Las Vegas, NV– Former world middleweight (160 lbs) champion and current World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 1-rated super middleweight contender Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik’s professional boxing comeback took a wrong turn as Pavlik withdrew from his upcoming 10-round bout against Darryl Cunningham. The Pavlik-Cunningham bout was scheduled to take place on Saturday at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, OH, and was to be televised live on SHOWTIME as the main event of a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation. Both the broadcast and the live event have been canceled. Ticketholders can get a refund by returning their tickets to the place of purchase.

“Top Rank is very disappointed at Kelly’s sudden decision to discontinue the rebuilding of his boxing career,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, Pavlik’s promoter. “Kelly’s team specifically outlined a strategy for Kelly to return to the ring in an effective fashion. Kelly’s team gave us their objectives and we set them on a course, which began last May with Kelly’s fight against Alfonso Lopez and was to continue on Saturday against Darryl Cunningham. It seems Kelly has derailed this plan.”


  • Reading various sources on what happened and why he pulled out of the fight, it seems that Pavlik had every right to considering the circumstances.

  • John, I see your point…you obviously don’t see mine. I am making my mind up today whether or not I am going to post the Pavlik video.Good riddence! I was going to entertain what you commented but decided you are like a politician. You have your point of view and I have mine. Not going to waste my time in swaying your judgement. I will spend my time doing better things.

  • by the way, I will repeat…It was his team that tried to cover up his drinking problem when we had evidence of such. THEY proceeded to slander the name of Pedro and this website saying we were lying. Later it came out that Pavlik was a drunk and checked himself into rehab. They are a bunch of liers and manipulators, they do it with their boxers and they’re statements. Bob said it himself “Yesterday I was lying today I’m telling the truth” So you can go and believe every BS thing you read released by Top Rank and their associates but I am not so blind like you, although I have seen the evidence of the corruption they have plagued on the boxing game. Ron have a good day, but done with you!

  • Jon, you are an idiot. 1.4 million is chump change? The guy has fought once in the last 18 months a majority decision win. He didn’t look great. People aren’t lining up in groves to see him fight. Why can’t people just admit the guy is being unprofessional? His actions show his life is not in order. The staff infection was because he injured his hand punching it through a window. Bottom line here is you can talk about drunks in England all you want, but those people you are talking about aren’t the World middleweight champion. They aren’t all pro boxers as you claim and ruining their careers because of it. I never said conspiracy. I am done explaining things to you. Theres a difference between going to bar and drinking with your buddies and binge drinking, and/or drinking excessively. Falling off of a stage at a bar is the sign of someone who has a drinking problem.It’s obvious he had a problem because he checked into rehab. He didn’t do it because of PR it’s because he was a drunk. It’s documented and you are sitting here defending him for his actions. I am not saying he’s a bad person, however his behavior is unprofessional and he gets a pass everytime by people like you and the media. Sorry but I think in fairness if Hopkins was in Cunninghams shoes and not getting paid because Kelly pulled out he wouldn’t be sympathetic he’d be angry. Kelly should just be happy he’s getting a shot at the title. It’s obvious Ron that you are ignorant in a lot of areas including the business of boxing.

  • Pavlik is at war with Top Rank at the moment, so your insinuations that this is a Top Rank conspiracy don’t hold water. They are in direct opposition to each other. I don’t really judge someone for an alcohol problem. A lot of fighters have problems. A lot of fighters f**k their heads off, or do drugs, or are involved in criminal activities. So Kelly drank too much on occassion, big whoop. What are you, the dean to a Catholic school or a fight reporter? What does it matter? Apparently he was drinking too much so either out of necessity or for PR he checked into rehab.

    Among Caucasians, getting very drunk is not really such a big deal. So drunk he fell of a stage? Everyone in the entire country of England has been that drunk before, many of them every weekend. Maybe Kelly was drinking too much, maybe not. I don’t know. It sounded like he might have had a problem.

    So far this entire “conspiracy” is two canceled fights for a staph infection, which I personally don’t doubt, and pulling out of this fight becuase he found out less than a week ago that he was getting paid what he thought, at least, was chump change.

    It’s his decision and I actually applaud him for it. Did you read the part where he said his handler faxed him the contract on a FRIDAY and said he had to have it back in 20 hours? That doesn’t stink to you? Even Bernard Hopkins seems sympathetic to him.

  • Jon, your reading comprehension stinks. I never said he pulled out this time due to alcoholism. I was referring to the lack of professionalism that Pavlik has portrayed throughout his career. This is just another instance in the up and down career of Kelly. Yeah I know what Boxing scene said and what Top Rank, Kelly and his manager reported to everyone, however years ago when this site”” was saying Pavlik had an alcohol problem and we had video evidence of such and people like his manager Cameron Dunkin tried to call Pedro Fernandez a liar in articles printed in the newspaper in Ohio, then about a year later he ended up in rehab, you have to wonder. Are these guys telling the truth this time around? They lied to the public last time, saying he was in sports rehab, then all of a sudden you hear about him punching holes through windows, staff infections etc. The guy comes off as a complete mess. Then after they couldn’t cover up his problems anymore then he ends up in rehab. So don’t tell me about a bunch of BS stories that boxing scene or whoever else reported, because the bottom line is they got their information from the Top Rank machine, who has been caught in lies and cover-ups before. I am not saying their story isn’t true, but they the same people who said we were liars years ago when we had the tape from a source that proved Pavliks alcohol problems and they called us liars then the real truth came out and they didn’t even have the morals to even submit an apology. If myself or Pedro were vindictive people we could have posted the video here on Ringtalk. But we decided not to because if he had a problem it was important to not cause his family any further harm or negative publicity. So don’t tell me BS when you don’t know what the F your talking about. Thank You and no disrespect Ron but thats the way it is. KP

  • KP: Read the interview on Boxing Scene. This has nothing to do with alcoholism. Go back to journalism 101. Journalism isn’t just shooting off your crazy ideas, it’s at least trying to report the truth.

