Staph Infection | BOXING: Pavlik Withdrawal May KO His Career

The former middleweight world champion from Youngstown, Ohio was slated to take on Darryl Cunningham tonight in Youngstown in a super middleweight fight. It was to be a prelude to Pavlik next challenging super middleweight champion Lucian Bute.

Pavlik, who previously pulled out of two fights with Paul Williams because of a staph infection and a fight with Brian Vera because of a reported rib injury, did it again this week by withdrawing from tonight’s bout.

Pavlik might have been unhappy with a $1.35 million guaranteed purse he was to get by fighting Bute, because he heard Mikkel Kessler was offered $3.5 million to fight Bute, which turned out to be erroneous. That’s the reason Pavlik gave to a local television station in Youngstown.

“The fight is off and the Bute fight is not going to happen,” Pavlik told WFMJ. “I’m not going to fight a southpaw for peanuts.”

Cunningham and Bute are both southpaws. Pavlik was to receive $50,000 for the tune-up with Cunningham and then the $1.35 million for Bute. Pavlik, 29, hasn’t been a world champion for nearly two years and he’s calling $1.35 million peanuts? Hello!

Anyway, his manager, Cameron Dunkin, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that Pavlik told him something different, that he simply does not want to box any longer.


Speaking by telephone from his Las Vegas office, Arum did not speak in typical promoter tones about Pavlik, who showed no class and no professionalism because his move caused tonight’s entire show to be canceled.

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Arum’s Top Rank Inc. lost money, so did Showtime, so did Cunningham. In short, Pavlik is ruining what once was a fine career.

“I think he has hurt it tremendously because the most important thing for a network or a promotional company is reliability, and if there is lack of reliability and you can’t count on the fighter, then who the hell wants to deal with him?” Arum said.

We attempted to speak with Showtime executive Ken Hershman to see if the cable network would still be interested in doing a Pavlik fight. But spokesman Chris DeBlasio said there would be no comment forthcoming from the company.

However, it’s interesting to note that from knowledge of previous Showtime cards it costs roughly $140,000 to produce a “ShoBox: The New Generation” event. Since Pavlik pulled out Monday night – only five days from the fight – you can bet Showtime lost some cash and isn’t thrilled about it.

Neither is Arum, who has noticed the pattern.

“This isn’t the first time,” he said. “When Manny Pacquiao was fighting (Antonio) Margarito last November in Dallas), we did a press conference for Kelly, who was supposed to be on the card (against Vera), at the Friar’s Club in New York and he’s there and he’s great and so forth.

“Two days later, he pulled out of the fight. He hurt his ribs.”

So Pavlik said.

Before that were the two times in 2009 Pavlik pulled out of fights with Williams because of a staph infection in his right hand.

“It was legitimate he had a staph infection, but the reason the infection got so bad is because he didn’t take care of it,” Arum said.

Then there was the incident last month at the family home.

“Everyone covers up for him,” Arum said. “It was this bizarre incident a few weeks ago where the police had to be called where he has this terrible fight with his brother. They said they were just horsing around. That wasn’t the case; he put his brother through a plate-glass window.”

Arum was asked if he believes Pavlik has gone back to drinking.

“I have no idea,” he said.

The Hall of Fame promoter isn’t sure if Pavlik can come back from this.

“The only way he can even think of overcoming it is to fight on some small cards … even though it’s real hard,” Arum said. “Who’s going to buy a ticket to a Kelly Pavlik fight? Like these

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