Spar partners are pair of punchers.
Posted 05-15-2008 at 11:15 AM by bucknutz
Ted Muller is back for his third stint in the camp.
After three rounds of sparring with Kelly Pavlik on Wednesday, 35-year-old super middleweight Ted Muller took off his headgear to reveal a bunch of small cuts around his eyes and already-flattened nose.
He was sweating and breathing hard and, yet, looked strangely like a man having the time of his life.
How was he feeling?
“Let me do a crossword and get my bearings and reconnect my brain matter,” he said, smiling. “I’ll be OK.”
This is the Chicago native’s third trip to Pavlik’s camp, having helped prep the champ for his bouts with Edison Miranda last May and Jose Luis Zertuche in January 2007. Muller could pass for a fighter in his 20s and he has the look (and style) of a guy you’d like on your side in a bar fight.
In short, he’s a banger, the type of guy who’s made his living the hard way. After winning 15 of his first 16 fights — the other was a draw — he has since gone 4-13-1, losing his last six bouts. But he’s fearless and his style is similar to that of Gary Lockett’s. He also comes to work, which is why Loew keeps bringing him back.
“It’s a lot of fun to come here,” said Muller, who reportedly makes about $1,000 a week as a sparring partner. “I have a good time.
“I relax a little bit [between training sessions] and we have some good sparring sessions.”
Pavlik sparred for six rounds on Wednesday, his first three against James Countryman and his last three against Muller.
Countryman, a 27-year-old super middleweight from Detroit whose lone loss in 12 bouts came against Youngstown native Darnell Boone, had never sparred with Pavlik before Wednesday and had the extra pressure of doing it in front of a group of reporters.
After a tentative start — his initial fears were that Pavlik was going to “tear his [butt] up,” he said — he settled in and looked more comfortable.
When asked what he thought of Pavlik, Countryman said, “He’s strong. He’s good, man. He’s got good defense, too.”
Muller, predictably, wasn’t tentative. He delivers more shots — and takes more — than most sparring partners.
After a couple nice jabs by Pavlik, Muller yelled out, “That’s it, champ! C’mon!”
Midway through the session, Pavlik yelled out, “I’m ready for a nap.”
“Kelly looks good,” Muller said afterward. “He’s sharp for this early in camp.”