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The Boxing Weekend: Kelly Pavlik & Sergio Martinez Headline


By Geno McGahee

ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights

What the heck? For you Owen Beck, 29-4, 20 KO’s, fans out there, you will be happy to know that he is going to be featured this Friday against Tony Thompson, 33-2, 21 KO’s, in a 10 round heavyweight match up.

Even though Beck is only 33 years of age, it seems like he has been around forever. He has only lost four times, but he is 5-4 in his last nine fights. He barely picked up a split decision over Andrew Greeley, a fighter with a record of 14-27-2, and was stopped in his last fight against undefeated Manuel Charr. Beck is an active heavyweight, a fighter out of the mold of a Clifford Etienne. He bobs and weaves and tries to work inside. He came close to landing a title shot when he lost a split decision to Ray Austin in a title eliminator in 2005. When he finally got his shot at a title, WBA Champion, Nikolay Valuev sent him packing in three rounds.

Beck is beyond his better fighting years and with Thompson intent on returning to the title picture, this may be a tough outing for “What the Heck.” Thompson got his shot at the IBO/IBF/WBO Champion, Wladimir Klitschko. He would lose via KO in 11. He seemed a little green for the shot and froze, but he is back and expect him to beat Beck rather easily come Friday night.


A double header comes to Showtime, featuring undefeated Fernando Guerrero, 17-0, 14 KO’s, as he takes on Michael Walker, 19-3, 12 KO’s, in a middleweight collision. Guerrero is rated #12 by the WBO in the middleweight division and is no stranger to SHOBOX. Walker is coming off of two defeats and is looking to cash in with an upset. He will have to survive some power shots from Guerrero in order to accomplish that.

The supporting bout will feature junior middleweight Shawn Porter, 13-0, 10 KO’s, taking on Raul Pinzon, 17-4, 16 KO’s, in what promises to be a shootout.


The best fight of the weekend features WBC/WBO Middleweight Champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, 36-1, 32 KO’s, taking on Sergio Martinez, 44-2-2, 24 KO’s, for all the marbles. Martinez comes off a hard fought majority decision loss to Paul Williams and was robbed of a victory against Kermit Cintron, in a fight that the judges deemed to be a draw. Martinez can’t get a break, but he plans to make his own against Pavlik.

Pavlik’s star has dimmed as of late. The loss to Bernard Hopkins, the injuries, cancellations, and postponements, made the once popular Pavlik appear to be a dodger. Some contend that he avoids the best the game has to offer. Arthur Abraham and Paul Williams are two fighters that are used as examples.

Pavlik will have his hands full and will try to win by spectacular KO to send a message to Paul Williams, a possible future opponent. If he can destroy a man that Williams had so much trouble with, it will be a big statement.

In the supporting bout, Lucian Bute, 25-0, 20 KO’s, will defend his IBF Super Middleweight Title against Edison Miranda, 33-4, 29 KO’s. Miranda is a power-puncher, but he has never psychologically recovered from the knockout loss to Kelly Pavlik. He has since been dominated by Andre Ward and demolished by Arthur Abraham. Bute is a great puncher at the top of his game. Expect Miranda to leave on his back this Saturday night.

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