- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

Story of Kelly Pavlik is not new

Published: Sun, December 5, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

If only Kelly Pavlik had paid attention to the trials and tribulations of Atty. Marc Dann, the late James Philomena, Maurice Clarett and James A. Traficant Jr.

It has been said that those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. And the history of the Mahoning Valley is replete with the infamous who fell from grace — through fault of their own and of the people around them.

Pavlik, the former world boxing champion who brought pride to this region when he was on top of the world, has checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic in California for treatment of alcohol addiction. When news of his affliction broke, area residents, who have followed his career since he burst on the national scene, were not surprised.

Sightings of Pavlik in various public places in the Valley became part of his persona. And the reports of his activities were often not complimentary.

Father’s revelation

Thus, after his father, Mike Pavlik Sr., revealed to Yahoo.com that the boxer was at the Betty Ford Clinic, the reaction from people who care was, “It’s about time.” Pavlik Sr. also let it be known that his son had spent time at the clinic in February.

But the path his life has taken since he grabbed the national and international boxing spotlight with his September 2007 WBC/WBO crown could have been quite different had he paid attention to what happened to other headliners of the Valley.

Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann’s fall from grace provides the most poignant example of that time-tested plea, “With friends like you who needs enemies?”

Democrat Dann’s victory in 2006 over Republican AG Betty Montgomery was, by any measure, a political shocker. He surrounded himself with individuals from the Valley who saw him as a meal ticket and were, therefore, unwilling to tell him “no.” Thus, when the attorney general lost his moral bearings, there was no one to warn him that he was risking his political career and his reputation with his frat-boy behavior.

Dann ultimately resigned in disgrace and his entire record of public service was wiped out.

Just as Pavlik ignored the lessons of the Marc Dann disaster, Dann ignored the lessons of the late James Philomena’s “justice for sale” tenure as Mahoning County prosecutor.

Philomena took office with all the promise of being one of the outstanding prosecutors in the history of Mahoning County. He was a leading criminal lawyer and had all the attributes of a successful politician.

But, he also had a flaw: He ignored his inner voice and allowed himself to be drawn into the heady life of the rich and famous.

No one around him was willing to tell him “no” when he crossed the straight and narrow. Instead, he let a disbarred lawyer, George Alexander, be his confidante.

Philomena wound up in prison.

Then there was one of the most talented football players to come out of the Mahoning Valley, Maurice Clarett, who went to Ohio State, played a key role in Buckeye’s national football championship and tumbled all the way down from the pinnacle of his career.

While he was responsible for his own undoing, there were those around him who obviously failed to tell him “no.”

The story of former congressman-turned-federal prisoner Traficant is the story of the dark side of the Mahoning Valley.


He surrounded himself with people who were willing to feed his ego just to enjoy the crumbs he tossed them. Not surprisingly, when he indulged in unlawful behavior, he was excused with the mantra, “Everybody does it.”

Traficant made himself larger than life, and there were many Valley residents willing to turn a blind eye to his flaws just to be in his good graces.

Had Pavlik contemplated his life as a world boxing champion using the histories of past headliners as a guide, he would have realized that he needed someone close to him to tell him “no.”

A case in point: His becoming a partner in a bar and restaurant in Struthers should have sent up red flags. A man with a drinking problem co-owning a bar? Someone should have stepped forward to tell Pavlik that such an endeavor was a bad idea.

If he is to rebuild his career after his stay at the Betty Ford Clinic, Pavlik may want to consider leaving the Mahoning Valley and surrounding himself with people who will stand up to him.


11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

This is absurd. The guy has a drinking problem, and you compare him to an armed robber, a prosecutor who was controlled by the mob, and attorney general who disgraced his office and a former congressman who went to jail.

I am not a Pavlik fan, and grew tired of all the coverage of him around here, but he isn't a felon or a criminal.

Suggest removal:

2hvacguy(33 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

This article is so ridiculous. All the way down to last sentence. "leaving the the Mahoning Valley and surrounding himself with people who will stand up to him"? Kelly Pavlik may want to consider leaving Mahoning Valley and surrounding himself with people who will stand up for him. Kelly Pavlik is and will always be remembered for his accomplishments in the ring. The only shame here is on the simpleton who wrote this article and genius at the Vindicator for allowing such crap to be published.

Suggest removal:

3saddad(655 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Do they pay him to write this stuff?

Suggest removal:

4author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Obviously Betram needs a 12 step program to find out what a real columnist should be writing about.

Suggest removal:

5Tony1(53 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

What a bad article, Kelly's situation and the situation of the felon's written about are entirely different.This article is good for nothing,except to be used for fish wrap.

Kelly has a drinking problem,unlike the criminals in the article.Only a buffon would write an article such as this.

Suggest removal:

6rjlogue(1 comment)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

You've got to be kidding me. Maybe B.S. should leave the valley, so someone will stand up to him,and tell him no. Nobody at the Vindy has the backbone to do it.

Suggest removal:

7chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Mr. De Souza, I have one question. How do you know that no one in Kelly's inner circle did not advise him against owning a bar? It is very likely that if someone gave such prudent advice, Kelly chose not to listen. Better reporting would have been to interview his trainer, promoter, wife,firends, other relatives and attribute their comments i general terms, such as "A relative said Kelly's problem. . ."

I am truly starting to doubt if Bertram just makes things up and cloaks them in the unnamed source.

