Michael “Struthers’ Own” Cox is like any Team Pavlik member — a friend to Kelly Pavlik and to the family who also plays an official unofficial role on the team.
When the team is on the road, his role is to be around Kelly every waking second. He joins Kelly in whatever Kelly wants to do.
So what’s his role this week given that the fight is at home?
At Kelly’s media day Wednesday, Cox was arranging schedules with the other Team Pavlik members to ensure they were all on the same page. They checked into the hotel this week just as they would have if they were in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
They play video games to pass much of the time, Cox said. Usually, it’s college football games. He expects that they’ll shift to the latest John Madden pro football game this time.
But he expects to lose to Kelly, regardless.
“Kelly looks up all the cheat codes on the Internet,” Cox said.
Lookouts wanted: Attention, restaurant and hotel workers and others. If you bump into any celebs in town for the big fight, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail your cell-phone pictures to that address as well.
Fond memories: State Sen. Joe Schiavoni, one of Pavlik’s former attorneys whose father, Lou, is still a member of Team Pavlik, trained with Pavlik at the Southside Boxing Club when they were teenagers. Schiavoni was 16, Pavlik 14. “He started whupping me anyway,” Schiavoni said. “But he’ll tell you I had a good left hook.”
Schiavoni went 5-1 as an amateur, losing his first bout.
“I got three standing eight-counts in the first round,” he said. “Jack [Loew, his trainer] put me in over my head.”
Hanging with the mayor: Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams reports he will watch the fight from the city’s box, though he admitted he may “meander over” to the Bruce Zoldan box where many expect to see the big-time celebrities. Williams has predicted a Pavlik win, though he won’t predict which round. Meanwhile, Youngstown Councilman John Swierz, D-7th, wished the champ the best of luck. Swierz made the remarks as council’s Wednesday meeting was concluding. Also not afraid of taking a bold stance, the other council members concurred.
hDown with red eye: Pavlik broke a blood vessel in his right eye during a sparring session last week, a common occurrence in boxing. The condition, known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, is usually harmless and takes about one to two weeks to disappear. “It’s nothing,” Pavlik said when asked about it. “It won’t be a problem on Saturday.”
Speaking of conditions: Fight fans may notice blotches on Marco Antonio Rubio’s skin. Although it resembles burn scars, the condition is genetic and not the result of any accident, said cornerman Ramon Rodriguez.
Outside view: Kenneth Lund-gren from FightHype.com shared with his readers his impressions from a recent visit of what he dubbed “Planet Pavlik” in a piece Wednesday titled “Pavlik and Youngstown Reborn.”
“Billboards with Pavlik’s image, signs boasting ‘Home of the Middleweight Champion,’ restaurants and other establishments selling Team Pavlik shirts, even a popular bar is completely wallpapered with seemingly every news clip of Kelly’s career; Pavlik is very big news in the city of Youngstown. At first glance, it’s clear the town doesn’t have much, but they do have Kelly Pavlik, and to them, that’s all that seems to matter.”
X“The Pavlik Factor” is a column featuring news and notes about Saturday’s fight at the Chevrolet Centre. It will run daily through Sunday. If you have an item, e-mail email@example.com.