Dear Mr. Pavlik
The Downward Spiral?
- Pavlik Fight Called Off | Youngstown Vindicator
Saying boxer Kelly Pavlik's comeback has taken a "wrong turn," Covelli Centre officials have confirmed the cancellation of the former champ's 10-rounder against Darryl Cunningham. . .
- Pavlik's Actions Are a Cry For Help | Boxing | Yahoo! Sports
Kelly Pavlik angered many in boxing Tuesday by pulling out of a fight. What he needs is some help. -
- Kelly Pavlik Takes Control, For Better or Worse | ESPN
Disagree with Kelly Pavlik's pulling out of Saturday's fight? Fair enough. But as a guy who gets hit in the face for a living, he has earned the benefit of the doubt
A Lonely Walk. . .
One Sunday in September of 2007, needing to be up at the crack of dawn for my Aunt to take me from Harrisburg, PA to suburban Pittsburgh, PA for my Neice's christening, I logged onto my computer to read my e-mail and check the results of the Middleweight Title fight between you and Jermaine Taylor. You went into that fight a slight underdog, but I had done my homework and realized that Taylor was a 'gasser', he had a tendency to fade in the late rounds. To my surprise, I saw that you had gotten up from an early knockdown and TKOed Taylor.
I can imagine the sight at the church when my Aunt and I parked next to my parents and the rest of my family. A fist bump, and the declaration "We have a new champion!" are not typical behavior at a church. In the weeks that followed, you found yourself the toast of the sports world. To some, you may have been the next 'great white hope'. You could bring boxing back into the mainstream, a kid from a rust-belt city, in a sport that is more and more becoming dominated by people that don't look like 'America'. You also were the face of a movement to try and move your hometown out of an era of corruption and economic decline.
In February of 2008, you had a rematch with Taylor, and won a workman-like decision. Taylor would never be the same fighter in my opinion after those two fights, you had exposed his weakness.
Between that fight and a loss in April 2010 that cost you your title, you made a few defenses against overmatched opponents, lost to veteran Bernard Hopkins, and ducked a few very worthy fighters. After losing your title, you went into rehab for alcoholism, and decided to move up in weight. In May of 2011, you made your return to the ring, winning a decision. You seemed to realize that you still had a ways to go before you could challenge for the title, and were ready to take the next step in your hometown.
Then word came that you were pulling out of the fight, and the title fight sure to follow after you won. The reason you gave was money, but something about that and your actions made me think something else. I wonder if you've relapsed, gone back to the bottle. If this be the case, come out and admit it. Check back into rehab, get clean, and find people committed to the lifelong recovery that comes with addiction.
If you want to hang up the gloves, that's fine too. You've made a few ventures into promoting fights, I'm sure you could find people willing to back any other business ventures you may want to try.
Just realize that your actions of late reflect poorly on you and the city that you call home and for awhile, were a symbol of. We've seen one icon fall in coach Jim Tressel, we don't need another. And we don't need another young star to become a victim of addiction.
Still a Fan:
James 'Tea Party Crasher' D'Angelo
Camp Hill, PA USA