“Kelly Pavlik — this is your life.”

“Kelly Pavlik — this is your life.”

That’s the sense you could get from this special section produced by The Vindicator.

Today, we pay tribute to the career and life of Kelly as we grow closer to Saturday’s once-in-a-lifetime event.

Win or lose Saturday — we won’t likely see a similar event for many, many years. It’s been 27 years since the Valley’s last hometown bout for a title.

So, as much as this is Kelly’s life, it is our life, too.

Like boxing, life here has its ups and downs.

But when we collectively rise to celebrate the greater things going on in the Valley, we know that, among other things, we can celebrate the feats of this “Youngstown kid.”

The Vindicator has been proud to be part of the rise of Pavlik.

From the May 2007 Edison Miranda fight that catapulted Pavlik to No. 1 contender, to his title win over Jermain Taylor, to this week’s event, chronicling Pavlik’s storybook career in print and online has been a sense of duty for us.

Celebrating Pavlik is about celebrating Youngstown.

We have our challenges. We make our mistakes.

But we have our successes, too.

This week is a success.

To steal a line from the champ:

“Youngstown, baby.”

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