Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Pavlik’

Jake Giuriceo Talks About Recovery And The Future

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Since early December, Jake Giuriceo has been inactive.  Giuriceo took a vicious head butt in his last fight that caused a detached retina and left an uncertain future in the sport he loves.

The butt came against Peter Oluoch on a December 1 card at Mountaineer.

Since December, “The Bull” has successfully undergone surgery to correct the retina, but will not be cleared until the second part of the process happens.

“I have to have cataract surgery now”, said Giuriceo.  ”I go see the doctor on February 13, that is my next step.”

If Giuriceo gets clearance he said he is leaning toward continuing his career.

“I miss it.  I am jogging and shadow boxing to stay in shape, but I really love boxing and hope to be able to come back.  It’s in the Lord’s hands.”

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Giuriceo will turn 28 on February 25th, an age too young to retire from boxing in his mind.

“Just about everyone is saying that it is enough and that I should probably retire.  My wife is on the same page with me and I really don’t feel like it is over”, said Giuriceo.

The Bull also touched on the recent retirement of Kelly Pavlik.

“I have been very happy to see a Youngstown guy do so well”, said Giuriceo.  ”He can’t get the fights he wants, so basically he is walking away.  I wanted to see him fight for another title, but if nobody wants to give him a good shot at a big fight, he did the right thing by choosing to not beat himself up over smaller paydays.  He really did a lot for this area.”

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Giuriceo (16-2-1) is still the same person he was, staying in great shape and currently tipping the scales at 154, and remaining a busy guy.  With his future in boxing in question, he hasn’t changed much in his daily routine.

“I still get up and go to work”, said Giuriceo.  ”I come home and still work out.  My wife and I are looking to buy a house in the area and have been busy with that.  I also continue going to church and my Bible study on Sundays and Wednesdays.”

So for now, Giuriceo awaits some big decisions which he has no control of.  If he gets the green light from the medics, he would probably stop at the gym to spar on his way home.  The waiting game is in session and The Bull can almost see red again.

Kelly Pavlik Update: Ward? Bute? Froch?

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Speaking with Kelly Pavlik, nothing in the immediate future is set in stone.  In fact, the former middleweight champion says nothing, as far as he knows, is even in negotiation.

“You probably know more than I do”, said Pavlik (40-2, 34 KO’s).  ”I am just trying to train and stay fight-ready so when I get the call, I will be ready.”

Pavlik has had a good bit of in-ring action to shake the rust with wins over inferior competition.  In his last three fights, ‘The Ghost’ has three different results, despite winning all of them.

Aaron Jaco was knocked out convincingly in the second round.  Then Scott Sigmon lasted longer than most thought he would until the referee stopped that fight in the seventh round.

On July 7, Pavlik faced a game Will Rosinsky, and came away with a unanimous ten-round decision.  This was to be his final setup for a bigger payday and tougher opponent.  The names of Carl Froch, Andre Ward, and Lucian Bute, all surfaced as big-name opponents.

Ward took the steps and the deal was signed, but he injured his shoulder for what could have been Pavlik’s shot at regaining the limelight.

Interestingly, with Manny Pacquiao losing his last fight, the sport needs back some of the faces that people actually watch.  There is constant turnover in boxing, but the critical period it is enduring right now needs star power.

Love him or hate him – people watch Kelly Pavlik.

“I wanted to stay active and hopefully we will get something done real soon.  When I know, you will too”, promised Pavlik.

Tweet #5,000

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In the Winter of 2008, I had to have a hip replacement.  The down time I had to endure meant a lot of sitting around with nothing to do except watch reruns of Two And A Half Men and a bunch of game shows.

A friend of mine, Ethan Jaynes, who operated a blog called NESW sports, asked me to write a couple of posts.  When those stories did well, Jaynes hooked me up with the knowledge I would need to run my own site, Paneech.com.

In the time since, I have made a bunch of good friends and probably a few enemies too.

Fast forward to September of 2012.  I am working a 40-hour-a-week job, and still trying to keep up with this website.  Sometimes the posts seem scant, but that is because of the time constraints I have to deal with.

On of the biggest events I was lucky enough to cover was the dedication of Dave Grohl Boulevard in Warren.  I was interviewing Jen Campbell, the organizer of the event, in a side building as warm-up bands were wailing away outside.

Suddenly, on the third question of the interview, the door opens, and it is Dave Grohl.  He looks at us, the only two people in the room, and asks, “Am I early?”

