Kelly Pavlik announces retirement, says he doesn't 'think the drive is there anymore'

Chris Trotman

Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik has decided to walk away from boxing, citing long-term health concerns and a lack of drive to compete.

Following a year that had him placed among many lists for "Comeback Fighter of the Year" in 2012, Kelly Pavlik announced today that he was hanging up his gloves. Pavlik is citing health concerns and a lack of motivation as his reason to step away.

Dan Rafael at ESPN has the story:

Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, saying that he is concerned about the long-term medical impact of continuing to fight and no longer motivated, told ESPN.com on Saturday that he is retiring from boxing.

"When you stay in the sport too long you have health problems. That's a big, big thing for me," Pavlik said. "I'm not talking about now. I'm talking about in the future. I'm talking about when I'm 55 or 60. What's gonna happen to me then? Why take any more chances, especially in that sport. It's a brutal sport and you never know what can happen.

"I won the world title, I defended my title, I was champ for three years and I made good money. Why take the chance of medical problems? That's a big part of it. I also don't think the drive is there anymore. I'm moving on to a new chapter in my life."

Pavlik was set for a huge fight against Andre Ward that fell apart less than a month ago when Ward pulled out to have shoulder surgery.

DUI's, stints in rehab and a slew of other personal problems have cast a dark shadow over the latter years of Pavlik's career. But at his time on the top he was a superstar and legitimate top-tier talent and his two wins over Jermain Taylor were defining moments for that mid-to-late-00's period in boxing.

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