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Tension builds in Team Pavlik

Published: Thu, August 5, 2010 @ 12:08 a.m.




Four months after Kelly Pavlik lost his middleweight titles, cracks are beginning to show inside Team Pavlik.

Pavlik’s father and co-manager, Mike Pavlik Sr., told Steve Kim of Max Boxing on Tuesday he believes his son needs new tutelage after spending his entire amateur and pro career under Jack Loew.

“I feel right now he’s in the prime of his life and we’ve become one-dimensional and predictable,” Mike Sr. told Kim. “I’m not bad-mouthing Jack. It’s not that Jack has done anything wrong; Jack has reached a plateau that he’s never been before. He doesn’t know what to do.”

Although there have been occasional issues between Loew and Mike Sr. over the years, this is the first time the father has publicly questioned Loew. The tension stems from Pavlik’s unanimous decision loss in April to Sergio Martinez, whose speed and movement caused problems for the Youngstown fighter.

When reached by phone Wednesday, the 28-year-old Pavlik said he hasn’t considered making a change at trainer.

“That’s news to me,” he said. “For me to look at someone else, not to sound like a broken record, but I wasn’t schooled [by Martinez]. In the middle rounds, I was frustrating him.

“I haven’t even thought of changing.”

Although Mike Sr. stopped short of saying he wanted a new trainer, he believes Loew needs to bring in someone to help.

Mike Sr. did not return a call seeking comment on Wednesday, Loew, who declined comment for this article, told the website the problem wasn’t the training, it was Pavlik’s condition entering camp and the father’s insistence on working out “four or five times a day.” Pavlik weighed more than 190 pounds entering camp — 30 above the middleweight limit — and, consequently, was drained on fight night.

Loew said Pavlik needs to take better care of his body between fights and hire a professional nutritionist to safely make weight.

Pavlik’s co-manager, Cameron Dunkin, doesn’t think his fighter needs a new trainer, but agreed with Mike Sr. that Pavlik could benefit from different voices in the gym, both physically and mentally.

“Nothing against Jack; he’s taken him as far as he can go,” said Dunkin. “But Kelly’s not learning anything. He’s not excited, he’s not motivated.

“I never want to get rid of Jack; he knows the kid as well as anybody. But I think if somebody came in and helped, that would be good.”

Dunkin said many top fighters train at gyms with multiple trainers and spend time inside the gym outside of training camp, gaining exposure to different styles from different cultural backgrounds. They also attend fights in person to pick up on new approaches, something Pavlik rarely does. (Although he does watch fights on TV.)

“There’s a whole lot of new ideas going on and Kelly doesn’t see any of that,” said Dunkin. “To close his eyes and not see other guys and other thoughts and other fighters and other places, it’s just stupid. It’s not fair to him and he’s never going to grow and he’s never going to get any better.”

Pavlik’s promoter, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, told Fanhouse on Wednesday he’s discussed a possible HBO fight in the fall between Pavlik and Russian Dmitry Pirog, the newly crowned WBO middleweight champion.

Pirog (17-0, 14 KOs) won the title with a fifth-round KO of Daniel Jacobs on Saturday.

The title was one of two won by Martinez against Pavlik (the WBC belt was other), who vacated both when he didn’t make a title defense in time.

Dunkin confirmed the camp’s interest in the Pirog fight but Pavlik said he knows little of the discussions.

“I’ve never heard of the guy,” said Pavlik, who recently returned from a Hawaiian vacation with his wife. “I told everybody, the only way I’m going to fight at 160 is if a nutritionist tells me I can make the weight and be healthy.

“If they offer the right money and a nutritionist said it’s OK, it’s a definite possibility.”


1LTown76(1 comment)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I hate to say it, but Pavlik, Sr. and Dunkin are right. It's always good to have different perspectives, in any aspect of life. Kelly needs some new ideas in camp, and he obviously needs to take care of himself better between fights. I personally still think Kelly should have shown some humility and taken Hopkins' offer to work out with him after their fight in '08. With that said, Kelly is a lot more skilled than people give him credit for. But if he were to add just a couple small things to his repertoire, they could make a huge impact in the ring (especially against the faster boxers, like Martinez). Just a thought...

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2joebag09(354 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Maybe the co-manager needs to quit turning a "blind eye" to some of his son's problems which are going to sink his career faster then any other issues that he may or may not have with Jack Loew!

