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Former champ, Top Rank officials weigh in on Pavlik's decision

Published: Wed, August 3, 2011 @ 9:50 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — As the latest chapter in Kelly Pavlik’s career unfolded, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini had just one thought: “We are witnessing the assassination of a career.”

“What doesn’t he get about this business?” said Mancini, a former lightweight champion from Youngstown. “You’re only as good as your last fight.”

Saying he wasn’t going to “fight a southpaw for peanuts,” Pavlik canceled both his upcoming fight with Darryl Cunningham at the Covelli Centre and his planned November bout with IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute.

Pavlik was guaranteed $50,000 for the Cunningham bout and $1.35 million for the Bute bout.

Mancini said Pavlik’s comments will not play well with his promoter, the cable networks or his hometown fans.

“For all the good will he’s done, I don’t think he realizes the irreparable damage he’s doing,” Mancini said. “Fighting for a million dollars is chicken feed? Wow. Wow. I’m beyond baffled. I’m flabbergasted.

“It’s a million-dollar payday and you’ve got people in this town making minimum wage. How do you think they’re going to identify with you or sympathize with you? How?”

According to a Top Rank spokesman, Pavlik did not sign a contract to fight Cunningham and that members of Pavlik’s camp were aware of the $50,000 guarantee well in advance of the bout.

The cancellation continued a troubling trend for Pavlik, who has won just three fights in three years and has canceled bouts against Bryan Vera, Paul Williams and Sergio Mora due to injuries over that span.

Pavlik has not returned calls for comment. In a radio interview with Boxingscene.com, he said he doesn’t want to retire, but that he’s “tired of being a puppet.”

“I don’t need the money. I don’t,” he said. “I made enough money in my career. I’m living happily ever after right now.

“I would rather retire before I sell my career short.”

Pavlik’s promoter, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, said he thinks the decision to cancel has more to do with desire than money.

“The way I read it is that he doesn’t want to fight anymore,” Arum said. “And it’d be wrong to really force him to fight.”

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1bmanresident(607 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

What a real piece of work. I won;t spend another dime in support of him, no more fight tickets, tee shirts, or PPV. I'm through with him as I'm sure most of his fans are.

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2crimelander(122 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Glad to see Boom-Boom and other regional known boxing folks speaking out.

Seems like the people in the know seem to agree with the public sentiment on here.

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3NoBS(2827 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

It's not a question of whether he "wants" to retire. He is, as of now, retired. His credibility is shot - he won't even be able to get work as a sparring partner.

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4MichaelG93(84 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Not defending his decision but read the article on that Boxingscene.com. He actually made a lot of sense. He just took a huge layoff, came back and fought his last opponent for like $825k. Now, after he wins that fight, he has to fight for 50K???? There is no guarantee that he gets that 1.35 million dollar payday if he loses this fight. The contract for the 1.35k payday comes in and they say you have 2 days to sign and get it back to us????

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5sue(179 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Boom boom may be living in La La land now, but his comments are right on the mark. It is the height of arrogance to think a million dollars is peanuts. After his boxing days are over, Kelly will never make a million dollars. With decisions like this, he will end up losing his big house in Canfield within a few years.

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6mrblue(1175 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Simply put---------He Is Done!

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7walter_sobchak(2716 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I think he realizes that Saturday's fight card was going to be an embarassment with a poor gate and he would struggle against a nobody. If you can't make a go of it in your own hometown, you are done. Stick a fork in him!

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8CantStandYa(222 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. --Abraham Lincoln

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9Dagwood(505 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Kelly has no bargaining power. He is no longer the commodity/draw he once was after beating Taylor. His promoter knows it, boxing fans know it, and Youngstown knows it. After a few shifts at the Citgo he'll be wanting all those peanuts he turned down.

There are some talented fighters in this area, its possible to make it, just stay away from Loew and anyone in that low life posse.

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10FormerYtowner(96 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

"In a radio interview with Boxingscene.com, he said he doesn’t want to retire, but that he’s “tired of being a puppet.”

A puppet? What a piece of work he is. He WAS the World Champion! He was the puppet master...until he turned into a drunk. Kelly has nobody to blame but Kelly. Kelly I was a fan of yours but not any more. Don't go away mad just go away.

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11ytownexpat(7 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

1. This tune-up fight was arranged at his behest, not Top Rank's.
2. Top Rank and ShoBox certainly wouldn't have advertised that the hometown fight had a low gate.

I was there in AC when he stuck his chin out in the 2nd and went on to drop Taylor. One of the greatest nights of my life, to be sure. I cannot, however, stick up for him when he calls this kind of money "peanuts" while the rest of the Valley struggles with un- and underemployment.

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