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‘I’m still ticked off’

Published: Tue, April 20, 2010 @ 12:11 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.

Vindicator sports reporter Joe Scalzo talked with Kelly Pavlik for an exclusive interview on Monday, less than 48 hours after his loss to Sergio Martinez. Here is the text of that interview:

Q. First, you needed about three dozen stitches for your eyes. How are you physically and when do you think you’ll be 100 percent?

A. I’m actually really good. I get the stitches out in about five or seven days. I’m just a little sore, like in my lower back from fighting 12 rounds, just like I am after every fight. When I get the stitches out, it’s probably going to be a few days before I can make contact.

Q. How hard was it to deal with the loss?

A. It was hard this time because I was taking control of the fight. I was finding a rhythm, countering him, coming over his jab and catching him. It seemed like he was tiring in the middle rounds. And then in the eighth round, I got cut. It was kind of my fault because I got lazy for a minute and he threw a punch and as soon as he hit me, he caught me on the bone and blood starting pouring into my [right] eye.

That was a big turning point. It had nothing to do with his movement because I was countering him. It’s just that blood got in my eyes and I couldn’t see.

Q. So is that the main reason you looked so flat for the final four rounds?

A. It was hard to see and I didn’t want to throw a punch out there and take a chance getting hit. Pretty much the only way I could possibly see was by rubbing it with my glove and the only thing that was doing was cutting it more.

Between rounds, the referee kept coming into the corner saying if the cut didn’t get healed, he was going to stop it. But the cut man stopped the bleeding, it’s just that the location of the cut was so bad, it kept bleeding.

I also got little bit fatigued muscle-wise, but the cut definitely had lot to do with it.

Q. Let’s talk about that fatigue because Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini told me you looked like a guy who used up all his energy just trying to make weight. What’s your response?

A. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor on that. We did everything the right way, but it was a battle making weight.

We left at about 166 [pounds] on Wednesday and by the time we flew and put on some short-term weight, I was back up to 170. Wednesday, I did a lot of running because you can’t lose 8-10 pounds sitting in a sauna. Even on Friday, I was running 3 to 5 miles.

But I’m not going to put anything [excuse-wise] on that. He took over the later part of the fight.

Q. If you hadn’t been cut, do you think you would have won?

A. Yeah, definitely. I know I would have won the fight. I could see what he was doing and without that cut, there would have been no hesitation. But my main focus was trying to keep my eye clear.

Q. You have a rematch clause. Do you plan to activate it?

A. I definitely want the rematch. The only thing is, we’ve got to see where our weight goes from here. I’m not going to keep starving myself to keep below 180. I can’t train the way I train [outside of training camp] because it wears my body down.

You see it with guys like [Arthur] Abraham, [Jermain] Taylor, even [Bernard] Hopkins toward the end, it’s really hard to keep the weight down and I just can’t keep doing that to my body. If I can stay around 180, maybe a little lighter, I’ll take the rematch clause. If I get up to 183-185 again and I have to do the same thing to get back down to the weight, it’s going to be tough.

We did it [losing the weight] the right way. We even had a nutritionist. But pretty much once I got to 163, it was almost impossible to lose those last three pounds.

Q. If you’re going to stay at 160, do you need to do a better job keeping your weight down between fights, maybe doing some extra cardio or swimming?

A. Definitely. I have to watch what I eat and maybe do something [cardio-related] at least three days a week instead of five [during training camp], something to keep the calories burning.

With that being said, if the weight stays up, I have no choice but to move up to another weight class.

Q. When do you plan to make that decision?

A. I’m going to take this week off, then we’ll see where we’re at. I’ll probably sit down with my trainer [Jack Loew] and my dad and probably get [co-manager] Cameron [Dunkin] on the phone and go from there. I think I have 90 days to sign the contract [before it expires], so maybe I’ll wait a couple weeks to see where the weight is going.

Q. I’ve written a few times that I haven’t seen you look good since the Lockett fight. Is that a fair observation and, if so, why?

