5 Reasons To Keep Rooting For Kelly Pavlik

Things did not go as planned in Atlantic City for Team Pavlik.  “The Ghost”  lost his championships and Sergio Martinez danced around the champ all night.  Jack Loew and Pavlik did not make any excuses, they took the loss with dignity.  The conversations in Youngstown are swirling around gaining twenty pounds and fighting heavier and slower despite coming in as strong as ever.  Another public gripe has been the work of Sid Rumbuck, the corner cut man who could not stop blood for very long in any round.

Negativity stated, I refuse to jump ship.  I have great respect for Kelly Pavlik and below are the five biggest reasons why I will keep rooting for him.

  1. Loyalty.   Too many times when a person becomes famous, they have a tendency to forget where they came from.  Pavlik has always represented Youngstown and has vehemently stated he does not want to go anywhere else and that he is happy here.  “Defend Youngstown” instilled a sense of pride into a beaten community.  Saying it was one thing, but living it was an elevated statement.  To live in the greater Youngstown area, I admire Pavlik for staying home and representing this area with such passion. 
  2. Pride.  Martinez won the fight, but this war is far from over.  When Pavlik said he doesn’t like to lose and he will get his belts back, he hinted where his heart is.  If he opts to move up to 168, he better drop the sledgehammer and trade those monster truck tires in for a jumprope.  Pavlik can dominate at 160 as long as he can keep making the weight.  The decision that Team Pavlik is weighing is a tough one.  I think the pride factor will kick in and Pavlik will exercise the rematch clause he has with Martinez.
  3. Heart.  Roberto Duran screamed “No Mas” and wasn’t really even cut.  Pavlik took all Martinez had for the last four rounds and still didn’t get knocked out.  He didn’t quit either.  All too often in sports, an athlete is called a warrior.  Seldom does the title accurately describe the effort, even in a loss, that a participant displays.  For Pavlik to fight with limited vision and just catch punches throws him into warrior status for not quitting.
  4. Jack Loew.  Loew has been paramount to the success of Kelly Pavlik.  Nationally, people sputter and shoot their mouths off about how much better Pavlik would be without Loew.  Loew is the most underappreciated person in boxing.  He knows the game and knows what his fighters are capable of.  He is quick with a quote, fast to defend what he believes to be the truth, and understands what needs to be done to win.
  5. Champion.  Ray Mancini, Harry Arroyo, Greg Richardson, Ken Sigurani, Roland Cummings, etc.  None of them, including Boom Boom, held a title as long as Pavlik did.  In my eyes, that would make him the best.  Being a champion means you dictate what happens in your career.  Pavlik plays golf and darts with his friends, but he also spends so much time and effort on charity work.  Almost every major fundraiser in the area was not a draw unless Pavlik would show.  Using that sort of leverage in positive ways makes him a special champion. 

If you were a Pavlik fan but decided not to be anymore because he lost, you were never really a fan.  If you are still a Pavlik fan, embrace the future with a sense of optimism.  With the recent  loss, I would make him the marshall of any parade in Mahoning County for what he has achieved, but more importantly, what is still left to achieve.


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