By Bertram de Souza (Contact)
Published August 2, 2011
By now, the sports world knows that Kelly Pavlik, the Mahoning Valley’s claim to international boxing fame, has turned down $1.3 million for a fight. The reason: It’s not enough money for an ex-world boxing champ.
While the initial reaction in the Valley to this seemingly inexplicable decision is one of surprise, a bit of introspection leads to this conclusion: Pavlik has done us all a favor by turning his nose up at $1.3 million. His decision conveys a clear message: We’re worth more than what people might think.
And what do people think about this area? Former Congressman-turned-convicted felon has long been the face of the Valley, and, unfortunately, he turned out to be a classless crook. Even though Traficant, while a member of the House of Representatives, was found guilty of 10 criminal charges, including racketeering, bribery and tax evasion — he used his public position for personal gain — it was determined that the value of the bribes, gifts and other illegal activities was $45,000.
At a time when other members of Congress were going to prison for grabbing a million dollars or more, Traficant turned out to be second-rate.
But now, with Pavlik demanding more than $1.3 million for a fight, our reputation has been restored. We can only hope our corrupt public officials will follow his lead — and go for the gold.