October 22nd, 2009 By Pedro Fernandez
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.
PAVLIK, HE HAD IT ALL!
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.”
HOPKINS FIGHT SHOWED HIS LIMITATIONS
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.
IS IT BAD LUCK OR A BAD LIFESTYLE?
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.
THIRD POSTPONEMENT THIS YEAR ALONE
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).
AND THE BOTTOM LINE IS….
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?”