The return of former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik is now being targeted for March 31 in San Antonio, reports Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com.
The previous talk was that Pavlik would be placed on the Rios vs Gamboa undercard on April 14 in Las Vegas, facing Virginia club fighter Scott Sigmon. But Top Rank is looking to put together a card for 3/31 in Texas, which is everyone's new favorite state to promote boxing, it appears. Sigmon (21-3, 12 KO) could possibly still be the opponent, but he could just as easily not be in there.
No matter who Pavlik faces in his first fight since May of last year, you probably shouldn't expect any type of stern test. This will be pure get-well material.
Pavlik (37-2, 32 KO) really doesn't have a decent win on his record since Marco Antonio Rubio in February 2009, or if you don't consider Rubio much of a contender (and he sure didn't fight like one against Pavlik), then you'd have to go all the way back to his February 2008 rematch with Jermain Taylor. Kelly just has not delivered in so many ways since beating Taylor for the middleweight championship in September 2007, going 5-2 overall, but losing clearly to the two best he faced (Bernard Hopkins and Sergio Martinez), and mostly beating overmatched foes (Gary Lockett, Rubio, Miguel Espino, Alfonso Lopez).
Pavlik turns 30 on April 4, and is reportedly really itching to get back in the ring. All of the chatter out of California, where he's now training with Robert Garcia, has been very positive, but nice or not, Pavlik has to prove himself in the ring, and he knows that. He's gearing up to get there, and when he's there we'll see what he's got.
This could be televised as a Top Rank Live main event on FSN, or I guess they could sell it to Showtime, since that network seems utterly obsessed with rehab projects like Jermain Taylor and Paul Williams (although they also have something else in common).