Campbell had to run and gather some folks which left me solo with Grohl, who offered me a Budweiser.  We talked about everything from the steel industry to Wedgewood Pizza, to Kurt Cobain, to how often he sneaks back to this area to visit family.

It was the biggest, ‘right place at the right time’, moment in my life.

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I have caught some good breaks to gain access.  My first real coverage was of the Youngstown Thunder Arena Football team.  Those games were a lot of fun and I was able to develop my first player profile interviews while I was there.  Thanks to Anthony Farris for a chance.

The next break to fall into my lap was the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.  Marc Means and Dave Smith, the GM at the time, were instrumental in getting me the trial year of credentials.  The Scrappers, now functioning on the watch of Jordan Taylor, are fun because of the themes, the wrestling, the fireworks, and the personalities you meet who deal with baseball as a way of life every day.

Youngstown State University is something I never thought I would want to cover.  Too much stuff going on.  I wanted to give football a shot, so for the 2009 season, Jon Heacocks’s last,  Trevor Parks gave me that chance.  Call it good timing because nobody but WFMJ and Pete Mollica cared about the football program which seemed to be spiraling negatively.

I took a real liking to the way that the YSU people do things.  There were not too many media people who bet Jerry Slocum would still be around.  I got to know Slocum a little better than some and am glad he has found his niche here.

Covering Cindy Martin was tough because when a team goes 0-30, it is hard to ask many questions with positive answers.  Bob Boldon and his staff have picked up the slack in a big way and made that program fun.

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When Ron Strollo hired Eric Wolford for the 2010 season, he made the best possible choice for the university to rekindle a program known for its strong tradition.  Strollo has been fantastic and has seemed to make all of the right moves in the past couple of years.

Wolford is destined for bigger things.  I do not know how long he will be here, hopefully until he retires, but he makes no bones about being an SEC guy and by getting all of the good experience as a head coach here, Wolford will make a jump to a D-I school within the next few years.

Kelly Pavlik was getting recognition for beating Jermain Taylor a couple of times when I got to sit with him and chat.  Still active and back on the rise, The Ghost has provided some huge moments for this site.  Everything from title defenses to a bitter separation with Jack Loew, and no mention of foul play or substance abuse here.  No reason to.

Jake Giuriceo seems to be the next thing to emerge as a televised boxer from Youngstown.  This kid is so laid back, so spiritual, and so focused, that anyone who talks with him would be hard-pressed not to root for him.

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As the website continues to progress, I remain focused on trying to be entertaining and informative without the demise factor.  There is enough positive in the Youngstown area to avoid all of the negative.

So to Larry Holmes, the Youngstown Phantoms, 38 Special, Ron Stevens, and Pete Rose.  Thanks for the roles you have played here at Paneech.com!

Pavlik Officially Back In Spotlight, Outclasses Rosinsky

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Kelly Pavlik made it known with a third tune-up fight that he is ready to take a step up in competition at the 168-pound level.  Pavlik’s experience proved to be too much for a game Will Rosinsky, and the former middleweight champ continued his progression as a boxer instead of a fighter successfully.

Pavlik caught Rosinsky with a short right hook in the second round.  Rosinsky bounced back up seemingly unhurt but Pavlik managed to score a 10-8 round sandwiched in between a close first and third round.

Pavlik got cut over his left eye in the fourth round on an unintentional head butt.  The cut seemed to awaken Pavlik into being more aggressive and throwing more punches, especially lefts to the body in round 5.

Rosinsky seemed to be running after throwing a good punch every ten seconds or so. Pavlik was dictating the pace of the fight through the seventh round.  Pavlik landed more punches with greater frequency from the fifth round until the end of the fight.

Despite a lack of national exposure, Rosinsky had a very positive amateur career, but had never been in the ring with anyone even close to the level of a Kelly Pavlik. Nevertheless, he [Rosinsky] showed guts and potential, he was no soft bye week for Pavlik.

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In the tenth round, Pavlik head some blood streaming down his left cheek parlayed with a right cauliflower ear and if you had just turned the television on, you would have thought Rosinsky’s unharmed mug would suggest he was winning the fight.  It was just the opposite though, Pavlik won the fight, all but maybe two rounds of it.

The thing that Pavlik fans need to be concerned with is that The Ghost did not hurt Rosinsky.  He did knock Rosinsky down once, but there has to be concern that Pavlik can really have issues against better competition.

At the end of the day, it is a win, a nationally televised win on boxing’s biggest stage for Pavlik.  The judges saw it 97-92, 98-91, and 98-91 to give Pavlik the unanimous decision.