A. You know, in this fight, without the cut, you would have said it was a good Kelly Pavlik. I was confident going into the fight, I was healthy going into the fight. There were no injuries, no missed days of training or sparring.

They say styles make fights and I don’t care who it is, Martinez is going to make any fight look tough because of his style. If it was somebody different, who had movement but wasn’t as awkward, it might have looked better.

But, yeah, I did have a couple bad fights since the Lockett fight.

Q. One of the things people have said since the Hopkins loss was that you can’t handle fighters with movement. Is that a fair criticism?

A. It’s always harder to fight somebody that’s moving. You’re fighting two fights because when he’s moving, you have to first cut the ring off then try to land.

By the middle rounds, I knew when he was going to throw the jab and I was hitting him with counters, but in a matter of seconds I got blood in my eye and once he went to my right he was out of my field of vision.

Q. A lot of people would like to see you change something up, whether it’s training elsewhere or changing trainers. Will you be making any changes?

A. No. I hate to sound like a broken record but we had the right game plan for the fight. Even in the middle rounds, you can hear the [HBO] commentators stating how good I was doing with the movement. I was doing the right things, taking control of the fight.

The big game-changer was the cut, which it would be with anybody.

Q. A few years ago, you mentioned you’d like to be done fighting at 30. I haven’t heard you mention that lately. How much longer do you want to stay in boxing?

A. We’ve got fights left in us. I’m still hungry, especially after this fight. It’s been two days and I’m still ticked off and down a little bit about it. As far as how many more fights, we’ll see how the next couple fights go.

Q. What’s been the response from fans and the community?

A. I don’t know. I haven’t paid any attention to it. I have heard there was definitely some criticism on some radio shows but that’s just hearsay. I didn’t hear any of it myself.

There’s nothing you can do about that. It is what it is. I’ve still got a good record, 36-2. It’s not the end of the world to lose. Fighters lose all the time. It’s something to bounce back from and move forward. I can’t let it hold me down.

Q. Mancini said that, as strange as it sounds, there might even be a little bit of a relief, since you can just be a fighter and not have to be the representative for the whole city. Do you feel that?

A. There is a little truth to that. I don’t want to say it’s relief — it’s not a good thing to lose — but the pressure’s off. There’s a lot of pressure, especially coming from such a small city.

In New York, Los Angeles, places like that, there’s other celebrities, other stars, other top athletes because there’s hundreds of thousands of people that live here.

In a small city, there’s a lot of pressure, especially when you put that small city on the world map, on HBO, in the papers, in the New York Times and Sports Illustrated and stuff like that. People are always asking me questions about Youngstown and it’s not just people reading about that locally. It’s people all over the country.

Q. So, now you can be just a fighter?

A. Exactly. I was a guy who came up representing Youngstown and once I won the titles, I got the 900,000 other things that came with it, which is obviously going to happen. It happens to anybody. But now I can get back on track and focus on fighting.

I just want to focus on getting the titles back. If I can’t do it at middleweight, I’ll do it at super middleweight.


1fcb(463 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

I like Kelly and what he has done for himself and the valley. But if he is true to himself he knows how he can keep the weight off between fights. Stay out of the bars!! Stay home with his family,get a lot of rest and workout (not hard) every other day. The weight will stay off.But I feel that he will go down the same road in a rematch. He just can't handel speed and movement.If he decides to take the rematch I'll be in his corner.

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2theword(342 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Good luck Kelly, take the rematch and win the titles back

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3SouthsideShuffler(2 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Anyone who watched the fight on Saturday and really knows the sport has to realize that the cuts cost Kelly the fight, not the movement of Martinez. After 9 rounds one judge had Martinez up by 2 points, one judge had Martinez up by 1 point and one judge had it even. Going into the 10th round all three judges had given Kelly 4 of the previous 7 rounds. He was really beginning to figure Martinez out. I have read articles about the fight in which the reporter made it sound like Kelly was dominated. He lost the last 3 rounds but more than anything it had to do with the cuts. If Kelly can make the weight easily enough that he still has the strength to fight, he should take th rematch. It was a good entertaining fight that fans and HBO would like to see again.

