Kelly Pavlik Will Not Exercise Rematch Clause Vs. Martinez; Looks To Move Up In Weight Instead Of Taking Return Fight

by James Slater – Though former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik had the right to demand a contracted rematch with Argentina’s Sergio Gabriel Martinez – the man who out-pointed him in a good action fight back on April 17th – it seems almost certain he will not do so. According to news reports in USA Today and The Youngstown Vindicator, “The Ghost,” 35-2(27) can no longer make 160-pounds safely and effectively, and a move to either 168 or maybe even 175-pounds is imminent..

The 28-year-old’s trainer, Jack Loew, said the actual fight Pavlik will take next has not yet been decided, but that Kelly will definitely not be fighting at middleweight any more – saying this week that boiling down to 160-pounds is no longer a healthy thing to do for the 6’2″ warrior who has never been stopped but was badly bloodied and beaten by southpaw Martinez.

It will be extremely interesting to see which weight class the fan-favourite chooses to step up to. There are a number of hugely intriguing match-ups that could be made for Pavlik at 168-pounds – imagine, for just two examples, Pavlik Vs. Lucian Bute or Pavlik Vs. the eventual winner of the fascinating “Super-Six” tournament (though this fight would be quite a ways off).

Stepping up to 175-pounds, though also a possibility – and one that would also offer Pavlik a number of potentially great fights – would perhaps be a step too far for the Youngstown hero. We all remember what happened when Pavlik fought up at a catch-weight of 170-pounds – he was badly beaten by Bernard Hopkins and Kelly put at least partial blame on the weight he’d agreed to box “The Executioner” at. Maybe, over a year-and-a-half on from the comprehensive points loss some people feel Pavlik never got over, the 28-year-old will be a little thicker set at light-heavyweight and ready to jump up there – but it would surely be a pretty big risk.

For what it’s worth, I think the super-middleweight division is where the former middleweight ruler should head; but who exactly would he fight in his 168-pound debut?

Loew spoke about this to The Youngstown Vindicator, while also hinting that the move could actually be to light-heavy.

“I have no idea where we’re going, I really don’t,” Loew said. “It could be super-middleweight or it could be light-heavyweight. A lot of the super-middleweight fighters are tied up right now, so what’s attractive at that weight?”

Two defeats do not in any way end a career, and Pavlik, who hung tough against both Hopkins and Martinez, remains a big name and a top attraction. A few comeback wins in a new weight class, and “The Ghost” could be back on top.

With Pavlik not opting to take the return with Martinez, it will be interesting to see what the 35-year-old middleweight ruler decides to do next. A while back, Martinez was quoted as saying he’d honour the rematch clause belonging to Pavlik, and then try to get a fight with Floyd Mayweather. If Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao cannot make a deal for the fight the whole world wants to see, will Martinez perhaps be able to entice “Money” into taking a fight with him at either 154 or 160? Interesting times indeed.

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