Top Rank Looking North to Canada for Pavlik Opponent

Kelly Pavlik is looking toward Canada for a possible August opponent. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik is set to return in August, likely on ShoBox, and his promoters at Top Rank are looking north to Canada to find an opponent. Pavlik will be using the August date to gear up for a likely showdown late this year with Lucian Bute, which would make a co-promotion with Interbox make sense for August.

Renan St-Juste (22-2-1, 15 KO) was named as a potential opponent for the fight, which Bob Arum recently said will be near Pavlik's hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, but Interbox says they'd be willing to go to Atlantic City for an August fight. Pavlik has proven to have a traveling audience for fights in AC. St-Juste is set to head to Romania for a fight on Bute's July 9 undercard in Bucharest, but Jean Bedard of Interbox says Top Rank inquired about him and Pier Olivier Cote for the undercard:

"We discussed the possibility of Renan St-Juste being the opponent for Kelly Pavlik. The other thing is, I was asked if Pier-Olivier Côté is available for this [August] event. They like that idea. This is a guy who always gives a good show, so we'll see what will happen in Romania."

Cote fought on the Pacquiao vs Mosley undercard, beating down Aris Ambriz in four rounds. St-Juste was nearly the comeback opponent for Mikkel Kessler, but that, like Kessler's plan to fight Lucian Bute, fell through.

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