Kelly Pavlik has once again said that he'll only fight for the right money, and if he can't get it, he may never fight again. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Kelly Pavlik told his hometown paper the Youngstown Vindicator that he's alright with not fighting anymore if his expectations for pay aren't met, but it just seems like Pavlik still isn't quite getting it. Here's part of what he said:
"I didn’t want to cancel the fight, and I feel bad for the people in Youngstown, but everybody stands to get their money back. I’m the only one who stands to lose money. ... I’m not trying to be a cocky person, but the name Kelly Pavlik still carries a lot of weight. No matter what I do, Kelly Pavlik can still draw. If I’m not paid respectably, I won’t fight."
A few points. First off, no, Pavlik is not the only one who stands to lose money. There was his opponent, Darryl Cunningham, who was coming to the fight at age 36 for a career-best opportunity. There were the other guys on the card.
Pavlik's $50,000 payday he's scoffing at -- he says he isn't, but he is -- was the full budget of ShoBox. The rest was coming out of Top Rank's pocket. So Top Rank was investing again in Kelly Pavlik, despite his past issues. Again, this is the fifth fight he's canceled since 2009. A lot of promoters might have given up on him by now. Top Rank stayed in the game with him. That relationship might finally be damaged beyond repair.
As for his insistence that he's a draw, well, there were reportedly about 1,000 tickets sold for this fight. Pavlik does not understand, somehow, that he just does not carry the value he did after beating Jermain Taylor in 2007. How would he even know if he's still a draw? He hasn't been in a main event since April 2010. Things can change a lot in 16 months of boxing, and Pavlik's overall reputation has just taken hit after hit in that time, and was already being beaten up before that.
Part of me does admire that Pavlik is putting down his terms and taking, at least in his mind, control of his career. It's a bold move. But I don't think he's being rational or using his head here. There were a lot of routes to take here, and Pavlik took the one that couldn't help but come off poorly.