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3dpc005(1 comment)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I am always baffled at the way the pointing fingers game works when things aren't going well. Mike Pavlik never complained about Jack Loew when Kelly was crushing people on his way to drop the "undefeated" Jermain Taylor. Maybe the changes we have all seen in the past year or so has to do with Kelly and not with Kelly's trainer. If Mike Pavlik wants to point out Jack's lack of experience at this level then I believe it is only fair to point out Mike's lack of experience in management. Is it the trainers place to tell his fighter to tone down his "vibrant lifestyle" or is it the "co-manager/father"? Jack Loew's job is to prepare Kelly for battle, in my opinion he does a great job. Kelly was more then prepared on various occasions. Especially when KO's came down on Taylor and Miranda. Jack's game plan against Martinez was working perfect until Kelly hit a wall in the mid to late rounds. That has nothing to do with the plan of attack. It either has to do with the condition of the fighter or as Kelly said the cut above his eye. Anyone who watched the fight on television would have heard the announcers praising Jacks game plan as he let Martinez tire himself out and Kelly began to punish him. Kelly doesn't train in between camps. EVERY elite fighter does. Jack has to win with circumstances "world renowned" trainers like Freddy Roach and Manny Stewart don't. Their guys want to be there and want to train. I am a huge Pavlik fan, so I do not mean to bad mouth Kelly but, the downfall of Kelly Pavlik has to do with Kelly not Jack. Mike Pavlik should worry about straightening out personal flaws/issues his son is facing on the personal and worry less about Jack Loew. If I had to point the finger, I'd aim it at Mike, his manager. Not Jack.

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4boxer123(12 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Mike Pavlik is the cancer to team pavlik he has been acting as a manager and a nutritionist and a weight trainer for to long ...I think he acts like this so his son pays him 10 percent for things he has no clue about. Mike Pavlik is a very uneducated man and robs his son of big money and he has nuts to point fingers at the only man who made kelly pavliks reign even possible. Jack Loew has acted as a better father figure to kelly then his own dad. Jack Loew has been nominated for trainer of the year in 2007 by highly credit sports magazines and experts he is a great trainer with a drunk fighter who cares less about his career which would make it hard on any trainer to deal with. I think having the trouble of a fighter like jack loew has and he still made kelly a world champ is better then any trainer has done.

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5redvert(2240 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

If I am not mistaken, Pavlik is around 6'1" or 6'2". He is trying to fight at 160 pounds. Doesn't anyone understand that he is too big to maintain any kind of stamina in the ring at that weight with a real good fighter? He looks skinny in the ring. He needs to move up in weight class so he can carry a appropriate weight for his size.

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6Ytown05(11 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Jack Lowe is a terrible trainer, his fighters success has definitely gotten to his head. I was in the gym recently and the majority of the time him and his assistants walked around joking most of the time. There were no special one on one drills for any of the fighters. The Martiniez fight definitely exposed Jack as a bad trainer and no one can dispute that! He needed a strategist for that fight not a football coach in the corner!! Sad to say but Kelly's father is right..hes learned all he can learn from Jack Loew..

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7boxer123(12 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

ytown05, thats crazy you say that because i also have been in the gym and they do great down there, there amateurs are the best in the area not to mention look how jack loew developed and trains that greek kid chris ....he is exceptional trainer and better yet exceptional person in what he does for them kids!! your a small time hater ytown05!

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8ytowndem(6 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Jack Loew is indeed not only a terrible, arrogant, and complete embarrassment of a trainer but more importantly he IS mark my words going to end up getting Pavlik hurt. I could not agree more with Mike, it IS absolutely time and long overdue to finally call out the many many flaws of a "driveway paver" attempting to play the role of an "elite" trainer in which anyone with the least bit of boxing knowledge knows this will never ever happen since he lacks the pedigree, experience, knowledge, and more importantly the overall wisdom of this sport. I applaud Mike for finally going public with these comments as it is long long overdue.

Jack has never been to this level nor will he ever reach this level again once Pavlik's career is over with. This really is nothing more than common sense, MAKE A CHANGE or CAREER IS OVER, take your pick....Kelly is one dimensional, extremely predictable, lacks the savviness for someone at this level, lacks the speed, but more importantly is he lacks the proper, experienced, top "elite" trainer to ensure his career is given a second chance.

To blame Mike is utter nonsense, of all my time working out at Rocky's gym in Boardman leading up to each and every one of Kelly's fights I would see Kelly daily in there working out and not ONCE was Mike (father) ever present. It was "always" Jack-0-mite calling the shots there each and every day telling Kelly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Utter and absolute nonsense, Jack must know inside his heart of hearts that he is being laughed at, mocked, questioned, and he cannot defend himself due to actual facts.

The time is now or never, bring in a Freddie or Manny or hang the gloves up because without Jack out Kelly will never ever become champion again, this is a fact. It was sad to see how clueless Jack was in that corner this past fight, finally progress is being made in order to secure a change and bring in someone whom is "known" for training championship caliber fighters and that has been at the top level for many many years such as Freddie or a Manny. This is no longer the minor leagues where Jack can get away with "playing" the role of trainer, Make the change Kelly.