“I didn’t counter like I wanted to, but it is a ‘W’ and I’ll take the rounds”, said Pavlik.  ”I am still a young guy, but I need to get better.  It is time to make a move, I don’t think I need too many more of these fights.”

Up next for Pavlik, a return to the big spotlight, potentially to face Andre Ward or possibly Carl Froch.  Details will probably be more readily available within a month.

All photos courtesy of Miguel Salazar, and a special thank you to Team Pavlik and Mike Romeo for getting them to me.

 

Pavlik Outclasses Sigmon

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On a definite road forward, Kelly Pavlik ran his record to 39-2 and picked up his 34th knockout in Las Vegas Friday night.  The former champion opened a seven round barrage on his overmatched opponent, Scott “Cujo” Sigmon.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the telecast was watching ESPN’s Teddy Atlas expose Pavlik’s flaws before the fight, mentioning that if Sigmon had a shot to pull off the miracle upset it would be by capitalizing on Pavlik exposing himself when he throws an uppercut.

As for the fight itself, Sigmon entered the ring to the Ghostbusters theme song.  Ray Parker Jr. may have put up more of a fight than Sigmon did.  Sigmon showed heart in taking a beating for all of seven rounds until the ref stopped the mauling before the beginning of the eighth round of a scheduled ten.

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Pavlik basically looked like he didn’t get hit when the fight ended.  Sigmon was still running his mouth through the blood trickling down his face when the fight was stopped, and will surely proclaim Pavlik did not knock him out.

“I did what I could do, give him credit, he took body shots and what I was throwing”, said Pavlik.  ”If I would have stayed down more, the fight would have been over earlier.”

“He didn’t have any power.  Robert [Garcia] and I will watch the film and come back ready.  This is a loaded weight division.  I want a big fight for the next fight.  If it isn’t a world title or a Top-5 guy, the media can come down on me.  No more tuneups, I’m ready for the next step.”

It is going to be interesting to see who the Pavlik camp lines up next.

Pavlik Talks About Sigmon, Extends Get-Well Wishes To Paul Williams

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On Friday, June 8, Kelly Pavlik returns to mainstream television to fight Scott Sigmon on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.  Pavlik (38-2, 33 KO’s) and Sigmon (22-3, 12 KO’s) both recently expressed to me how good victory will taste by winning, problem is, only one of them can be victorious.

“I’m not sure why everyone thinks I am talking trash about Pavlik”, said Sigmon in a recent phone conversation.  ”I made the alcoholics anonymous comment, but other than that I haven’t said much out of line.”

“He’s an idiot”, said Pavlik.  ”He has some kind of a reality show and I watched some of it.  It was horrible and he is really out there, I mean way out there.”

Sigmon claims this fight is his stepping stone.  ”I don’t care how, I just want to win.  I’m probably not going to be the first guy to knock him out, but I think my conditioning and my toughness can give me a win.”

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“He made this personal.  I am going into the weigh-in and I don’t want to say much.  To sum it up, he has me really pissed right now and I can’t wait for the fight.  I’m not sure whether I want to beat the hell out of this guy for five or six rounds or hit him hard early-on for a quick finish”, said Pavlik.

Pavlik has something at stake in the nationally televised main event, the chance to get back on a pay-per-view, possibly in mid-November, possibly with Carl Froch.

“I feel really good and sparred 18 rounds in the last two days, which is quite a bit for me”, claimed Pavlik.  ”I am about three-and-a-half pounds from making weight and it will not be an issue.  I am working hard and want to make a statement in this fight.  People say I’m overlooking him [Sigmon], but the reality is that I wanted this fight really bad because of his ignorant and disrespectful comments.”

On the downside, Pavlik stated that he wanted to extend his best get-well wishes to Paul Williams.  Williams was involved in an accident that has left him paralyzed from the waist-down.

“You never want to see something like that.  I was shocked when I heard about it”, said Pavlik.  ”He is a fighter and I want to go on the record and let Paul Williams know that he is in my prayers and that I know he is a fighter and he can beat it and walk again.  I want to try to make contact with him after this fight, maybe send something or shoot a text to let him know that my heart is with him during something I can’t imagine going through.”

