Kelly Pavlik made another return last night, finally getting his aborted comeback somewhat under way. Video can be found below:
How’d it go?
Pavlik looked pretty good. His game was always built around the basics… a good jab, hooking off the jab and following with a straight right… and he showed all of these in knocking down his opponent multiple times. He looked composed, in good shape and clearly ha power as even glancing shots made his opposite number stumble.
It is worth noting however that his opponent, Aaron Jaco, wasn’t exactly a killer. He may have been 15-2 but those 15 wins came against poor opposition and his two prior losses (to the then 7-13-5 Rodney Moore and 18-1-2 Chad Van Sickle) had also been by stoppage. This was a feel-good opponent for Pavlik after his last attempt at a comeback fell by the wayside off the back of a poor performance against the distinctly average Alfonso Lopez and pulling out of a bout with Darryl Cunningham (with a shot at Lucian Bute on the line) citing money issues.
Jaco normally fights at around 175lbs but appeared the smaller man in this bout. His style of sticking on the outside also played into Pavliks hands. Lopez seemed larger and was happy to charge forward and clinch, spoiling Pavlik’s work and the one-time RING Champion looked fairly bemused by this and struggled to react. I still think Pavlik is better at 160lbs than 168lbs… I think his power doesn’t carry as well and that larger fighters have the ability to bully him inside… but it’s good to see him back, even if he never lives up to the potential he once did.