Kelly Pavlik (32-2, 32 KO) took on Alfonso Lopez (21-0, 16 KO) on the pay-per-view undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosley card. The former middleweight champion Pavlik was returning to the ring after a stint in rehab for alcoholism.
Lopez was able to land some shots in the first round as Pavlik looked to get his legs. Lopez used a lot of feinting to try to keep Pavlik from getting settled but did eat a nice hook late in the round. Pavlik looked to fight a rougher fight in the second and managed to have a much better round, but this time it was Lopez making the late charge and possibly stealing the round.
Pavlik fought the third round at a much better pace, landing shots and appearing to get more comfortable, but as with the second round he slowed down over the last half of the round and allowed Lopez to start working combinations.
Round four saw an accidental clash of heads open a nasty cut over the right eye of Pavlik. Pavlik did enough to seemingly win the round which pulled the fight even on the SBNation card. Pavlik continued to find the left hook in round five as he continued to work through the ring rust and Lopez's work rate dropped significantly. For all the solid work of Lopez early he simply stopped pushing the fight and allowed Pavlik to get comfortable and get his power shots in from rounds three through six.
Lopez fought the seventh round with more aggression, again going back to combination punching to score points. Pavlik would land a low blow that brought the action to a brief stop and got a stern warning from the referee. It was Lopez's best round since round two. Lopez and Pavlik both fought a hard eighth round which Lopez closed out with a sharp combination that may have stolen the round on the judge's cards and evened up the fight 76-76 on the SB Nation scorecard.
The tale of the fight by the ninth round was Lopez's combination punching against the single power shots of Pavlik. Lopez survived a rocky middle of the fight to really give a good showing but Pavlik tagged him with a very hard hook in the tenth round that hurt Lopez badly. Pavlik dominated the final round with big left hands that repeatedly hurt Lopez and had him reeling badly for most of the round. Lopez managed to remain on his feet and fire punches back but it was a very solid close to the fight.
In a fight filled with close rounds SBN saw the score 95-95 even. But the official scorecards read 95-95 even, 98-92 and 99-91 for Kelly Pavlik. Kelly Pavlik wins by majority decision.
Hard to understand the 99-91 and 98-92 scorecards but Pavlik got a very much needed victory.