Best Boxer

Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik

Technically, Kelly Pavlik’s a Youngstown native. But with all this Cleveland+ stuff going around — not to mention that last year’s Best Boxer, Ray Austin, lasted just two stinky rounds with Wladimir Klitschko, making us look even more foolish than usual — we’re reaching into some extra zip codes here. But the Ghost is worth it. In 31 pro fights, Pavlik, the top middleweight contender in the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization, has yet to lose. In May, he took on the International Boxing Federation’s top contender, Edison Miranda, floored him twice, and had him helplessly trapped against the ropes before the fight was stopped. This month, the Rust Belt tough guy knocked out Middleweight Champ Jermaine Taylor — with all of Northeast Ohio behind him.
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