San Francisco, CA– In a year where he fell off a stage in a drunken stupor at a Youngstown, OH comedy club, admitted seeing a sports psychologist, and postponed three fights, I’d say it appears Kelly Pavlik’s boxing career is coming apart at the seams. At 35-1 with 31 whacks, the now 27-year old Pavlik was just 13 months ago being ordained as a pugilistic superstar.


Thought to have everything going for him, ability, complexion, connections, and a blue collar background, he was the next middleweight (160 lbs) Messiah. Then he got “witch” slapped last October by Bernard Hopkins, a fighter old enough to be classified as “prehistoric.”


People say that Kelly began to unravel after that humiliating defeat in which the scorecards had him losing by 13, 10, and 7 points. But I believe he started to show signs of being erratic a year prior. In November 2007, somehow Pavlik cut both of his hands and arms when he reportedly put them through a window in his home.


Having seen my share of freak accidents involving a plethora of fighters, I thought this was “suspicious” to say the least. With his propensity to drink being well known in his hometown of Youngstown, as well as in certain boxing circles, I was thinking that the accident requiring 108 total stitches didn’t go down quite the way his handlers had indicated.


Now Kelly has pulled out of a December 5 bout with Paul Williams. It had been scheduled first for October, but Pavlik stated he had a hand injury (infection) and got a Dr’s note to back that claim. What made Dan Goossen of Goossen-Tutor Promotions, the firm handling Williams, a bit suspect was that Kelly had claimed he had an infected hand earlier this year (circa June).


Having had his confidence shattered by Hopkins a year ago, coupled with the problems chronicled here in paragraph one, Kelly Pavlik’s appears headed for the boxing scrap heap. A down to earth guy in interviews over the years, there was more hope put in Pavlik by his handlers than any fighter of late I can think of. But like a comedian once said, “You can spit in one hand and hope with the other, guess which one gets full first?”

Pedro Fernandez


  • Hi. I know you wrote
    KELLY PAVLIK CIRCLING THE DRAIN? WILLIAMS FIGHT OFF! , but is Pavlik really as good as the media makes him out to be?

  • He does seem to be cooling off a bit

  • I generally agree that something is going on whith Pavlik and at this time he as champion who is there to be taken.

    However I don’t believe he is “avoiding” Williams specifically – remember he also cancelled the Sergio Mora bout before.

    I think some of you guys are seriously drunk on the Paul Williams kool-aid.

    Whats with all this Hopkins “blueprit” stuff? You aren’t seriously comparing Williams to a sharp and super-motivated Hopkins are you?

    Williams is NOT a great defensive fighter. He is usually wide open for straight punches at medium range. His usual solution to this is to crowd in and overwhelm the opponent with activity and body punishment. Not bad, but remains to be seen if it will work against an opponent with legit Middleweight power and physical strenght.

    Williams has NOT shown exceptional foot speed. He pivots very well and covers substantial ground with that tripod gait which translates into fairly good mobility. But he was handily outmanouvered in Quintana 1 by a fighter of unremarkable athletic ability and at no point was he outboxing Margarito as thoroughly as Clottey & Cotto were before they broke down. I think bigger men like Ward, Dirrell, Dawson, Bute and even Taylor all scoot around the ring faster than Williams.

    Williams still has room to improve. Or he might to turn out to have such a good chin that he can get away with his flaws at 160 or 168. But I’ll need to see him shake off a little better punch than Winky Wright has before I buy that. I certainly would not make him a heavy favorite against the Pavlik of 18 months ago.

  • Styles make fights, old & tired saying but it IS the truth. I like Pavlik, and I think his injury is legit, just think this is a very bad stylistic matchup for him. Williams is too busy, has too much foot and hand speed for him to deal with especially after a serious injury and long layoff. No doubt the man has the stones, he IS trying to make a fight with someone who everyone else in the neighborhood is avoiding, just dont think it is a good career move at this point….

  • It appears that most comments are made by folks who know s*it about pro boxing. Why must you be doubting Thomas(s) concerning Kellys hand. You seen the flick here and know it is still injured and infected. Pavlick will KO Wiliams as soon as they meet. Put your $$ on Kelly and shut the …. up about his hand, it is Legit…

  • “It’s amazing that after all the heart that Pavlik has shown in his career that some of you would insinuate he’s turned yellow.”

