When a powerful young champion and devastating knock-out artist meets a future Hall of Fame boxing legend and two-division world champion who has never been knocked out, there will be plenty of debate and speculation as to who will win.
That will definitely be the case when Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik faces Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins in a light heavyweight battle at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Saturday October 18 in a bout presented by Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, in association with Caesars Atlantic City. The fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Pavlik, the current undefeated middleweight world champion, who is moving up in weight to face Hopkins at 170 pounds, has been compared to an express train as he continues to thrill boxing fans with his aggressive ring style, devastating power and 90% knock-out ratio.
Will the Pavlik Express Train be derailed when he faces the formidable Hopkins, already comfortable at light heavyweight and whose gritty, defensive brilliance usually frustrates opponents?
Ranked number five and six consecutively on ESPN.com’s boxing pound-for-pound list, this intriguing match-up pits a young lion against a polished veteran, a devastating offense against an impenetrable defense and current world champion against a legendary former world champion in what looks to be an epic battle of grit and determinat
“I am preparing to fight a legend and take him down in his own backyard,” said Pavlik. “Even though I am younger, I know Hopkins is a slick veteran with a bunch of boxing tricks in his bag. I refuse to underestimate him and I know on October 18, he will be ready to fight. I am treating this as if it were a championship match with my plan being to remain undefeated and show the world that I am able to take on any fighter regardless of age, weight or record.”
“Kelly Pavlik has a heart of a lion but he has no idea what he is in for on October 18,” said Hopkins. “Pavlik might be the latest thing on a fast track to fame, but I am a sure thing and will take this kid to school that night and teach him a lesson he will never forget.”
Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank said: “There is no doubt that Bernard Hopkins is a great fighter and was virtually unstoppable in his prime, but Kelly Pavlik is recognizably one of the best fighters in boxing today and he will continue to prove his himself against a legendary fighter like Bernard. This is a tremendous challenge for Kelly on October 18”
“The match-up between Kelly Pavlik and Bernard Hopkins will be one for the record books,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “Hopkins has the experience and Pavlik has the desire to prove himself. I am looking forward to seeing Pavlik defend his undefeated record bu
t I know Bernard can rise to the occasion and take down one of boxing’s brightest stars.”
“It doesn't get any better than this”, said Ken Condon, Atlantic City boxing expert for Caesars Atlantic City. “Kelly Pavlik, Atlantic City's most recent boxing hero and world champion takes on the cagey veteran Bernard Hopkins from Philadelphia in his own back yard. Caesars Atlantic City is proud to continue its tradition of bringing World Class events to Atlantic City.”
“Fight fans know that Kelly and Bernard will bring everything in their arsenals when they enter the ring on October 18,” said Mark Taffet Senior Vice President of HBO PPV. “This battle of wills between two such accomplished fighters makes Pavlik-Hopkins a very intriguing match-up.”
The undefeated star from Youngstown, Ohio, Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, 34-0 (30), the reigning WBC, WBO and Ring Magazine middleweight world champion, has already proved to the boxing world why he is one of the most popular stars in the sport today.
Pavlik had a stellar year in 2007 when he truly arrived on the championship scene, scoring devastating wins over Edison Miranda in a title eliminator and Jermain Taylor, in which he was stunned badly before coming back and annihilating Taylor in the seventh round, to capture the first middleweight title of his career.
He’s been unstoppable since with a dominating performance over Taylor in their rematch and most recently, a
third round knock-out over the then undefeated Gary Lockett. Those performances, along with a 90% knock-out ratio, have cemented his place among the middleweight championship division.
He will now move up 10 pounds to make his light heavyweight debut in what will be a meaningful and career-defining fight against the much heralded Hopkins.
Known as one of the greatest middleweights of all time, future Hall of Famer Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, 48-5-1 (32), held a world title as a middleweight or light heavyweight every year since 1995.
In 2006, Philadelphia’s Hopkins moved up to light heavyweight for the first time in his career to defeat Antonio Tarver winning The Ring Magazine World Championship and then dominated Winky Wright at 170 pounds to continue to prove his ring supremacy.
This year, on April 19, Hopkins fought the undefeated Welshman Joe Calzaghe, knocking him down in the first round before losing his light heavyweight title by a narrow split decision that left many boxing fans dissatisfied with the verdict.
Never shunning stiff opposition, Hopkins now prepares to meet Pavlik and prove to boxing fans around the world that it is not over yet for one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the history of sport.
Tickets, priced at $700, $500, $350, $200, $100 and $75, go on sale this Friday, August 8 at Noon ET and can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall box office, by calling Ticketmaster (800) 736-1420 or online at www