Dealing With Adversity, Part 2: Kelly Pavlik

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When I talked with Kelly Pavlik about writing an article focusing on athletes dealing with adversity, he could have easily dodged the conversation knowing I would have had a million other things to ask him.  However, the former champion embraced the idea and gave me very honest and well-thought out answers.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Pavlik shocked the boxing world and pulled himself up nearing a ten-count to storm back and beat Jermaine Taylor.  Many years later, Pavlik has found himself trying to get up from a different ten-count, the soap opera that his life was becoming.  Pavlik couldn’t sneeze and wipe his nose properly before one of his many critics would verbally insult him.

After the first Taylor victory (he beat him twice), Pavlik couldn’t walk into a bar where people would not be lined up waiting for their chance to buy the new champ a drink. The new champ, by the way, was barely of legal drinking age.  Most guys his age have the same trips and frequent the same places, they just don’t take the same criticism for doing any of it.

After a loss to Bernard Hopkins, Pavlik may have turned to the bottle for comfort to ease his mind.  Still not 25 years old, the pressure associated with the fame he was garnering might stress any mortal out a bit.  After this loss, the bar crowd, some of the die hard fans who rode his coattails, and even people he thought he could trust started yapping about what a big problem Pavlik had, how he was just an alcoholic, or how his best days were behind him.

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“You really learn a lot about your friends and family during a period like that”, said Pavlik.  ”People you thought you could trust, people you thought had your back no matter what, you hear things and are shocked to hear where others got their information, and it isn’t even accurate most of the time.”

Pavlik has faced plenty of adversity included a well-documented trip to rehab, a family squabble with his brother, a bitter separation from longtime trainer Jack Loew, and everybody running their mouth as fast as they could about what the former champions next gaffe would be.

So how does The Ghost deal with these issues?

“Adversity is a tough thing, really tough”, commented Pavlik.  ”Everyone will have something in their life that they need to deal with, and we all know I have had my share.  Getting through the tough times are something you have to find within yourself.  I did a lot of soul searching these past couple of years and what matters most to me are my wife and kids, my family, and my friends.  For those fans that have stuck by my side, I am truly grateful and hope to make them happy again real soon.”

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Pavlik still considers Youngstown home, but is now training under Robert Garcia in California.  He has a fight coming up on ESPN in just a couple of weeks against someone who typifies exposing the adversity of someone else when they are down.  Scott “Cujo” Sigmon (22-3, 12 KO’s) has drawn the ire of Pavlik with his tireless self-promoting rants on Facebook and to any media outlet that would listen.

“He made this personal, and I wanted this fight really bad.  I don’t think he has been in the ring with a fighter of my caliber yet and I am going to show up ready, I really want to shut him up live and in-person.  He is going to feel it when I hit him.”

As Pavlik trains for the fight, rumors are already circulating that with a good performance, The Ghost can look forward to a big-time fight in September or October either on HBO or on a Pay-Per-View card.  He returned to California a couple of weeks early to start training and to promote himself as a rekindled spirit in a sport that buries itself in adversity.

“I have made some mistakes and I am in a much better place in my life right now.  I feel great and I am rededicated to the sport of boxing.  I will be making a lot of noise in the near future and I can’t wait to prove my critics wrong again.”

Kelly Pavlik Looks Toward June 8th After Impressive Knockout In Texas

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Kelly Pavlik answered a lot of questions about ring rust and time away, as well as how he would feel fighting back at 170 pounds.  Pavlik (38-2, 33 KO’s) knocked Aaron Jaco down in the first round and kept him down with another sharp left hook just 45 seconds into the second round.  Pavlik connected with a shot that landed flush and sent Jaco into la-la land (above).  The Youngstown native will now hope to have a bigger exposure fight, possibly on ESPN2 in early June.

“I felt terrific tonight”, said Pavlik.  ”After I hit him a couple of times, he felt my power and started just trying to throw wildly, and that left him open and a little off balance, and I caught him with a good left hook in the first.”

Pavlik looked very sharp in his first in-ring action in over a year.  The former champion felt fresh and showed little ring rust during the fight.  The impressive performance almost guarantees Pavlik a June date on ESPN.  The Ghost also hinted bigger things to come by the end of September in his quest to regain championship gold.

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“I will sign to fight someone in June on ESPN, probably June 8th.  The big one is going to be in September though.  I don’t know who I will be fighting in either fight, but hopefully the one in September will be for a belt.”

The knock on Pavlik the last time he fought was that he looked slow and rusty despite winning.  When asked about ring rust, Pavlik set the record straight.

“There was no rust tonight.  I did everything I set out to do.  My punches felt crisp, back to where they should be.”