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9ytowndem(6 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Jack, enjoy the new gym, train the amateurs, enjoy your daughters, and graciously step aside so you are no longer the laughing stock of this camp but more importantly the area of Youngstown. Your excuses are old, they are the same, repetitive each time you are pressed, do the right thing and bite the tongue and walk away. Jack, how many email exchanges have we had after I posted on your web site suggesting this move long ago? We exchanged many emails and for "pride" reasons you have refused to do the right thing, unfortunately this has caught up to you rightfully so. You did a good job, the best you were capable of, now for the sake of Kelly step down.

You can't "play" a role any longer in which you have no experience or wisdom at this level.

Mike, again I tip my hat and applaud you for FINALLY being outspoken and can only hope you continue to do so until Kelly whom I have always liked makes the correct, right, and proper decision which I am exceptionally confident will indeed happen in the not so distant future as Jack will not share the "spotlight" nor "allow" a transition to work along side someone else whom may be "brought in", it would never work with Jack. A change is a coming, long long overdue BUT it should bring back "life" into Team Pavlik and most importantly Kelly.

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10boxer123(12 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

ytowndern you sound like you are personally involved you should say what your name is so when people hear who you are they can say oh its that nobody who knows nothing about boxing....i do know one thing ive seen kelly stagger out of bars to where he couldnt stand, be so so drunk he would do ignorant and obscene things in public...and guess what it was like 2 weeks before he would fight haha can anyone train a guy who lives like this outside the ring? also kelly i heard and he has said it in public refuses to go into training but 7 weeks out.... YTOWNDERN, let me tell you what else is obvious when pavlik was 190 i have a membership down the YMCA and his dad was there making him lift heavy 3 weeks before his fight haha what a moron. Freddie Roach only goes to the boxing gym with his guys , Loew takes them running and to the gym thats it. Loew gets ripped on by the haters who are trying to be a good trainer and arent or work hard every day of their life just like jack loew but make 10 bucks an hour and are jealous, or the only other person would be mike pavlik who knows nothing except he has to point fingers because GUESS WHAT his son is again out messing around and being a drunk idiot who will go in to camp again 7 weeks before a fight. So fat ass mike pavlik has to turn the heat from his son.......thats the truth and all you have to do is listen to the game plans and work out regimens in the gym to know jack got kelly to be a champ and himself to being a former trainer of the year nominee!!! GO JACK BRING US ANOTHER CHAMP TO SHUT THESE MORONS UP WHILE THE EXCHAMP HAS 5 BUCKS TO HIS NAME AND BORROWS MONEY OFF HIS DAD WHO GOT PAID (ROBBED KELLY) MILLIONS!!! HAHA

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11ytowndem(6 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

If you are indeed a boxer then you should know the obvious, Kelly has become predictable and one dimensional in the ring thus the many many people within the industry urging him to make this needed change within his camp. What is your solution other than to crucify Mike?. If Kelly stays this course he will never regain championship form which is obvious to many. I do agree with you relative to Kelly and his drinking habits leading up to his bouts, he has struggled with this and it has become very evident that it continues to be a problem present day when he should be solely focusing during his eight week camps. I am assuming your out of Jack's stable of fighters thus the reason you are so "pro-jack" and praising him. To even compare Jack to Freddie Roach is ludicrous in my opinion, look at the number of actual champions Freddie has trained to the number Jack has trained, the two shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. Family and blood usually prevails so I wouldn't underestimate the influence that Mike is going to have relative to this change which I as well as many others believe is coming, long overdue, and is inevitable if Kelly is to right this ship and get back on course. Only time will tell whom is right.

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12boxer123(12 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

ytown, i understand your concern and first off the predictability and the way kelly is fighting is not the way he used to fight, lets admit the truth is he was unreal i mean the best middleweight ive seen in a long time. When as a fighter you are distracted outside the ring and your job and career are the last thing you care about and the only thing you want is the money...then yes you lose your love for it. I believe this has happened If you have ever been to an open workout to the publicis his last few fights, like me , its like pavlik in the ring does nothing that him and loew do in the gym. Being in the shape he is in and mentally with his problems makes him bad on fight night. not to mention i have a friend who is close to the camp and he says during preparation up to the fight in atlantic city or where ever, mike pavlik complains and yells at his son and mike pavliks friends the whole time which mentally hurts a fighter when so much comotion is going on its impossible to stay focused. Freddie Roach is a great trainer no doubt. but you have to understand being in LA is a great place to have a stable fighters just come and then when they get big like manny others will obviously follow. Jack has a disadvantage in youngstown but look at what he has accomplished and what he will accomplish!! It is really amazing and be a jack loew hater but i know more is to come from him and boxing i cant say the same for kelly!........BTW kelly has been drinking horribly all summer and wont go into the gym until 7 weeks out so again dont blame jack if kelly loses again . Lastly 2 things would have helped kelly pavlik be a mega star in the sport, have his dad be on the outside so he couldnt act like he is jack of all trades when he knows nothing at all about boxing or nutrition or weight lifting and managing, and 2 kelly took care of himself out of the ring and acted like a professional athlete.

