Kelly Pavlik is Ready For The Next Chapter of His Career

By Mark Staniforth

After battling serious illness and alcoholism, boxing ought to be the easy part for Kelly Pavlik, who returns to the ring for the first time in over a year when he makes his debut at super-middleweight next month.

The all-action hero of Youngstown, Ohio, who held the undisputed middleweight crown from September 2007 up to his loss to Martinez, completed his fall from grace when he checked into the Betty Ford Clinic late last year.

It remains to be seen whether Pavlik, by his own admission a party animal, has truly beaten his demons. During a conference call this week, he neglected to mention the 'A' word once. He implies his affliction was not so serious.

Having spent much of 2010 also recovering from a severe reaction to antibiotics used to treat an infection, Pavlik is in no mood to hang around. He returns on the Pacquiao-Mosley undercard on May 7 against unbeaten Texas puncher Alfonso Lopez.

"I think I treated it (my alcoholism) at an early stage," said Pavlik. " It didn't get to the point where I couldn't function without alcohol. It just got to the point where I got in the party mode and it kept escalating.

"I do everything the same. The only difference is I don't drink. I don't believe in changing a lifestyle or doing stuff to keep yourself even more unhappy - that leads to even worse problems.

"If I can't drink any more it's not going to make me unhappy. I'm not going to be a miserable person because I can't drink. I just got caught up in a lifestyle of going out and partying and I needed a kick in the ass before it got too late."

Pavlik blazed onto the world scene in September 2007 when his stoppage win over Taylor transformed him instantly from an all-action club fighter into an all-American hero, and some said the saviour of an ailing sport.

Pavlik lived the dream, soaking up the the acclaim and cementing his status as the undisputed middleweight champion and one of the most marketable fighters in the business when he beat Taylor in a less explosive rematch.

In October 2008 Pavlik lost for the first time as a professional in a questionable non-title contest with Bernard Hopkins: Hopkins was always likely to tie the young Pavlik in knots, and the defeat tarnished his status as a dynamic champion.

Two more low-key title defences led him up to a projected big-money showdown with Paul Williams - cancelled due to his illness - before he was beaten by Martinez, who has since done everything to underline his status as a worthy successor.

Pavlik's move up to the 12-stone division raises some interesting possibilities, with the 'Super Six' lumbering towards an underwhelming conclusion and division number one Lucien Bute offering the prospect of a huge fight in Bute's native Canada.

First, however, Pavlik must get past Lopez in what looks on paper to be a surprisingly dangerous comeback assignment: Lopez has stopped 16 of his 21 professional victims, albeit almost entirely journeymen.

"This is a very important fight for me to cement my name back out there again," added Pavlik. "That's why I'm taking this fight so seriously. I think this is one of the most important fights of my career."

Perhaps, ultimately, the success or otherwise of Pavlik's boxing comeback will be determined by the extent to which he truly acknowledges the extent of the fight he faces outside the ring.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by TaurusJ27 on 04-27-2011

This could be the best undercards for mosley-pacquiao fight.

Comment by ChopperRead on 04-27-2011

From what I read, Kelly's problem was more serious than what he is saying here. I hope he's not being delusional. Good luck to him at any rate.

Comment by lefthook2daliva on 04-27-2011

Good luck KP. :boxing: Hope to see your detractors treated to a nice helping of crow. Serve it up, Kelly.

Comment by ИATAS on 04-27-2011

[QUOTE=Freedom!;10443743]Best of luck to Kelly Pavlik! :fing02: I'll never forget Pavlik-Miranda, it was one of the most exciting fights I've ever seen.[/QUOTE] No doubt. And of course Taylor after that was amazing. I was in Cancun Mexico watching that at…

Comment by Hitman932 on 04-27-2011

[QUOTE=Freedom!;10443743]Best of luck to Kelly Pavlik! :fing02: I'll never forget Pavlik-Miranda, it was one of the most exciting fights I've ever seen.[/QUOTE] No matter your opinion of Pavlik's skill level and ability he is one of the few guys you…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (7)
Top Headlines Video: Buboy Fernandez Breaks Down Pacquiao vs. Vargas Bout Video: Manny Pacquiao Discusses Camp, Vargas Fight, More Roy Jones Jr: I'm Addicted To Boxing, No Retirement Right Now Frankie Gavin Rules Out Retirement, Wants Eggington Rematch Parker's Promoter Faces Resistance on Funding For Ruiz Event Frank Warren Details Thoughts on WBA/WBO Heavyweight Belts Jorge Linares Targets Mikey Garcia, Hopes To Face Him in 2017 Judah: Brook Showed Golovkin is Not Invincible, Canelo Can Win Photos: Sam Eggington Drills Frankie Gavin in Birmingham War Photos: Craig Cunningham Shocks Anthony Ogogo By TKO Pacquiao's Co-Trainer Expects Vargas To Fall in Later Rounds Chavez Sr: My Son Will Continue Relationship With Al Haymon De La Hoya: I Knew Pacquiao Would Beat Me Up, I Was a Dead Man Provodnikov, Pirog, Avanesyan, Troyanovsky Part of Reality Show Eduardo Hernandez Blasts Out Victor Terrazas in Two Rounds Luis Nery Closes in on Title Shot at Bantamweight David Lemieux Dominates Cristian Fabian Rios, Wins Decision Steven Butler Crushes Trotter in One, Maduma is Upset Photos: Manny Pacquiao Mobbed as He Arrives in Los Angeles Kevin Lerena Edges Micki Nielsen: Budler, Van Heerden Win Mikey Garcia Aims To Make a Statement With Dejan Zlaticanin Vazquez: I Took 'Worst Deal of My Career' To Get Juanma in There Marquez: I Beat Pacquiao Four Times, No Reason For Fifth Time! Jamie Cox Outpoints Rios in Foul-Fest, Wins WBO Regional Belt Sam Eggington Drops, Batters Frankie Gavin for Knockout in Eight Craig Cunningham Drops, Shocks Anthony Ogogo For TKO Win Kal Yafai Wins, Faces Luis Concepcion on 12/10 in Manchester Sean Davis Edges Paul Economides For WBC Regional Title Hisashi Amagasa Wins Ten Round Decision Over Carlo Demecilo David Price: I Can Knock Joshua Out, Dropped Him Bad in Sparring Lemieux's Manager Confident Canelo Fight Can Be Made For May Luis Nery Looks To Take His Career To Next Level in Tijuana Hekkie Budler Aims To Bounce Back at Kempton Park Josh Taylor Continues To Rise By Drilling Dave Ryan in Edinburgh Magdaleno on Track To Make 122-Pounds For Donaire Title Shot Hassan N'Dam Aims To Revamp Career, Hires Pedro Diaz Shane Mosley: I'm Semi-Retired - But For Right Opponent I'll Fight! For Better or Worse, Heavyweight Glory Still Runs Through Klitschko Golovkin's Coach: Mayweather Deserves Catch-Weight, NOT Canelo! Frank Warren: Klitschko Does NOT Deserve Shot at WBA Title!

Latest Active Forum Threads