Powerful, hard-punching, undefeated middleweight Kelly 'Ghost' Pavlik of Youngstown, Ohio, will take on Jose Luis Zertuche of Mexico on Top Rank's "The Battle" championship card which will feature Erik 'El Terrible' Morales vs. Manny Pacquiao at the Thomas and Mack Center on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Pavlik vs. Zertuche, scheduled for 12 rounds, will be on the HBO PPV telecast, Bob Arum announced today.
Pavlik, 23, is 27-0 with 24 knockouts and is coming off one of his best performances. He out-slugged 17-1-1 Fulgencio Zuniga in an all-out war, stopping him as the result of cuts in the ninth round.
Pavlik will defend his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) middleweight title against Zertuche.
"I'm hitting with a lot more power," Pavlik said. "When I was younger, I was a good boxer and I was out-boxing my opponents. Then, all of a sudden, the power came and look where I am today."
Zertuche, 17-2-2, 13 KOs, is a very popular contender from Mexico and is coming off a stoppage of previously unbeaten Jesus 'El Martillo' Gonzales in his hometown of Phoenix. Zertuche likes to go right to the attack and said he plans to pressure Pavlik early and "challenge him" with some inside bodywork.
Morales vs. Pacquiao II is promoted by Top Rank in associated with Wynn Las Vegas. Morales vs. Pacquiao II will be available on HBO Pay Per View.