Kelly Pavlik held a press conference at Jack Loew’s Southside Boxing Club on Tuesday afternoon. I attended the press conference with hopes of hearing that an opponent had been signed to fight on the Pacquiao vs Mosley undercard on May 7 in Las Vegas. The plans were discussed and nothing has been finalized as of yet, although an announcement should be coming within a month. The main topic of discussion was Pavlik completing a 60-day stint at the Ranch Recovery Center.
“I felt like I had to go and there would be consequences either way. I’m not knocking it, the system works for a lot of people, but most of the people there were forced to go from prisons. I don’t believe I ever really had a problem. Most of the rumors start when a guy in a bar sees me having a drink and it turns into a big deal. What was he doing in there? What gives anyone the right to be in a bar, but not me? Was he drinking green tea and acting like an angel? I know it is not so much what I did, as much as who I am at that point”, said Pavlik in response to an array of questions pertaining to his rehabilitation stint.
“It was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation for me. If I get up and leave Youngstown, then I am turning my back on the city I have defended. If I stay here, I’m going to do what I do and have to suffer through the rumors. At first it was rough, and I was angry, but I manned up and dealt with it”, said the former champion. “I haven’t had a drink in three and a half months, but I would be a liar if I were to sit here and make promises that I will never have a drink again because I don’t know that for sure.”
If there is an underlying story in the dramatic world that is Kelly Pavlik, it would have to be the unconditional support of Bob Arum and everyone at Top Rank Promotions. Pavlik could have been chided by the management monsters, but Arum stuck by his fighter and will surely have him on the fast track back into the limelight where he belongs. Jack Loew has also been criticized in the past. Loew has been respectful every time I have talked to him, has never ducked a question, and most importantly, will be in Pavlik’s corner because he helped construct a champion.
Pavlik talked about what he had been and concentrated on where he wants to go. “I had a lot of time to think and really welcomed more spirituality into my life. I had time to clear my head and get my thoughts straight. I want to get back into the ring and I feel refreshed from my time away. I will be fighting at 168 and have been starting to train. We are trying to get a fight on the May 7, Pacquiao-Mosley undercard against a decent fighter. I don’t want to beat a tomato can, I want to be tested. I weigh about 193 right now, but getting down to 168 should not be a problem. “
Pavlik says he is going to start training in mid-March for a fight he expects to have on May 7. “I am running, lifting, and training and I feel good, I feel hungry and I feel ready to get back in the ring. I will start full training and sparring eight weeks out, but will take the fight with six to seven weeks advanced notice. I want to be a world champion again.“
The obvious tingle to compete was in his eyes, a good sign for Pavlik fans everywhere.
Thank You to John D’Altorio and everyone at Team Pavlik for access and use of the above photos!