    Cosign. Pavlik’s earned the benefit of the doubt here. Maybe he’s been drinking but that doesn’t change the facts, which his camp supported with photographic evidence dated Sept 29 (not undated as implied with the post about this pic). Problem is Top Rank wanted the HBO date so they kept trying to rush an injured fighter into camp hoping it would heal. That’s no way to train. Let Pavlik’s hand heal then proceed. Meantime the hysterical sideline observers can say whatever the hell they want.

  • It’s amazing that after all the heart that Pavlik has shown in his career that some of you would insinuate he’s turned yellow. The guy suffers a severe infection and suddenly he’s a coward. Yet another terrible article replacing fact with speculation and comments made (for the most part) by people who sadly, procreate to the chagrin of humanity.

  • I mean, I think Williams has a good shot at beating Kelly, I just don’t think it’s the lock everyone say it is. Hopkins is an amazing boxer who shut Kelly down with skill. I just don’t see Williams having the same skill level to avoid Pavlik’s punches all night long.

  • Williams doesn’t have to be better then Bhop to beat Pavlik.. He just has to be active and give him angles. Like I said before, for Pavlik to land that big right hand he needs an opponent who will retreat going straight back.. It’s like this, pavlik has incredible power, don’t get me wrong. But he needs to set it up with that flicking jab he likes to throw before he unloads the right hand. Jab, Jab bang–jab,Jab, bang.. This is his bread and butter. But he HAS TO be moving forward to land this combo. Bhop was able to nuetralize this by moving away from his power hand. If you watch the fight you’ll see bhop timing pavlik over and over. Pavlik needs time to set his heavy feet.. He’s need to set up the heavy right hand with forward movement, behind that dbl jab. IMO Williams would be just to busy for Pavlik. He throws punches from many diffrent angles.. Too busy.

  • I did notice the difference, and it is that very difference that I was addressing, and the fact that you think it is ok when you do it or black people do it, but not when white folks do it, think before you post, Pedro.
    Kelly, the jig is up, son, more than likely at least, it is a matter of time, you have turned out not to be dedicated enough, adios.

  • Chris was Mexican-American. Kelly is an anglo-American Surprised you didn’t realize the difference.

  • Pedro, didn’t Chris Arreola have the right complexion for some people as well ?

  • Well this should clear this up
    Hes gonna be back and kick some A**!

  • I’m not buying anymore of camp pavlik excuses.Pavlik has had more then enough time to let his hands heal. he knows what mostly everyone knows and that he can’t beat Williams and he is looking for a way out of this fight, and to Mark!…if williams is so average! how come Mosley, Floyd, Cotto,Cintron,Hopkins, Margarito , have all passed on fighting this guy and that so called nobody he losted to, he knocked his ass out the in the 1st round in the rematch.Just face the fact Pavlik fans he didn’t want no parts of Williams.

  • Didn’t Chris Arreola have the right complexion also, Pedro ? you practice the very same thing that you condemn in others, this is typical post-modernist hypocrisy.

  • I disagree that Williams is a lock over Pavlik. I know Kellerman thinks so too…as long as the weight isn’t an issue for Paul.

    Didn’t Williams lose to some nobody last year? How the hell can you say Pavlik has no chance when Williams lost to some ham and egger?

    Williams is a volume puncher just like Kelly. I mean, especially considering how Margarito has been exposed, why do people think Williams is such a beast?

    I’ve seen NOTHING to suggest that Williams has even close to the skills of Hopkins.

  • Sounds like too much free time and money combined with lack of discipline, hopefully he can pull it together. The willingness to make the fight happen says that he isnt afraid, even if he should be of Williams. Also I don’t think Pavlik has anything to be embarassed about loosing to BHop, he is one of the great fighters of our generation and looked awesome in that fight.

    If the fight does ever come off, I can’t see Pavlik being able to beat Williams outside of a punchers chance or some miracle that knocks the cement off his feet. That being said I dont think there is ANYONE I would favor from 147 to 160 vs the Punisher….

  • He needs to heal, relax, and get himself together. I picked Paul to win but I didn’t like the fight because it is too soon. If you are listening Punisher, clean up all the trash at 154, because eventually all those guys at 147 are gonna come to you at 54 one way or another.

