LAS VEGAS - Youngstown's Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik improved to 2-0 under Oxnard, Calif., trainer Robert Garcia in his comeback attempt.
Pavlik bloodied and stopped a limited but tough Scott "Cujo" Sigmon at the end of the seventh round on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Both fighters weighed 167 pounds in the 10-round, 168-pound super middleweight match.
"I wish I could've done better. I did what I could do," Pavlik told ESPN2 commentators Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore after the fight. "I beat the kid to a pulp. I stayed on the inside a little bit, too. Robert kept telling me use your distance. Fire off and use the right. I was doing good to the body but I abandoned that a little bit."
Pavlik (39-2, 34 KOs) used his 6-foot-2 height to his advantage early on, keeping Sigmon on the outside with his long jab. Pavlik drove his opponent to the ropes at the end of the round with a right hand.
The beating continued in the next several rounds as Pavlik bloodied Sigmon's nose in the second round and staggered him with a left hook. In round three, Pavlik hurt Sigmon (22-4, 12 KOs) with another left hook, forcing a clinch.
Sigmon took the punches and did a better job of working on the inside.
"I said this kid could take a good shot," Pavlik said. "I stayed on the inside. Robert kept telling me in the corner use your reach. I worked on bending and getting uppercuts in there."
Pavlik bloodied Sigmon's nose again in the fifth round, leading to referee Jay Nady stopping the match to have the ringside doctor take a look at the cuts. The fight continued and despite taking a beating, Sigmon talked trash, much as he did in the lead-up to the fight on social media.
Pavlik tried to close the fight strong in the next two rounds, turning southpaw for several seconds in the sixth and busting Sigmon open in the seventh. Nady called timeout again so the doctor could examine the cuts, but Sigmon lasted until the end of the round.
Nady finally called an end to the fight before the start of the eighth.
Pavlik said he's excited to compete in the 168-pound division after a prior reign holding the middleweight title.
"It's a loaded weight division," he said. "With prospects and world champions, it's loaded. This is my second fight back. I don't have any more time for these type of tune ups. If not world champions and not top-five guys, it has to be someone on a bigger stage."