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What’s next for Kelly?

Published: Mon, April 19, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.
  Pavlik Loss

Kelly Pavlik lost to Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City April 17, 2010. Trainer Jack Loew and Top rank's Bob Arum talk about the loss.

Kelly Pavlik lost to Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City April 17, 2010. Trainer Jack Loew and Top rank's Bob Arum talk about the loss.

  Pavlik Fans

Mahoning Valley fans made the trip to Atlantic City to cheer on Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik

Mahoning Valley fans made the trip to Atlantic City to cheer on Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik

  Pavlik Vs. Martinez Weigh-In

Kelly Pavlik and Sergio Martinez both made weight for Saturday's championship fight in Atlantic City.

Kelly Pavlik and Sergio Martinez both made weight for Saturday's championship fight in Atlantic City.

Pavlik must weigh options — rematch or leave weight class

By Joe Scalzo



When Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was nearing the end of his career and was asked what he thought of his opponent, he’d often reply, “Which one?”

“I was fighting the scale first, then fighting my opponent,” he said.

So as he watched Kelly Pavlik’s lethargic finish in Saturday’s loss to Sergio Martinez, Mancini got some unpleasant flashbacks.

“The last few fights of my career, I couldn’t make the weight,” he said by phone Sunday afternoon after watching the fight on HBO at home in Los Angeles. “And that’s Kelly’s problem.”

Whether it’s an insurmountable problem or not, Pavlik has a big decision to make over the next few weeks. He can either activate a rematch clause in his contract with Martinez , or he can make the inevitable jump to super middleweight (168 pounds) sooner than expected.

“We want to give him some time,” said his co-manager Cameron Dunkin. “We’re just talking positive to him right now.”

Dunkin, along with trainer Jack Loew and co-manager Michael Pavlik Sr., will probably wait until the end of this week or the beginning of next week before making a decision.

“Top Rank is still very high on Kelly; they’re not going to throw him under the bus,” said Loew. “It was just another bad night. He’s 36-2. It’s something you can rebound from.”

Loew and Dunkin both said Pavlik took the loss hard. In addition to losing the WBC and WBO belts, Pavlik had to get a dozen stitches to close the wounds around his eyes, including a dozen inside the eye.

He went straight from the fight to the hospital Saturday night and was not available for comment, either after the fight or on Sunday afternoon. He flew home to Youngstown on Sunday.

“He was really sad,” Dunkin said. “But he’s accomplished a lot and he has a lot more to go. All he has to do is win, and he’s back in business again.

“You see the same thing with guys like Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya. They lost fights and were fine.”

Outside of his future, the biggest question was about Pavlik’s weight. At 6-feet-2 ‚Ñ he’s always been big for a middleweight and at 28, it’s getting more difficult to lose the weight in each camp. If Pavlik wants to stay at 160, he’ll likely need to keep the weight down better between fights, something Hopkins mastered during his long reign at middleweight.

“Absolutely,” Loew said. “We can’t lose 30 pounds like that in training camp.”

A few weeks before camp began as Pavlik vacationed in California, his weight crept above 190 pounds. After weighing in at 1591‚Ñ2 on Friday, Pavlik tipped the scales at 178 just before the fight.

“You can’t add 20 pounds the day after the fight,” Mancini said. “The kid had nothing left. Martinez weighed 168 and it was all water weight, just replenishing himself.

“That’s the way you have to do it.”

Loew refused to use the weight as an excuse for Pavlik’s poor performance over the last four rounds but is still baffled about what went wrong.

“We were 100 percent ready for the fight,” he said. “What happened, I have no idea. I really don’t.

“After eight rounds we were winning the fight, and we went into the tank.”

Dunkin said they’ll look at all possibilities but hesitated to put too much emphasis on the loss.

“He showed heart, he showed grit, he’s got big-time guts,” Dunkin said. “He didn’t go down, and he fought to the end. I think that’s what everybody loves about him.

“I mean, he lost a close decision in a fight he was winning after eight rounds. If that’s the worst thing that happens to Kelly Pavlik, that’s pretty good.”


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Fights are won and fights are lost . This is the nature of boxing and every other sport . This loss should be used as a foundation for improvement . Team Pavelik should also look into managing other fighters and promoting them . The record of 36-2 shows that they do understand boxing .

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2Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Kelly you still have the heart of a Lion, and you make Youngstown proud.

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3fcb(463 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Well,what ever they decide to do,PLEASE don't put him in front of some one who has any kind of movement. This kid can't handel fighters that move or have any kind of speed. He can take care of all the fighters that come strait at him,but speed and side to side movement,nope. Hopkins and this kid saturday night proved that. Kelly hits hard but he is a ploder,strait forward and the jap and right cross. If he throws the right. Saturday he would move in then not throw any punches.I think he should take his money and quit. He will never regain the championship again,I don't care what weight class he's in.

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4YtownSports(306 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Weight management and a better adherence to some kind of training routine between fights are both a must if Kelly is going to have any chance of being a champion again. He has to show as much "heart" between fights as he does in the ring.

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5mikeymike(469 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for everything Kelly,you made Youngstown proud.If Kelly still has his heart in boxing,I don't see why he can't regain his title.It's up to Kelly,only he knows what he is made of.