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4darryl1914(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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5binx(81 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Of all those who want to comment on "cowards" of boxing... go into a ring and take a few swings.

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6pavlikfan(16 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Ahh darryl1914, it’s so easy for you to call a fighter who gets the crap beat out of him for a living a coward. My definition of "coward" is someone who posts to a message board - anonymously- calling someone a "coward." The coward is the one who hides behind an anonymous post. Nice job.

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

darryl1914-you know nothing! Your list includes several prospects (Henry, Kirkland, Lara, Jacobs, Guererro) who may or may not be champs someday, but right now none of them would last 5 rounds with Pavlik or any other top 160 or 168 pounders.Cintron was KO'ed twice..at welterweight, so don't even tell me that he could beat Pavlik. I do agree that Williams, Kessler, Froch, Bute, Ward and Dirrell are good fighters, but they are all somewhat equal, just look at the tournament Showtime has going on. Pavlik would beat some of them and lose to some of them. As for Rubio, he is still rated 9th among Middleweights by Dan Rafeal of ESPN. I'm not trying to say everything Rafeal says is gospel, but he is a professional boxing reporter who sees more fights than you. Rubio only looked like a bum because Pavlik made him look like one.

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8mikeymike(469 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

darryl must have some personal issues.Why the brutal attack on Kelly ? He was the world champion,say what you want,but that's a fact.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago


Kelly has brought glory to The Valley with pain, blood and sweat . There is no need to condemn him for any of his actions . He deserves support and understanding no matter what he decides to do . There is no dispute that boxing has its rewards but also takes its toll .



Tyson, who earned more than $20 million to Spinks' $13.5 million in the richest fight in history at that point, didn't even celebrate the electric demolition. He simply spread his arms to receive the applause from the crowd, as if he knew the knockout had been ordained.

"When I came into the ring, I could see the fear," Tyson told reporters after the fight. "And I knew it was going to be a first-round knockout. That's what I came out to do."

The mystique lasted two more fights, knockouts in defenses against Frank Bruno and Carl Williams in 1989. Then came Tyson's waterloo against Buster Douglas.

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10CoachRuffEnoughSmith(5 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

From the desk of Coach RuffEnoughSmith, I'm located in Southern Ohio and I have attempted to contact Kelly to no advail. I am the Activities Director of Ohio's Police Athletic League. I also have coach various sports for over 30 years. Boxing is my passion and to the untrained eye it is a very hard sport to coach.

I have read posts that Kelly needs to change or adapt his style. I must say this, A trainer should NEVER change a boxers style but do all in his power to make the boxer's style, whatever it may be.., the best he can for the boxer. Instead, what Pavlik's trainer should of worked on was how Kelly should approach (learn) and how to deal with other styles.

Far to often in this sport trainers believe they know all there is to know about boxing and refuse to try and get better. Somehow they seem to forget that that boxing is often referred to as the SWEET SCIENCE. Well not me, that's why I believe that I am among the best coaches, if not the best coach in our great State of Ohio. Now I know Jack will be upset and claim me as a hot head and cuss me up n down. I'm not calling for Jack's release from Pavlik's camp. I know there's a special bond between them and Jack has given his all to Kelly I'm sure. If I were Jack I would bring in a technique coach to help prepare Kelly. I am offering my services in that regard. I will without drought prove that the science of training one to fight is very powerful. Kelly Pavlik will then prove how he can come back and defeat Martinez. So I will give the readers of this blog a few secrets on what needs to be worked on when training to fight a guy like Martinez. First we all know that Martinez's style is that of a runner! We also know that Martinez is a Southpaw! Now let talk science.

"The Runner will be a boxer who likes to use his Jab as a dominant punch
(watch the fight,it caused Pavlik all kinds of problems the entire fight).

The runner will follow up his jab with a lot of straight power punches.

He will move to his Left 95% of the time, unless he is a SOUTHPAW in which case he will move to his RIGHT(again watch the fight).

