Kelly Pavlik was on MaxBoxing Radio last night, and to say he really spoke his mind would be an understatement. Pavlik spoke about why he pulled out of Saturday's fight, why he's so upset with the pay proposed, and says he was told late that he would be making $50K to fight Darryl Cunningham and just over $1M to fight Lucian Bute.
Pavlik also insists this is purely business, and nothing about personal problems:
"So everybody thinks right now, ‘Oh, hey, you pulled out because of personal problems, this, that.’ No, I pulled out because I don’t need to fight no more…I will retire. I don’t need the money that bad. It ain’t going to happen. ... What they’re trying to do is cash out. They’re saving the money. They want to pay me $1.1 [million]. $3 million is there, but that’s what they’re cashing out on. They’re going to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to pocket $2 million. He’s going to lose the fight, and we’re done with him.’ And that’s it. That’s how it works. ... The whole thing comes down to I’m tired of playing the game."
Whether or not Top Rank is looking to cash out on Pavlik is debatable, but what Pavlik doesn't say -- since it's not good for his stance -- is that Top Rank would be looking to cash out for very good reasons. Things like the fact that Pavlik has bailed on five fights since 2009. Or the fact that he came back and looked exceptionally rusty in May, squeaking by an opponent that should have been easy for him, and was signed up to be easy for him. Seeing a limited future in Kelly Pavlik would not be unique to the people at Top Rank.
I also think Pavlik is a bit delusional about his current value and standing in boxing. That's just my feeling. He references paydays from fights that came a few years ago, when he was on top of his game and the legit middleweight champ with a lot of buzz. He just isn't that guy anymore. His brand name has dropped considerably.