In a report at Fightnews.com by Francisco Salazar, former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik sounds (and looks) in good spirits as he takes in his first-ever training camp without the aid of ex-trainer Jack Loew. Pavlik is now based in Oxnard, Calif., training under reigning Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia:
"I am very happy to be in a boxing environment and away from distractions. To me, the simplest things are a big thing. I came from a small town out here where people are worrying what I’m doing. There are no distractions here and the atmosphere is phenomenal."
The 29-year-old Pavlik has faced many trials and tribulations outside of the ring over the last two years (the most recent being a DUI arrest in December), but he's trying, at least, to move on and get out of the environment that was no good for him.
Boxing-wise, Pavlik says he and Garcia are working on fine-tuning his craft, improving his shoulder and head movement, and getting him to box side-to-side.
Pavlik (37-2, 32 KO) hasn't fought since last May, but is hoping to return to the ring this spring, perhaps in April or May. Garcia said in an interview with Ryan Maquinana that Pavlik could potentially return to the middleweight division, rather than fighting as a super middleweight as he did his last time out, and was expected to be his future in the sport.
I'm not saying Pavlik is some mega talent, because he's not, but let's not forget that this is a guy who, the last time he looked "like himself," beat the living crap out of the guy who's supposed to be such a "big step up" for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on February 4. If Pavlik is fit, has his head straight, and gels with Garcia, then the middleweight or super middleweight division will be adding a dangerous contender again sometime this year. It's a big if, obviously.