Rick Reeno reports that "sources with direct knowledge" have told him that Mikkel Kessler was not offered $3.5 million to fight Lucian Bute. In fact, he was offered a guarantee of "just" $750,000, which is less than what Kelly Pavlik just turned down in protest, partly over not getting an offer as high as Kessler.
This whole situation is far from totally unfolded at this point, and this is a new wrinkle. Bob Arum has said that the $3.5 million rumored for Kessler was a "fantasy," and this seems to confirm that. Kessler would have kept 100% of the Danish TV money, and he pulls massive TV ratings at home, so he would have made more than $750K, but Pavlik doesn't have the equivalent of the Danish TV market, either.
The deeper this gets, the more it looks like Pavlik made a serious boner here (I love using the word "boner" in this way, forgive me), and the more it looks like either something was wrong with him, or he's greatly misjudging his value. He's dug in on this one, which is admirable in a way, but he's also really damaged a career that was barely on the mend to begin with.