Following his bailing on an August date and thus a big November fight with Lucian Bute, Kelly Pavlik is hoping to get his career back on track, and will be meeting with Top Rank later this month, along with manager Cameron Dunkin. From Rick Reeno, this is what Dunkin had to say:
"He's coming to New York on the 22nd, to the Nonito Donaire fight [at Madison Square Garden]. We're going to sit down with him and have a nice meeting and hopefully we're going to put together a game plan for training, promotion, and get him fighting again. ...He said - 'let me go out and take a couple of fights, a few warm-up fights. I won't bitch about the money. And when you tell me that I look good and I'm ready - I'll fight anybody.'"
Pavlik (37-2, 32 KO) has fought just once since losing his middleweight crown to Sergio Martinez in April 2010, getting past Alfonso Lopez in May on the Pacquiao vs Mosley card. In 2010, he battled alcoholism and had a pair of stints in rehab, and prior to the canceled Darryl Cunningham fight in August, rumors were picking up that he wasn't doing so great in his personal life once again.
When he bailed on the date with Cunningham, he had plenty of complaints -- that he wasn't being paid enough (the full $50,000 ShoBox budget), that his pay for a November fight with Bute ($1.35 million) was low, and that he really didn't need to fight again if he wasn't going to get what he wanted, which was really big paydays.
There was a disconnect from Pavlik, which didn't acknowledge the reality: That he's not a big name fighter right now, that his market value has crashed, and that he was going to have to fight his way back into the position he wanted to be in once again.
But now it seems like something has hit home for Kelly, and that he's aware there are only so much bridges left unburned, especially now that he's hurt his stock with both HBO and Showtime, not to mention Top Rank. This is probably the last decent chance he's going to get, and it's going to come on the terms of others.