Saturday, October 18, 2008


Atlantic City, NJ (The Phanatic Magazine) - We are live in Atlantic City as the undefeated middleweight champ, Kelly Pavlik, moves up to light heavyweight to take on Philadelphia's own Bernard Hopkins.

The 43-year-old Hopkins is best known for his decade-long run as IBF 160-pound champion, and despite his age he has remained relavent in subsequent bouts with Jermain Taylor, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright and Joe Calzaghe.

Of course, Taylor edged Hopkins in a pair of razor-thin 2005 decisions at middleweight, before Hopkins moved up in eight to dispose of both Tarver and Wright over 13 months in 2006-07.

He then dropped a split verdict to Calzaghe in his most recent outing in April, but scored the only knockdown in the bout, leaving many thinking he should have won the fight.

Over all, Hopkins has not been on the canvas since a 1994 draw with Segundo Mercado.

Pavlik's began his rise to the top of the sport in October 2005, when he earned the regional NABF belt at 160 pounds with a stoppage of prospect Fulgencio Zuniga and defended it with a TKO of former world title challenger Bronco McKart nine months later.

A four-round rout of Lenord Pierre and an eight-round downing of ex-Olympian Jose Luis Zertuche preceeded Pavlik's first big time natinal exposures, a convincing win over Edison Miranda in a title eliminator on HBO in May 2007.

Pavlik then climbed off the deck to stop Taylor and earn the middleweight title 13 months ago, then beat him by unanimous decision in an over-the-weight rematch in February.

His only championship defense was a three-round TKO of overmatched mandatory challenger Gary Lockett on June 7.

Meanwhile, here's the scheduled undercard:

Atlantic City's Qa'id Muhammad (2-0) kicks things off in a junior batamweight bout with Samuel Gutierrez (3-3) of Saltillo, Mexico.

Welterweight Danny Garcia (7-0) of Philly takes on journeyman Deon Nash (5-5) of Louisiana.

Brooklyn's Yuri Foreman (25-0 but just 8 KO's) tries to stay undefeated against Jamaica's Vinroy Barnett (22-6) in a junior middleweight match.

Jorge Diaz (6-0) of New Brunswick, NJ faces off with Saul Gutierrez (5-11-2), Samuel's brother in a junior featherweight swing bout.

Daniel Jacobs (10-0) of Brooklyn takes on Tyrone Watson of Flint, MI in a super middlewight encounter.

A WBC middleweight title eliminator pits Marco Rubio (42-4-1) of Torreon, Mexico against Enrique Ornelas (28-4) of La Habra, CA.

And, the WBO world featherwight belt is on the line when Steven Luevano (35-1-1) defends against Billy Dib (21-0) of Australia.

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