The runner will rely on his quickest to avoid getting hit. He will do (avoid punches) so by moving in fast and then move out of range just as fast.

The Runner will fade (move to his left, RIGHT if a S.Paw) a lot as he moves out of range after punching (As seen many times throughout the fight)

The Runner will look to tie up his opponent when trapped up against the ropes or when in the corners.

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11CoachRuffEnoughSmith(5 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

What Kelly needed to do was he needed be able to do make the Runner move to his Right (LEFT if S. Paw)

Kelly should of worked on bumping left. He needed to know how bump to his Lt. with and without use of his rhythms. Kelly also needed to learn what I like to refer to as the bogeying (a type of movement which deals with runners (see Smokin Joe fight clips)

When bogeying Kelly should have be schooled and have the ability to punch off of the 2nd and 3rd steps when bogeying. Please do not punch at the runner on the 1st step.

Martinez being a Southpaw SHOULD OF TOLD JACK that Kelly needed to keep his right (Lead Lt. hand up and out if facing a SOUTHPAW) hand up and higher than normal at all times and my GOODNESS Kelly needs to learn and use many more techniques like how to use Feints, Draws, Tells, and Counter Punching. All your great Champions were also great counter punchers.

He could of worked his Lt. Hook off of Martinez's head to death as well as pounded Martinez with Straight Power shots. Lag Hand punches as counters to Southpaw Jabs off of Bump moves to the Left would of been there for the easy taking by Pavlik.

By using Feints on the Runner with your head and shoulders would of enabled Pavlik to use a series of easy angle steps off of his BUMP moves This also opens the doors to hit the runner with lag punches to the BODY of the Southpaw thus slowing the runner down and enabling you to follow up with combinations as the Runner must turn and find you.

Jack did say one thing that Kelly needed to do and that was to throw more punches to Martinez's body. Jack should of been more specific by telling Kelly to throw many, many more (straight power shots) to the Martinez's chest. This will get the Runner moving to his right (LEFT. if S. Paw).

Then of course Kelly needed to slip jabs with his inside shoulder since Martinez is a Southpaw and counter with LAG RIGHT HANDS, OVERHAND POWERS, STRAIGHT POWERS and LEFT HOOKS

This of course sets Kelly up to BOBBED and WEAVED or to BUMP& PULL back into the chest of Martinez where Kelly could of unleashed LEFT UPPERCUTS AND POWER SHOTS to the body in combinations! (like a mutherfu**er).

I have no choice but to say the Pavlik was poorly prepared for this fight. His trainer should of sought advice and got opinions from true students of the game. I am a student of coaching the Sweet Science and I hope I get the chance to work with Kelly's crew and him.

I am Coach RuffEnoughSmith

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12card64inmyrtle(26 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Harry A and Ray M had some heart....Kelly looks as if he has no game or worse yet has no clue!!

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13indc(3 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

No Heart? Are you kidding? I clearly remember his in-the-ring & unrehearsed comment immediately after the first fight with Jermain Taylor. When Kelly was asked about the 2nd round knockdown he suffered. Kelly said, "I was hurt, but I wasn't done." He wasn't done! Try to imagine yourself beaten down the way he was and having to make the decision he had to make - to get up for more or lay down and stay where it's safe. I watched him climb up off that canvas and fight back with a champion's heart. We all saw how that courage and heart paid off. He has nothing to prove to anyone and he owes no-one an explanation. This kid reached the very top of his profession in an individual sport. There were no teammates to help him. How many of you critics have reached that pinnacle? Drop the jealousy and let's celebrate and honor one of the greatest people to come out of our hometown. Win, lose, or draw I have all the respect in the world for Kelly Pavlik.

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14spice9(2 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Kelly needed and needs to use his power to bully faster fighters. He should have turned the fight into a brawl by bodying Martinez all over the place, even risking losing a point if necessary. He wasn't going to get hurt badly by any single punch. He should have crowded Martinez and forced him to the ropes, then punched like mad. He can't expect to hit a fast guy like Martinez in the middle of the ring. If he can't hurt Martinez he can't beat him. And he can't hurt him by just walking after him all night.

