Kelly Pavlik makes his return to the ring tomorrow night in San Antonio, facing Florida fighter Aaron Jaco in a 10-round catchweight bout. Today, the two weighed in, with Pavlik at 169.2 and Jaco at 169.4.
This will also be Pavlik's first fight under new trainer Robert Garcia, and his first fight ever without Jack Loew, the trainer he parted ways with last year in what everyone is hoping is the last professional debacle that will come from the Youngstown native's career.
All reports from both sides are that Pavlik has looked good in Oxnard, and is itching to get back to business. He hasn't fought since May 7, 2011, when he defeated Alfonso Lopez by majority decision. That win was questionable at the time, and with Lopez getting more exposure since then (bad losses this year to Dyah Davis and Justin Williams, a fighter wih a losing record), it doesn't look any better.
But this is supposed to be a new Kelly Pavlik, and hopefully it is. There has been talk of him going back to the middleweight division in time, perhaps facing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr at some point this year. As I've said before, it's hard to be a believer without results, and everything starts tomorrow night.
Frankly, it should be an easy win. Jaco (15-2, 5 KO) is an unheralded club fighter who has been stopped twice and never fought anyone better than Chad Van Sickle. But Lopez should have been easy 11 months ago, too, and he wasn't. There's actual meaning to this fight.
The fight will air on Azteca America, and there was talk of Top Rank streaming it on their site, but I'm not sure if they ever finalized that or not.