Two of boxing biggest and brightest stars were in action last night and returned to their winning ways in dominating fashion.
Youngstown's Kelly Pavlik put on a show for his hometown fans while regaining his middleweight titles. Marcio Antonio Rubio didn't stand a chance last night against Pavlik and over 7,000 of his closest friends.
The atmosphere inside the Chevrolet Centre was electric. I have had the opportunity to witness many sporting events but nothing was quite like what I saw last night. Kelly Pavlik is Youngstown, Ohio. He owns that town and he simply didn't disappoint anyone that was there cheering him on to victory.
Marco Antonio Rubio got beat up for nine rounds and didn't come out for the tenth. Pavlik was chasing him around all night and landing the cleaner and harder shots. Rubio didn't fight his normal style and was running the entire fight. His defense was solid but when you don't throw many punches, it is hard to beat anybody let alone someone the caliber of Pavlik.
The beginning of the end was in the eighth round when Pavlik landed a vicious body shot. It literally took the air out of Rubio. Kelly was able to continue to apply the pressure and Rubio and his corner had enough and called it quits after the ninth round.
It was good for Kelly to fight a quality opponent as well as get in some good rounds after suffering his first career loss. He looked sharp and was able to walk thru everything Rubio had.
The question now is who will Pavlik fight next. There are a few names that both Kelly and promoter Bob Arum discussed after the fight. Felix Sturm is one that seemed to be the most likely along with John Duddy or Sergio Mora. Arthur Abraham is the fight that will be the most challenging for Pavlik and also the one that probably won't get made for a year or so.
Miguel Cotto also returned to winning ways in a dominating performance against unknown Michael Jennings. Cotto simply stalked Jennings around the ring and scored a fifth round TKO.
Cotto looked very sharp and worked the body like we are accustomed to seeing. His power looked better than ever and he showed he is a legit top five pound for pound fighter. He didn't show any rust of wear after the beating he took from Antonio Margarito.
The sport of boxing got a huge jolt last night as two of its most marketable stars returned to form. Both Kelly Pavlik and Miguel Cotto are going to be bigger and better than ever after suffering their first career losses. The rest of the boxing world better watch out.