By Luis Sandoval
Kelly Pavlik took the boxing world by surprise last week when he announced his retirement from the sport at only 30 years old. Pavlik was scheduled to face Super Middleweight kingpin Andre Ward but after Ward suffered a shoulder injury that would require surgery, the fight was cancelled and Pavlik decided to call it a career.
Pavlik states lack of motivation and being away from his family as the reasons for his decision. He informs he is financially secure and without a big fight for him on the horizon, it felt it was time to retire. Though he’s done with the sport as a fighter, Pavlik would definitely like to still be part of the sport in some way as he can’t imagine separating himself from boxing completely.
“I've been doing this since I was 9 years old so it would be hard for me to totally step away from the sport. So whatever opens up. If it's commentating [or] I definitely want to start doing some training with fighters here [in Youngstown]. So there are a lot of options. I definitely think I'm going to keep myself posted into boxing” Pavlik would tell BoxingScene’s official radio show The Boxing Lab.
As with most athletes who retire from a sport, the possibility of them coming back always exists. We’ve seen it happen time and time again and with Pavlik being a mere 30 years old, the possibility seems even more likely for him. While Pavlik doesn’t rule out the possibility of having a change of heart and coming back, he also admits it won’t be likely.
“I don't want to be that person who says it'll never happen but right now there's a very good chance that I'm done for good. But again, if I'm sitting there and I get the urge to do it again because I'm no spring chicken in the sport but I'm still young and we could always come back to fight again but as of right now it's not looking like that will happen” said the Youngstown, OH native.
Boxing is an interesting sport and a perfect example is the contrast between Pavlik who is retiring at 30 years old and seeing a 48 year old Bernard Hopkins who doesn’t appear to know what retirement is. Pavlik was asked about his thoughts on Hopkins who is 17 years his senior still fighting and having a world title fight scheduled in March.
“It is obviously amazing. He's defied odds but that right there is where people in the long run start getting hurt. That’s where the long term damage comes in. It’s not so much even the fights but the constant sparring three or four days a week. There are a lot of gym wars. So some people have it in them and I'm sure if he could fight until he's 55 he's going to do it” said Pavlik.
You can listen to Pavlik’s interview in its entirety by listening to The Boxing Lab podcast: http://tobtr.com/s/4179347
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @truewet007. You can also tune in to BoxingScene’s official audio show The Boxing Lab every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with host Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.