Boxing: Pavlik outguns feisty Espino to retain WBC and WBO middleweight titles

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The Independent Online

Kelly Pavlik stopped challenger Miguel Espino in the fifth round to retain his WBC and WBO middleweight titles in front of a hometown crowd in Youngstown, Ohio, late on Saturday night.

Pavlik, who has just one defeat in 37 fights, twice knocked down Espino with uppercuts in the fourth round, and put him down for a third time in the fifth. Espino fought back after the final knockdown but his trainer waved the towel to signal his fighter had had enough.

Despite being a heavy underdog, Espino took the fight to Pavlik from the outset and continued to throw punches even after the bell rang to end the first round. That earned Espino a rebuke and point deduction from referee Steve Smoger, who also warned him about low blows in the second and third rounds but did not deduct another point. "I tip my hat to the kid," Pavlik said. "He came here to fight. It came down to guts and glory."