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Valley owes Pavlik its thanks

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.

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