For anyone looking for an exciting fighter you really shouldn't miss out any chance you get to see him, jot down this name. Kelly Pavlik. Last year might have begun what might very well be the closest thing to Marvin Haggler's dominance over the Middleweight division during his prime. By the way... I still don't know who won the Leonard / Haggler fight and I've watched it plenty of times. But Marvelous Marvin aside, Kelly Pavlik seems like the real deal where he has taken out legitimate prospects, dangerous punchers and elite fighters in this weight division.
Is this post leading into slightly overlooking Gary Lockett? Quite possibly but in the Welshman's defense I think a fight between him and Edison Miranda would be compelling and much more to his benefit than the Everest he was asked to climb in 12 rounds. That being said, there were a variety of things left crystal clear.
1. He hits hard.
2. He is methodical but knows how to close the show.
3. He is vulnerable.
Pavlik showcased brilliant right punches to the body that I haven't seen in a while and there's something about a knockout guy committed to breaking his opponents ribs with his fists. He threw hooks, uppercuts, stiff jabs, that great crisp right hand and every punch had two things going for it. They looked relaxed and they looked like they hit hard. True to form, if you saw him throw a punch it didn't look like a haymaker, but when his punches hit, you saw the reaction not only from Lockett but from the guy's body. Ripples of energy and heaving thuds thundered with every punch the guy connected only to max out at 55% connect rate of his power shots.
Three rounds it lasted, and three rounds Lockett got offered vivid examples that he was a stepping stone on the way to Kelly's desired path. TKO offered in thudding fashion. He knows when to step it up, he knows when to slug it out, he knows when to counter and if you didn't notice, his defense is negligible on occasion, not constantly and that makes for exciting fights.
Now it is his job or duty to clean up house. The Middleweight division awaits. Will he be the working class hero he's being built out to be? Will he clean shop? Will he be as marvelous as one of his great predecessors? Only time will tell, but I for one can't wait to see the next ghosting courtesy of Mr. Pavlik.