Pavlik will return to Youngstown for a couple of weeks and then head back to Oxnard, California around the 17th or 18th of this April to start working for the June fight, which should be announced in a couple of weeks.  Top Rank is itching to get one of their most recognizable stars back in the spotlight, and Pavlik seems ready to accept the chance.  The dominant performance he put on in Texas should do plenty toward both the June and September proposed fights.

“I hit him [Jaco] with two very clean shots, two left hooks that sent him down twice.  It was the best I have felt in the ring in a very long time and I look forward to getting back to it and preparing for what comes next.”

Granted, Aaron Jaco is not a household boxing name, but he was 15-2 entering the fight, so he had to do something right although his opposition had never been the likes of a Kelly Pavlik.  The fight accomplished exactly what Pavlik and trainer Robert Garcia wanted it to, showed the world that he still has ‘it’ and wants more of ‘it’.

Kelly Pavlik Returns To The Ring Saturday

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Kelly Pavlik is fighting more than Aaron Jaco (15-2, 5KO’s) on Saturday night.  Pavlik is fighting his critics, again, and looks forward to both challenges.  I got a chance to interview The Ghost via telephone Saturday night and he seems very focused on getting back to the sacred heights he controlled just three short years ago.

“I feel fantastic”, said Pavlik.  ”I weighed in at 169.2 today and that was great because we were shooting for 170.  Everything is really smooth and I am very anxious to get back in there.”

Pavlik (37-2, 32 KO’s), in all probability, will win the fight.  What he wants to accomplish is to deliver a polished performance to leave an impression on the powers that be to get him back on television in June.  He realizes that this is just step one and knows anything can happen.

“I would like to get the rounds of work, but I will not take any chances.  If the opportunity to score a knockout is there, I will not drag it out, I want to win convincingly.  He has two hands and has boxed before, anything can happen.”

When asked if anything was different in training under Robert Garcia‘s watchful eye, Pavlik responded by saying, “There is a little bit of a different approach.  We are doing more rounds with the pads on and more punches.  There is no change in style.  We are only fine-tuning my style and getting back to countering and moving the head.”

The fight is  a scheduled 10-round, 170 pound match that will not be televised.

Details and pictures of the fight will be posted here tomorrow night, check back!

Pavlik – Loew Relationship Ending Ugly

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Read this article before advancing.  Jack Loew gave me his side of this story a month-and-a-half ago. The emphasis was that he was unsure if he was still the trainer of Kelly Pavlik or not, and hadn’t heard from him.

WFMJ aired comments by both Pavlik and Loew in a good piece by Dana Balash.  I spoke with Pavlik to follow-up on what was unfolding, and got his side of the story, as well as, new comments from Loew.

“He is a good kid, but he is ruining his life”, said Loew.  “He has ruined his body.  He drinks and smokes a pack of cigarettes every day and is going downhill fast.  When he cancelled the fight in Youngstown, he has probably drank each day since.”

“He better watch what he says”, stated Pavlik. “He has a lot of skeletons in his closet, and if I do not hit him with a defamation of character lawsuit, I have a lot that I could bring up, I have been biting my tongue.”

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Pavlik has been given another chance by Top Rank to fight.  The former champion said he is leaving on December 29 for California where he will start training with Robert Garcia.  He also said that he can potentially fight on a Top Rank card at New York’s Madison Square Garden on February 25, his son’s birthday.

“I never missed a day of training”, said Pavlik.  “yet all I ever hear is that he keeps shooting off his mouth telling people that I still have a drinking problem.  His comments are harsh and ignorant, and for all he has because of me, he sure seems unappreciative.  He told people I am not welcome at his gym.  Does he not understand that without me there wouldn’t have been a gym?  He must have forgot that I had to beg Top Rank to keep him on when they wanted me to get rid of him.”

Loew said he is tired of the drama and just wants to move on. “I have plenty of other things going on.  All I ever wanted from Kelly was to meet and discuss his options.  I had to read about his intentions on the internet and that would basically tell me that it is time to move on and that I am obviously done with him.”

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“Jack’s kids are grown”, added Pavlik.  “I have babies to feed, and I have to do what I have to do to make sure they are taken care of.  If that means going to California, then that is what I have to do.  I plan on making the most of this second chance that Top Rank has given me.  People could say I’m washed up all they want.  I lost two fights, one to the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, Sergio Martinez, and the other to a living legend in Bernard Hopkins.  I beat Jermaine Taylor , twice.  I am not done.”

Loew disagreed with that philosophy.  “He is done.  He will never be a champion again because of what he has done to himself, to his body.”