Pavlik is crazy for taking this fight. He should've taken an alternative route in his ascension in the SMW division and gained some confidence before fighting for a title, let a lone the Ring magazine and lineal SMW champ.
Only way he has a shot is if Ward is ok with making it a phone booth fight or can find a way to corner Ward on the ropes. Pavlik's got the power to knock him out or at least run him down by the later rounds.
But after the destruction of Dawson where Ward fought very aggressively and fought in close distance, I don't even think Pavlik would have the advantage now if they fought in close quarters.
Ward is evolving very quickly as a fighter, has an excellent boxing pedigree and will probably be the top guy P4P once Floyd and Pacman retire.
Arum says it's possible by March. Pavlik needs this fight so he can find out if he has a legitimate run at Abraham in him, and Bute needs to prove he's better than his last two fights indicate. I say bring it on!