BOXING: PAVLIK WIN COULD PAVE WAY FOR A TITLE MATCH MIDDLEWEIGHT KOS ZERTUCHE; TAYLOR NEXT?
ANAHEIM -- Sporting a bruised right eye and an abrasion on top of his bald head, Kelly ``Ghost'' Pavlik was excited.
He had just viciously knocked out Jose Luis Zertuche in the eighth round of Saturday's co-main event before 7,091 at Honda Center, and he was already talking about what could be his next fight -- against World Boxing Council middleweight champion Jermain Taylor.
``You think I'm ready?'' Pavlik asked reporters, all of whom nodded yes. ``After seven years, I'd say I'm ready. If I don't get the credit after a performance like that, I don't know what I have to do.''
Pavlik was in control throughout. He flatted Zertuche with a big right hand in the sixth round. Then in the eighth, he caught Zertuche with another right to the head. Zertuche's body language indicated he was out on his feet. But he took another right to the head before referee Raul Caiz could come between the fighters to stop the bout. When Caiz did, he stumbled into Zertuche, and they both fell to the canvas. The fight ended at 1:40.
Zertuche was put up on a stool inside the ring. He was taken to UCI Medical Center for observation, said Armando Garcia, executive officer of the state athletic commission.
The victory earned Pavlik (30-0, 27KOs) the No. 1 ranking by the WBC. He came in ranked No. 2, and Mexico's Zertuche (19-4-2) was ranked No.4.
``We are going right after Jermain Taylor,'' said Bob Arum, Pavlik's promoter. ``Kelly is now No. 1, and Jermain is going to have to fight him. If you want to call yourself champion, then you fight the best.''
Pavlik, of Youngstown, Ohio, displayed power in both hands. His jab snapped Zertuche's head back several times, the left hook was solid and the right cross devastating.
Zertuche, who gave a gallant effort, had never been stopped inside the distance.
``He was a tough kid, and he never stops,'' Pavlik said. ``I wanted to come out and start boxing, but it turned into a slugfest. I knew once I got the right hand going, it was over.''
Julio David Roque Ler came all the way from Argentina just to do his best impersonation of the rope-a-dope in the super flyweight co-main event against Mexico's Jorge Arce.
That avenue may have worked for Muhammad Ali when he knocked out George Foreman in 1974, but it was a little less effective against Arce, who won a unanimous decision by scores of 117-109, 117-110 and 117-110.
Arce (46-3-1) is ranked No. 1 by the WBC. He is in line for a shot at champion Cristian Mijares, also of Mexico.
``He didn't come to fight,'' Arce said of Ler, who is 23-2. ``He came to say he went the distance with Jorge Arce.''
Vanes Martirosyan, a 2004 U.S. Olympian out of Glendale, is now 12-0 with eight knockouts after stopping Taronze Washington at 2:21 of the second round of their super welterweight fight that was scheduled for eight rounds.
Martirosyan put Washington (9-6) on the canvas with a right uppercut- left hook combination to the head. Washington was up at about eight, but referee David Mendoza did not allow him to continue.
``Me and Freddie have been working on that right uppercut,'' Martirosyan said, in reference to trainer Freddie Roach.
John Molina shook off a big right hand from Rudy Paz in the first 10seconds of their lightweight preliminary bout and proceeded to knock the stuffing out of Paz via first-round technical knockout.
Paz landed the right hand on the jaw of Molina, then landed a left hook about 15 seconds later. That's when Molina, backed by a huge and loud following, went into attack mode.
He dropped Paz (2-5-1) with a flurry of punches in a neutral corner. Paz went down again from nothing more than a glancing blow. Finally, Molina (6-0, 5 KOs) dropped Paz a third time with four punches to the head, and referee Jack Reiss waved off the bout at 1:59.
``It didn't really stun me at all,'' said Molina of the early right hand he absorbed. ``All I heard was (trainer) Ben (Lira) telling me to stick with the jab, and it worked.''
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Jan 28, 2007|
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