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6jgm820(133 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Best of luck to Kelly in whatever he decides to do - boxing certainly isn't a sport you can do forever.

I've had the pleasure of meeting him in area road races and he is a very nice guy. I was surprised to see how big he is in person - if he stays in, he needs to move up a weight class - 160 is too light for someone his size.

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7blowhard(2 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

All good things come to an end. You have 2 choices now; straighten up and fly right or retire. It's that simple. You may consider getting a new team out of Youngstown, seems you get in trouble hanging around your enablers (Loew included).

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8jjking720(15 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

After listening to Jack Lowe's instructions to Kelly during this fight and the Hopkins fight.
It's apparent that Jack, a good guy and a honest business-man, is not the right man for this job. He didn't know what to tell Kelly to do in either fight ( swing low you might catch him???) , which does a in-justice to Kelly. There is a fellow on the East-side of Youngstown who has the expertize and experience to help Kelly retain and keep his title, even though Will Brandon has some issues of his own the union would be successful. Brandon's track record speaks for it's self: Jeff Lampkin titled, G. Richardson titled, M.Brandon ranked contender nuff said.

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9northsideart(111 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

I watched the entire Sergio Martinez vs. Paul Williams fight on youtube last night. I came away with the impression that Pavlik is a better fighter than both of those guys if and when he's in prime shape and has his heart in the fight.

If Pavlik wants to dedicate himself to getting the title back, he should give the legendary Freddie Roach (Manny Pacquiao's trainer) a call and see if he'd be interested in helping out. Jack Loew did an amazing job with Kelly to a certain point, but every successful organization eventually has to bring in people with fresh ideas in order to stay successful. There's absolutely no shame in doing that. All it says to the world is that you're smart and that you're willing to put egos aside in order to reach your full potential.

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10markstjon(6 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

kelly dont care about youngstown or fighting all hes thanking is of the next free drink

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11Youngstown_Strong(91 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Still proud of you Kelly. Don't listen to the moes & charlies on here either about Jack. That guy is a great trainer & pretty entertaining too. Switching to a more experienced trainer didn't work for Jermain Taylor did it?

Let the cuts heal up, don't let yourself get out of shape and then enact that rematch clause... When you beat Martinez, a lucrative fight with P Williams can be followed up by Bute, Abraham, Ward, Dirrell, Kessler or Froch.

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12saddad(655 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Last Saturday and still the lead story on Vindy.com. Hello. You guys still working?

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13anothermike(227 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Some of the posters here are 100% correct. There is no such thing as a 190 pound middleweight.....laying off for 6 or 8 months at a time whether you're holding a belt or not is never a good idea. Most of the former [and present] real champs stay busy. I realize money dictates most of the time, but he needs to be in the ring more often and let someone else worry about the "what abouts". Lastly, a world class trainer certainly wouldn't hurt....

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14Mike(13 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

He FINALLY fights someone who is not a bum and we find out he cuts like a pasty little girl.
Quit making excuses he could manage the weight class if he wasn't all hype.

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15sinthor(87 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

ahh ! its ok kelly ! someday ull get to fight a woman again im sure of it ! mabe little brother can set up with one he cant beat !!

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16bad(23 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

drunk and broke that's the youngstown way.

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17Mike(13 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

He'll cut every fight now. Well his next/last two.

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18darryl1914(5 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Pavlik is a coward who fears Paul Williams.

Even when he isn't fighting Paul Williams, his fear causes him to be constantly fretting that Williams will destroy him.

Well now Pavlik has destroyed himself, he is finished.


From Omar Henry, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Danny Jacobs, Fernando Guererro, Paul Williams, Kermit Cintron, Matt Korobov, Kessler, Froch, Bute, Ward, Dirrell and more.

So if Pavlik stays at 160lbs or not...there are no more Gary Locketts, Miguel Espinos and Marco Antonio Rubios to Pad his record. Pavlik is DONE!!!

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19FredBenson(6 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

You know the real reason Pavlik lost? All that media attention before his fight in 2008 with Hopkins. ESPN's "E60" sent one of their mouthpieces, Jeremy Schaap, who more than a human jockstrap than the father of journalist Dick Schaap, interviewed him, and it was featured in ESPN The Magazine. Pavlik rewarded ESPN readers and viewers who followed his story by losing. If he leaves Youngstown, then he can join CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Manny Ramirez, Brady Quinn, Braylon Edwards, Barry Bonds and Santonio Holmes as athletes who left the Cleveland-Youngstown-Pittsburgh region for fame and fortune, with LeBron added to the list if Cleveland does not win in June. Have Kelly hang out with Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Jesse James and Jon Gosselin for a while until his next bout, and then he'll be a hero. Or maybe follow in Kurt Angle's footsteps and join the WWE. Or maybe join Strikeforce, and be part of another embarrassing brawl live on CBS. At least the GM plant is showing signs of life, but memo to Kelly Pavlik: just hang out with Big Ben, Tiger and Jon Gosselin and take some HGH injections with Barry Bonds. Then you can be champion again.

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20FredBenson(6 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh, the REAL reason Boom Boom retired? Three words: DUK. KOO. KIM. Duk Koo Kim would come back as Sergio Martinez, and the death of boxing in Youngstown is complete. End. Of. Story.

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21Lyrical_Lizard(14 comments)posted 6 years ago


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