Though no contracts have been signed and details still have to be worked out, it appears as though the rumored December 4 fight between former middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will be going ahead. Joe Scalzo of Vindy.com had the story today, and this quote from Pavlik:
"It’s the only really big fight out there for me. I think it’s a big step toward getting back on the right track."
Pavlik (36-2, 32 KO) lost his middleweight crown in April to Sergio Martinez and had been said to be targeting a move up in weight to 168 pounds. With this fight, he'll be staying at 160 for at least one more bout, and he is right that it's really the only money fight for him out there.
What Pavlik doesn't indicate, since it ain't good hype, is it's also about the easiest money fight he'll ever have in his career. I truly thought highly of the improvements Chavez (41-0-1, 30 KO) showed in his career-best win over John Duddy on June 26, but Duddy is not Pavlik, and though Kelly has his detractors, he has plenty of wins over guys as good as Chavez, and the fights weren't close.
Bob Arum has reportedly given his blessing to the fight, and I don't know, I can't figure that one out. I mean, I don't mind it. I'm no huge Chavez fan, but Top Rank has been exceptionally careful to this point, and he's 24. Even Duddy was a step up, but Pavlik is like jumping five more levels in one fight. Unless Top Rank thinks it's time to cash in on Chavez, I don't see the point in this, unless they think there's simply more money long-term in the older Pavlik, who could use a win over Chavez to springboard into some money fights at 168 with the guys from the Super Six who no longer have tournament obligations.
Honestly, in its own way, I like the fight. There's nothing better for Pavlik to do, and selfishly, I can say it probably bursts whatever bubble Chavez has left among the people who don't care much about what a win means but are simply concerned with whether something was a win, no matter who it's against.