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Boxing Preview: Kelly Pavlik vs. Miguel Espino

Top middleweight Kelly Pavlik defends his WBC and WBO titles tonight in his native Youngstown, OH as he meets Miguel Espino at the Beeghly Center.

Pavlik, 35-1 (31), is making the third defense of his dual belts but is coming off a nagging hand injury that nullified two clashes with Paul Williams and could be suffering from a lick of activity.

Espino, 20-2-1 (9), of North Hollywood, CA hasn't been anywhere near Pavlik's level so far during a nine year career but is coming off a six round stoppage of faded former WBA light middle champ Alejandro Garcia in March.

For Espino to have a chance at winning tonight, he'll have to show the ability to take the big punching Pavlik's best shots and keep coming, taking away the Ohio man's confidence.

To date, only modern day great Bernard Hopkins has been able to master Pavlik and it's a big ask of Espino to expect the same from him.

On the undercard, light middle contender Vanes Martirosyan, 25-0 (16), puts his undefeated record and NABF title on the line against Willie Lee, 17-5 (11), with the vacant NABO strap on offer as well.

Former WBC heavyweight titlist Samuel Peter, 32-3 (25), continues on the comeback trail, facing 37 year old veteran Gabe Brown, 18-12-4 (12), over eight rounds.

About Richard Eberline

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