Boxer Kelly Pavlik has his arm raised in victory by referee Frank Garza, right, after challenger Marco Antonio Rubo, of Mexico, failed to come out for the 10th round of a WBC/WBO World Middleweight Championship fight on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 at Chevrolet Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. "There's no place like home," Pavlik said in the ring afterward. "What a way to bounce back in front of my hometown."
World middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik defeated Marco Antonio Rubio Saturday night with an easy, one-sided TKO victory in his home town of Youngstown, Ohio. Pavlik, who was fighting for the first time since his lopsided loss to Bernard Hopkins in October, had no trouble controlling the pace of the fight, using his jab and his straight right hand to back Rubio away at will. Rubio mounted almost no offense at all for much of the fight, and finally, after Pavlik battered him for nine rounds, Rubio didn't answer the bell for the 10th.
Still, for as one-sided a fight as it was, it wasn't a great performance from Pavlik. He never sent Rubio to the canvas and often looked hesitant. The way Rubio fought tonight, it's hard to see why a champion like Pavlik needed nine rounds to finish him off. Pavlik, who improved his record to 35-1, retained his Ring Magazine, WBO and WBC middleweight titles. Rubio fell to 43-5-1.