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15spice9(2 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

And one more thing...
There are too many similar posts about Kelly drinking in bars for there not to be some truth to it. Wake up Kelly; you're not a kid anymore. Your body looked fine at 160; there's no excuse to bloat up to 180+. Take a hard look at the discipline of Hopkins. Eight-plus years at 160. Think he stuffed his face between fights? That's why he's still going strong. It's make or break time.

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16tward7272(1 comment)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

I do agree with the one post about Kelly needing at least a technique coach. Trying to get someone to totally change fighting style at this point in his career would do more harm than good. Learning to deal would other styles is a different story. In the hopkins fight if you watch it closely, theres nothing really special that Bernard did with movement. I promise you someone like Bernard could easily help them to show how to counter anything that he had done to Kelly. Theres nothing wrong with asking for a little help. With a few small changes I am sure Kelly could dominate Martinez but can ill afford to go down 4 rounds and have to climb back into it. I seen where Kelly said in an interview he will make no changes. I cannot understand why. He takes way too many punches that could be dealt with and with a few slight adjustments could learn to counter different styles affectively. Hes a great fighter but if you are slow compared to other fighters you need to learn how to affectively counter the speed and movement. Kelly is my favorite fighter. I just wish he would ask for a little help. The 168 pound class would be even worse for him. Some of those boys are way stronger than those at 160 and some are very fast and strong which would tough to overcome.

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17drexel(1 comment)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Well hello Youngstown. I drove from Detroit to Atlantic City to see the fight. Had a great time on a road trip with the guys. I'm a Kelly Pavlik fan and more importantly a fan of Boxing. I think the media and the bloggers have been really hard on this guy for some time. Boy how we love to lift people to "Hero" status only to tear them down. I give anybody credit for stepping in that ring. All that being said Kelly Pavlik lost that fight in the last four rounds. I had him winning all four of the middle rounds and you can make the argument for round 3 or 4, they were both close. I personally thought he won round 3. Now as I stated I'm not from Youngstown but I gotta laugh with all the hoopla about Kelly is a drunk and he stays in the bars. The guy is a boxer from a blue collar town....Duh. With all the pressure that has been put on him most of us would have folded like a card table by now. The guy looks like he has a great work ethic when It comes time for fight camp remember he is a prizefighter not a saint. I'm from Metro Detroit and trust me we know how to drink in this town too. Like I said, Blue Collar town. I for one will not be judging this Kid, I just hope to watch him fight again and get another "W".

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18YtownBlue(8 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if Steven Tyler watched the fight?

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19CoachRuffEnoughSmith(5 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Kelly, Jack if you are reading these posts I would love to hear from the both of you. I believe in the both of you n although I hav'nt had the pleasure of meeting the two of you. I want to pledge this to you now. Kelly take the rematch now as soon as possible! Please give me a chance in working with Jack and You though. Jack if you could find it in your heart. I would love to work with you in helping to get Kelly into championship form for the fight. I am so sure that kelly would not only win the fight but Kelly would knock this boy out. I won't take a dime of payment if this didn't happen. Jack I know your a good person and you only want whats best for any of the puglists under your charge. Give me a call and lets talk. I think you'll be pleasently surprised by what you findout about this Southern Ohio countryboy:) Thanks.

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20bjpmma(2 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm really disgusted with some of these Mahoning Valley fans. When Kelly was Champion and on top of the world, these fans where the first ones to get on his bus and ride and when he lost they are the first ones to throw him under that same bus. He has been an inspiration to not only boxing but this Valley. I see him more as a winner when he's signing an autograph for some young kids. He'll always be a WINNER in and out of the ring. Maybe that's why it called the Square Jungle, because when you lose people treat you like a Beast!!!

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21snworb56(53 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Great interview. Kelly is a class act. Good Luck.

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22Lyrical_Lizard(14 comments)posted 6 years ago


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