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13ytowndem(6 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

I agree with you relative to his present day abilities that have been showcased in recent bouts in comparison to the days when he was up and coming, even as most recent as the Miranda fight where his power, abilities, and style was shown which we both know that "styles make the fights". I think you likely hit the nail on the head pertaining to the money factor which seems to be one of Pav's biggest concerns when I read his most recent comments to the media, press, etc. Distraction(s) seem to be an ongoing problem for him that he can't shake nor get out of the clinches with for whatever reasons. Motivation, desire, happiness? I suppose there is a multitude of reasons which I can only guess. If the love is indeed gone lets just hope he doesn't get hurt just to make those last few paydays that likely are going to be in the super middle weight division and possibly the fight in Dallas if it ever comes to fruition.

I certainly can't argue your comments regarding his conditioning, mental frame of mind, present day abilities, and drinking habits since I have seen and witnessed this first hand at many of the local establishments. You bring some great points to light and hopefully for Kelly's sake he starts to get that craving and desire once again that got him to this point before it all started to crumble.

Do you honestly believe Kelly will go against family and continue to stay the course relative to keeping his current trainer or give in to his father's wishes as co-manager?.

Thanks for the response.

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14boxer123(12 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

Kelly has been with Jack Loew since the beginning and honestly in my opinion 1 of the reasons why kelly wont leave jack is because he knows jack loew has been doing his job ...kelly knows what is upand knows he is the reason why he loses.If he were to listen to the blind people who always wants to blame it on Jack then he would go to freddie or whoever and lose their to because its not the training, its the fighter......honestly look at the training regimen that Jack Loew brought to the scene when kelly and him hit it big , they are using that all over the boxing world now. to be honest i dont think loew is making pavlik bad or look bad i think pavlik is making loew look bad! If kelly were a workaholic and did the right thing and progessively got worse then i wouldnt be stating these things, i would be agreeing with you. not to mention all of the boxing experience and pro experience loew has is also very good so the only thing worng in team pavlik are..... THE PAVLIKS!!

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15cord53(38 comments)posted 5 years, 11 months ago

maybe taking care of your self between fights would help. you cannot be 30lbs over your weight and try to lose it 8 wks before a fight. i was talking to my son and he said he would gladly work with kelly. he is one of the top sports nutritonist around. he is now located in manhatten and long island. some of you might know him jim cordova 2 time natural mr universe 2 time world champion. i am not saying this because he is my son. check out the magazines in the stores. he is in various ones. if any of you know kelly give him this message. he could really help him i would guarantee it. jimcordova.com check it out. it's called dedication?

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16kpismymotivator(3 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

It is Kellys choice..it is his life and he has to live with all the choices he makes-regardless of right or wrong. Too many people are trying to run his life and support their lives off of him. He has to do what feels right in his heart. At his last fight, as soon as I saw his face, I said, "He doesn't want to win this. You can see it in his eyes." and felt throughout the fight that part of him wanted to win but the other part wanted to loose so he can just "step away" from it all and take a break to rethink what he wants in both his professional and personal life. Kelly is still my "motivator" and I am gonna write him a letter and tell him so. Things in my life kind of coincide with what goes on in his, and I also "took the summer off" from my own workout routine, but we all need a break now and then just to "regroup" and get that fire back. I truly believe that if Kelly gets that fire back, he will do fine. He looked healthy and happy before the fight. But then looked like crap at the actual fight and lost his desire. Shame on his trainer and father for that!!! Who was looking out for him before the fight in regards to his health and nutrition? When I heard what his weight was, I was so pissed off at both his trainer and father (and Kelly too) for letting his weight get that far out-of-hand. Gimme a break! Anyone with any common sense knows that sweating it off isn't gonna mke you go out and do awesome!!Come on, a little sense here! I will support him-whether win or loose, and whether box again or not. He just needs to be realistic about being healthy. I am not a nutritionist-just a nurse- and I feel Kelly cannot go on at 160 without jeopardizing his health and his career. He needs to get at a weight that allows for a realistic lifestyle where he will be both healthy, but happy as well-since mental attitude is a HUGE part of the whole process. I just hope others will continue to support him as a person, and respect his choices-SINCE THEY ARE HIS TO MAKE. We all have opinions but ultimately Kelly is in charge of Kelly.

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17boxer123(12 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

You are right on 2 things.... You are just a nurse not a boxing guy or nutritionist, and 2 kelly does make his own choices thats why he is a fall down drunk who is no where to be found and probably wont fight again because he cant get his act together. What a mess.

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