The bigger problem is with the Valley residents who deify locals when things are good, while others relish their fall from grace

I remember Chairman Mao Betras saying he told Marc not to surround himself with yes men. Why didn't Dave become more active in solving his former partenr's problem? The answer is we don't really know the extent of his involvement since the Vindy and others didn't rport it.

By the way I am not a boxing fan and never saw a fight, or even followed his careert. But I had a problem with alcohol and know first hand the demons caused by the bottle and how locals reassure other alcholics that they don't have a problem, and then buy a shot and a chaser for everryone.

Suggest removal:

8chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh by the way, the Vindy and the other media are the biggest enablers since Kelly's wins, fame and personality sold papers and air time. I can't remember seeing any negative comments until I heard the ediotr on the louie free show mention how Kelly refused to talk with the Vindy. The owner'sand management of the paper should be ashamed to kick a man when he is down.

Suggest removal:

9CompMan(162 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Bertram owes Pavlik an apology.

Suggest removal:

10redeye1(5679 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Bertram better watch himself. He's starting to ramble about things that Don;t make any sense. Comparing four people from the valley. He 's trying to tell us that the people in this area are spineless. Maybe the next column he's writes should be about his Editor, who can't say NO to him. Or better yet maybe he should move out of the area. and soon

Suggest removal:

11topsailwatch(80 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

It must have been a slow news week in the steal city !! The whole article lacked substance and added absolutely nothing to the betterment of the area. His advice to Pavlik was worse than no advice at all. Bert.....you're losing your touch. I wish that you were a better writer so some out of town newpaper would offer you a job. I think that you are stuck at the Vindy. You just don't have it.

Suggest removal:

12mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Bertram always finds a way to bring up Jim Trafficant. Enough already!! As far as Kelly is concerned----I wish him well.

Suggest removal:

13fd6636(289 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

the 12/05 cartoon in the warren tribune is a disgrace! kelly fighting a beer bottle. this was poor taste by the trib no matter how you slice it! typical of how the area jumps on the band wagon when things are good, and then this when things are not so good? i bet if i look in some of those editors closets wonder if i"ll find some skeltons? shame on the trib. If your trying to get a message across, could have been a little more sensitive.

Suggest removal:

14Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

"He surrounded himself with individuals from the Valley who saw him as a meal ticket and were, therefore, unwilling to tell him “no.”

Boxing is a business and as such it should have been run as one . As the center of that business Kelly should have been looked after by all who benefited from that business . Regular business meetings should have been set up to set the direction of that business and to take care of matters at hand .

Suggest removal:

15hellokitty(161 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Kind of ironic that a comment can now be flagged as offensive, but not Bertram's original offensive columns.

I agree with whoever said that he most likely invents his "sources". He is a pathetic, bitter little man and it becomes more apparent each Sunday.

Suggest removal:

16walter_sobchak(2728 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

This piece is absurd! There is a huge difference here. Dann, Philomena and Traficant were elected public officials, who took OATHS upon entering their offices and then used their positions to illegally make personal gains. All three are felons! Clarett was a college football player who committed a felony and paid his price. Pavlik is a prize fighter who has made some terrible choices in his life but, to my knowledge, has not been convicted or even accused of a felony.

Poor comparisons here and even worse journalism but it is pretty much what I have come to expect from Bart DeSalsa. Wouldn't it be funny if Kelly gets his life straightened around and gets a position working at YSU?!?

Suggest removal:

17conservative4you(44 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

He has used Kelly to write again about his favorite targets. What a sad, sad piece of journalism. As others have stated, there is NO connection, whatsoever, with Kelly and the corrupt politicians.

Perhaps, JD of the award winning - Excellence in Journalism - Boardman News, would hire Bart DeSalsa. Can you imagine the journalism from that paper

Suggest removal:

18author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Conservative4you - LOL! LMAO and all that. Good one.

Suggest removal:

19louie(6 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

marcus you are the only one that commented on this article favoring the writer.. well let me tell you that you are as stupid as him also..both talk and do not know what you are talking about....kelly never worked for millcreek park police, lol that was harry aroroyo. and if you used your little brain you would know kelly never beat his wife up, because with his power i dont think she would be alive right now.

Suggest removal:

20THETRUTHCOMESOUT(1 comment)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Truely amazing!!!! All the Pavlick cronies stated the glaring problem in his life as evidenced by the front page article. They all turned their heads when the money was flowing. Now the spigot has been cut off and his issue is so "obvious" as so eloquently said by our esteemed local executive director. One would wonder if Mr. Pavlick's problem was so evident when he inked the deal to get the 'million dollar man' out of his financial quagmire. On the surface it would appear the color of money must have made the "obvious" a bit cloudy. The truth can't always be blinded.

Suggest removal:

21bmanresident(607 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

B.S. actually has it right this time! Kelly Pavlik is not being compared to these politicians, he's merely pointing out the cronie-ism that goes on in this valley. It's almost like the gang like attitude of Oakland. Kelly's goons were well aware of his problems and merely exploited him for all he was worth, the same goes for the other knuckle heads.

Suggest removal:

22sameolhub(56 comments)posted 5 years, 6 months ago

This article is why I don't buy your rag newspaper. What do all these criminals have to do with Kelly? Kelly played on the same Babe Ruth baseball team as my youngest son. Him and his entire family were always hard working and respectful, this young man has a drinking problem and with hard work and God's help he will be fine. And you wonder why no one wants to move to Youngstown?

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes