WFMJ is reporting that there is "no evidence" to support a 45-year old man's claim that middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik punched him in the groin, which is hardly a surprise. Ronald Cappitte was claiming that Pavlik and his trainer Jack Loew had gone downtown to Chinatown on him, which truthfully seemed like an attempt to grab some money or fame from a guy whose name has been in the rumor sheets with some unseemly tales in the past.
It seemed odd to me right away that Kelly Pavlik, the middleweight champion of the world, would choose to punch a 45-year old man in the gonads for saying "hello" to him when he could just as easily and probably more satisfyingly have punched him in the face, but face bruising is hard to fake with police and smashing your face into a wall to simulate a Pavlik right to the kisser would hurt and potentially give you a real injury. It was a B.S. story from the start, and now it's a non-story.
Some of the comments on the original story we linked to yesterday were interesting. I know nothing about the local scene in Youngstown, but apparently the bar this non-incident took place in is hardly your "high class" joint. Kelly Pavlik doesn't seem like a martini bar kind of guy to me, so that's not surprising. Someone in the comments there called Cappittee a "slumlord," which is no accusation from me as I don't know the man, and another person says the two (Pavlik and Cappittee) know each other "quite well." I'll let the locals say for sure, but there's a taste of Youngstown for you.
You know, Pavlik's last year or so has not been good in the press. I think he's one of those guys that wants to not let fame change him, wants to go to the same bars, hang out with the same folks he hung out with on the way up, but it's looking more and more like the reality is that Pavlik needs to stay out of the spotlight as much as humanly possible in Youngstown, and maybe even consider moving. I know people have their roots and they're proud of where they came from, but the Youngstown that is presented to us by the media is hardly a pretty picture, and it keeps looking like people -- not all of them, mind you, but an important minority -- are going to try to take advantage of Pavlik's fame there. He himself has said recently that every time he does anything, it's in the news there. That seems like a lot stress to me, way more than he'd have even living in New York or something.
- Former 154-pound titlist Verno Phillips hasn't fought since his loss to Paul Williams last year, and he says he's now a free agent in a press release. Phillips is/was promoted by Banner Promotions, and his team says that their attempts to get Verno back in the ring over the last eight months have gone unanswered despite the fact that Banner is running shows frequently. Phillips is 39 years old, so the clock is ticking on the remainder of his career.
- The funeral for Vernon Forrest will be held Monday in Atlanta, and is open to the public.
- The man who landed the 1-2 combination on Pancho Moncivais in Mississippi on Saturday is Bobby O'Bannon, and the young fighter says he's "had nightmares every night." When fighters die in combat, it's awful for them and their families, obviously, but often overlooked is the effect it has on the guy he was facing. Bobby doesn't plan to stop boxing, though. In fact, he plans to keep going in Moncivais' memory: "I don't know how I'm going to do it. But if I don't continue fighting, the legacy of Poncho is dead. He died because of what happened in the ring with me, but maybe people can look at me and say, 'He died, but Bobby won a championship in his name, or Bobby did this or inspired this.' And even if my boxing career turns out to be nothing — at least I gave it a shot for him, in his memory. That can be something that keeps me going, I think." Best wishes, Bobby.
- WEC featherweight champ Miguel Torres has thoughts on Floyd Mayweather Jr. that I'm going to avoid commenting on because I'm a huge fan of Torres' but find the sniping on both sides to be kinda dumb.