasoyan KO 2 (6), 2:15 2002-02-23 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 11–0 United States Rob Bleakley KO 2 (8), 1:56 2001-11-21 United States Youngstown, Ohio
Win 10–0 Mexico Mario Lopez TKO 2 (6), 1:42 2001-08-04 United States Las Vegas, Nevada
Win 9–0 United States Grady Brewer TKO 2 (4), 2:48 2001-06-08 United States Baraboo, Wisconsin
Win 8–0 United States Tommy Walker TKO 1 (4), 2:46 2001-03-23 United States Owensboro, Kentucky
Win 7–0 United States Mathias Bedburdick TKO 3 (4), 2:43 2001-02-04 United States Concho, Oklahoma
Win 6–0 United States Cedric Johnson TKO 2 (4), 1:54 2000-12-15 United States Madison, Wisconsin
Win 5–0 United States Lafayette Randolph TKO 2 (4), 1:48 2000-11-17 United States Reno, Nevada
Win 4–0 United States Anthony Collier TKO 1 (4), ?:?? 2000-10-15 United States Nashville, Tennessee
Win 3–0 United States Frankie Sanchez TKO 1 (4), 1:59 2000-09-15 United States Denver, Colorado
Win 2–0 Puerto Rico Nelson Hernandez TKO 1 (4), ?:?? 2000-08-05 United States Madison, Wisconsin
Win 1–0 United States Eric Benito Tzand TKO 3 (4), ?:?? 2000-06-16 United States Indio, California Professional debut.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kovach, John (2007-09-26). “Family, friends and fans give boxer a “boost”". The Vindicator. 
  2. ^ Hamill, Sean (2008-06-04). “The Pride of Youngstown: Kelly Pavlik Stayed and Fought”. New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  3. ^ Indri, Mike. “Taylor-Pavlik with full undercard report”. East Side Boxing. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  4. ^ Rafael, Dan (2007-09-21). “Taylor, Steward have harsh words for Pavlik”. Retrieved 2007-06-08. 
  5. ^ Scalzo, Joe (2007-09-30). “Pavlik credits Valley support for victory”. The Vindicator. p. 1. 
  6. ^ Iole, Kevin (2007-10-02). “New champ Pavlik leaves paycheck at hotel”. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  7. ^ “2007 Boxing Year in Review”. The Boxing Times. Retrieved 2007-12-27. [dead link]
  8. ^ Scalzo, Joe (2007-10-24). “Ready for rumble, again; Taylor opts for rematch”. The Vindicator. p. C-1. 
  9. ^ “Pavlik stays perfect after unanimous decision in rematch with Taylor”. 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  10. ^ Maxse, Joe (2009-02-22). “Kelly Pavlik claims TKO triumph over Rubio before raucous Youngstown supporters”. The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ “Kelly Pavlik says he nearly died from reaction to medication”. USA Today. 2009-10-23. 
  13. ^
  14. ^–59518
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by

Jermain Taylor

WBC Middleweight Champion

September 29, 2007 – April 17, 2010

Succeeded by

Sergio Gabriel Martínez

WBO Middleweight Champion

September 29, 2007 – April 17, 2010

The Ring Middleweight Champion

September 29, 2007 – April 17, 2010

Name Pavlik, Kelly
Alternative names
Short description American boxer
Date of birth April 5, 1982
Place of birth Youngstown, Ohio
Date of death
Place of death




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