  • @Jon, it may not matter what I think, but as a fan, I want to see Pavlik in the ring not pulling out of fights and turning unwarranted title shots away. Why should he earn more than the 50k for the Cunningham fight? 50k is decent money for a guy who is no longer a top tier fighter and for facing what is essentially a tune-up. He blew his 1.4 million dollar payday vs Bute and may never get that chance again. Who wants to do business with a fighter on the downslide that thinks he’s a major star. He wants a David Haye cash out so perhaps he can retire. Screw that, he needs to earn it! More talented fighters have taken less money to climb to the top

  • It’s too bad about Kelly, he needs to go to rehab and stay there until he stops drinking. PERIOD!

  • the money excuse is BS. He needs to fight to get the public interested in him again. I think he is shot and wants and needs a big payday because it will be his last one.

  • I totally agree with Javier Ruiz. Pavlik hasn’t done anything recently to deserve a shot at a title. I was a big fan of Pavlik but now I am dissapointed and I feel a little let down as a boxing fan who wants to see the best fights. Pavlik vs Bute would of been an interesting fight I would love to see but now its not going ot happen because of Pavlik’s Greed.

  • Pav was never an elite level fighter to begin with… beating Taylor was a good win and Pav was a good fighter, but he was never and will never be an elite fighter… I predicted years ago that his lack of hand speed, lack of head movement, slow feet, and tough grinding style would lead to a short stint in the big leagues.. knew this beofre his first lost, he just doesnt measure up.. much like his fellow Youngstowner, Ray Mancini. He just doesnt have the speed, style, versatility, or talent to beat guys like Bute, Martinez, Hope, et al.. People had unrealistic expectation for Pav, he was never going to be a dominant force, just a guy with enough talent & grit to beat most fighters, but not enough to hang with most A Class pugilists. His latest move proves that he doesnt realize its over.. not sure who if anyone advised him on such a self damaging move, but someone needs to let Kelly know that he is not the commdity he once was..

  • what a huge let down for the hometown fans that continued to back Pavlik.

  • Javier,

    It’s his life and he obviously doesn’t care. Maybe he had a lousy training camp. Maybe he’s lost it and he is frightened of losing to Cunningham and has decided that he’d rather have one last big payday. Maybe a million things.

    It’s called capitalism. They made him an offer and he said he didn’t like it and walked away.

    It doesn’t matter what you think. It’s his business. Maybe it was a dumb move, maybe smart. You don’t know everything about his situation.

    A lot of people just don’t like Kelly Pavlik. What is all the hubub about? He pulled out of a fight with a staph infection (big deal) and checked into a rehab center for alcohol. Good for him.

    Who cares if he doesn’t want to fight Cunningham for $50K. I wouldn’t either.

  • Can’t understand a fighter on the comeback trail whining about a 1.4 million dollar purse. at least Kessler beat Froch after he lost to Ward. Pavliks done nothing but continuously pull out of fights and have long stretches of inactivity due to alcoholism. If I didn’t have any sympathy for the guy going through alcoholism I would have advised Pedro to post the video of Pavlik drunk as a skunk years ago falling off of a stage at a bar in Youngstown. This even after the “Top Rank” machine went out of their way trying to cover up Pavlik’s alcohol abuse and call Pedro a liar when there was valid evidence of his drinking problems. I wish Kelly the best, but this whole thing smells fishy.

  • @Jon, it’s not a legitimate gripe. Pavlik even getting a shot at title is not warranted. He’s done nothing at 168 and his career has fallen down quite a bit over the last few years. He needs more activity and good wins to be considered a top viable contender at 168. Part of what kills boxing and potential fights is everyone thinking they are De La Hoya star powers and wanting big money for every fight. A tune up fight vs Cunningham is not a must see important fight. Collect the money, prepare for Bute and should he win, he’s back on top as a elite level fighter with multi million dollar purses to follow

  • He’s not been the same since Hopkins whipped his ass!!!!

  • Adios Kelly.

  • Everyone is so quick to judge Pavlik. He pulled out because Top Rank gave him the offer for these two fights two weeks ago and he just (apparently) found out what Kessler was going to make against Bute–three times as much as he’d been offered–and said “Forget it, no way.”

    I don’t know if it’s smart, maybe not, but it’s a legitimate gripe and his decision.

    He’s was supposed to fight Cunningham for $50K…that pretty much sucks.

  • His alcohol addiction is the finish of him.
    He still accomplished a great thing in winning the lineal Middleweight Championship of the World, and he was in fact The-Man-Who-Beat-The-Man.
    It just seems the potential was there to do a bit more, but instead he’ll join the ranks of many talented fighters who pissed it away.

  • I’ve always liked Pavlik, but I don’t see his career rebounding. He’s not going to relive his success in 2007, and from what I hear he’s pulling out due to money. The man is no longer a star and needs as many confident building fights as he can get. His inactivity and personal problems will ensure him to be a short lived success.

  • I can’t stop drinking either…

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