  • I agreeI agree with posts above that Pavlik has slow feet and he takes too long to set up his right hand. Also, any middleweight with half decent power can wobble him. I would say King Arthur Kos Pavlik within 10 rounds. Kessler would KO Pavlik within 8 rounds if not less. Pavlik is nothing special. The Taylor Pavlik beat was already exposed by Bhops, and Miranda was a bust. Pavlik two best victory don’t look so good right now. Even old Winky would be his rear end. Top Ranks is just looking for a softie to put in front a Pavlik. He should fight the best or bust, vacate the title or just give it to Paul Williams.

  • I can’t belived what I hearing from you guys that Kelly is not good or washup fighter,well some of you know it is his hand need to be heal,Kelly is a good fighter,he did lost to Hopkins but who really beat Hopkins.Traver,Wright got there ass whip and Joe Cazaghe did beat him but Hopkins still look good in the fight.Kelly is a good fighter,when his hand heal he will be back and he will be world champion for years to come.

  • After reading more, I think the article is a little biased. Kelly has had multiple surgeries on the hand. The surgeon predicted he would be able to close it in order to start training for Williams by now. The surgeon was wrong. Kelly can’t close his hand and he can’t start training for the fight.

    So what is this article but biased conjecture?

  • If this guys next fight isn’t against a top 5 Middle/Super Middle opponent I don’t want to see it. BHop brought this guys world crashing down, and made him ?? His own abilities. Problem with Pavlik is he has heavy feet, and can’t deal with a fights that has lateral movement and footwork. It takes him to long to set those heavy feet to land that jab,jab,cross combo that bhop has able to see a mile away. Don’t give him time to set his feet and you’ll have an easy night.. Bhop made on hell of a blueprint to beat this guy. Paul Williams would of beat him easily IMO. So would Andre Ward, Mikkel Kessler and Aurthur Abraham.

  • Shannon from Atlantic City

    So what if he drinks when he’s not training….when he is training he trains harder than anybody else…sun up to sun down. And he is the best champ to do anything for charities…He let me in his room in AC 1 day be4 Hopkins fight to sign gloves for my Charity Boxing Tournament in Atlantic City..

  • I dont want to see his next fight unless it’s against a top 5 Middle or Super Middle weight fighter. Hopkins brought this guys whole world crashing down when he found out that he cant fight a guy with lateral movement. Think about it, his victories that brought him to the for-front of the boxing world– the Edison Miranda victory, then followed by two victories over Jermain Taylor. Niether of which have ever been remarked for clinically sound footwork in the ring.b Andre Ward, or Mikkel Kessler would easily tune this guy up IMO. Aurthur Abraham would most likely get a late KO. If this fight took place Paul Would easily take his cookies.

  • Shannon from Atlantic City

    Pavlik isn’t ducking a fight and never will. It’s a legitimate infection—-Staph kills people and hard to go away. He earned the championship and will beat whoever early 2010 in AC baby

  • Interesting article, It’s way too soon to write off Pavlik, but he’s no longer one of the feel good stories in boxing. Anyways, does anyone know who Williams is facing on the 5th?

  • He never stood a chance once he met bruce and sean

  • I agree with ark a little severe. Pavlik has gots lots to still give in the ring, he is a warrior and I dont believe he is afraid of Williams. Pavlik took on Hopkins not 100% fit (take nothing away from Hopkins) but I dont think his handlers want to repeat the same mistake. If you cant fully clench your fist waht are you supposed to do. They guy needs to work and is frustrated he does not like waiting around more than we are frustrated waiting for him to fight. He will be back…we just have to chill!

  • Brad,
    Let’s not forget Kenny Breathe, Willie Getup, and K.O. Pectate! Actually, I’m sympathetic with Pavlik and think he has a great story that’s both appealing and probably real. But there are other fighters out there who have their own stories and want a shot. He should think about taking a sabbatical until reviewing his bank account and figuring what he wants to do with the next stage of his life.

  • He might have some problems but this is pretty severe for a guy who has one loss on his record, and to Hopkins at that.

    Let’s see him in his next fight before we write him off.

  • As I have said all along, there is no way that Pavlik will fight Williams. Williams would make it an easier night then Hopkins did, and Pavlik wants nothing to do with that. He would rather fight Izzy Dead or Joe Stumblebum. Why do you think Pavlik’s handlers didn’t want him to fight Abraham. The reason they gave was “We are not going to Germany” or Abraham doesn’t bring any money to the table”. Again nonsense excuses the real reason “Abraham knocks us out”



  • This is some Bullsh*t, Pavlik should get stripped. if he cant fight then give up the belt. this is now the 3rd time he postpones the fight. **** dat. great article Pedro

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