Report: Pavlik to Fight Rubio in Youngstown on February 21

It looks like fans of Kelly Pavlik won't have to wait too long to see how he bounces back from his defeat at the hands of Bernard Hopkins. The Ghost's faithful followers won't have to travel too far to see it either.

CJ Vick of Bleacher Report spoke to Jack Loew on Monday, and Pavlik's trainer confirmed that Pavlik will be back in action next February, taking on Marco Antonio Rubio. Loew said the fight will take place in Youngstown at one of two possible venues and will be televised by HBO.

Rubio earned his spot in the bout by eking out a split decision win over Enrique Ornelas on the Pavlik-Hopkins undercard, becoming the mandatory challenger for Pavlik's WBC middleweight belt in the process. He showed a solid all-around game with good movement and a sturdy chin, but nothing that should scare the middleweight champ too much unless his confidence shows long-term effects from the loss.

Still, it's an opportunity Rubio wouldn't even be getting had Pavlik won on October 18. The Ghost's camp had thoughts of having him continue on at super middleweight or higher, but his immediate future looks to be back at 160 pounds.


uatu said...

this is actually not a bad fight. worth watching for sure.

Nick Tylwalk said...

Rubio seems just good enough to give Pavlik trouble if he doesn't get back to his prime 160 form.

The Youngstown paper is reporting it could be part of a two-fight, two-city HBO broadcast with a Miguel Cotto bout from Atlantic City.

uatu said...

it would not surprise if there is some sort of split-city top rank hbo card. it had been rumored elsewhere before that margarito might be part of that with cotto to lead to a rematch, but that seems to have passed as margarito may fight shane mosley, or maybe even oscar.