Bob Arum is like most boxing promoters in that he rarely has a bad thing to say about anyone in his stable. But he may have finally had it with Kelly Pavlik.
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.”
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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.
There’s another possibility, that being Pavlik might not be staying sober like he should be after two fairly recent stints in alcohol rehabilitation. Police were called to Pavlik’s parents’ home in Youngstown just last month because of a fight between Pavlik and his older brother, Mike. According to the Youngstown Vindicator, the report said both had been drinking.
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.
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
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