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Arce, Pavlik move forward on HBO

The results of both of tonight's Boxing After Dark bouts were no surprise: Kelly Pavlik took out a game Jose Luis Zertuche with a wicked eighth round knockout, and Jorge Arce soundly defeated a less-than-game Julio Ler via unanimous decision in the night's main event.

The Pavlik/Zertuche fight was one for the highlight reels, with the underdog using the support of the pro-Mexican Anaheim crowd to great effect early on, trading blistering shots with the undefeated Pavlik and giving the audience that feeling you get when you're about to see the unexpected happen. It wasn't to be, as Pavlik tightened up his defense and took the fight over, knocking Zertuche down with a hard straight right hand in the sixth and scoring the same punch to drop his opponent for good two rounds later. Zertuche fought courageously and with gusto, and gave a tremendous effort, resulting in a high octane fight.

Now, Pavlik hopes for the devastating Edison Miranda to defeat Allan Green on March 3 in Puerto Rico, so that the two exciting middleweights might be matched up later in the year in what could be a fantastic fight stylistically.

In the night's main event, Argentinian Julio Ler used nothing but a rope-a-dope defense to attempt to score the upset on the popular Jorge Arce. The highlight of the fight was Arce's entrance, as he made his way to the ring atop a horse that knew how to dance. Ler's performance frustrated both the audience and Arce, who at first seemed to respect the macho act that Ler was putting on, as Arce must have thought that would result in a memorable fight. Instead, Ler did nothing but pose for the crowd, and Arce grew visibly more annoyed with Ler as the fight progressed. Ler's strategy of wearing out the stronger Arce never came to light, as the only time either fight was rocked came late in the bout, and it was Ler that nearly fell.

Despite the lackluster fight, Arce received a nice ovation, which he earned, as the dullness of the main event was in no way his fault. Arce stayed busy the entire fight, even when all he could do was punch Ler's gloves. Hopefully, we won't see Ler again any time soon, as he did anything but impress. And here's also hoping that the next time Arce fights, he gets an opponent willing to actually fight him.