Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Rejuvenated Pavlik Grateful For Changes In, Out of Ring

By Jake Donovan

Kelly Pavlik was staring at the boxing equivalent of a death sentence last summer. The former lineal middleweight champion – with already two rehab stints to his name – abruptly pulled out of a Shobox headliner during fight week. The move left everyone involved high and dry – Showtime, promoter Top Rank, his opponent Daryl Cunningham and not to mention his hometown fans in Youngstown, Ohio.

Along with all that came the decision to not proceed with plans for a showdown with Lucian Bute, which would have come last fall had he been successful against Cunningham. The move cost Pavlik a handsome seven-figure payday, not to mention any remaining credibility that still came with his once-celebrated name.

To his credit, Pavlik (39-2, 34KO) recognized the fact that he had completely bottomed out and knew that a career makeover was in order if he were to ever again be taken seriously as a prizefighter.

With that came the decision to leave behind his hometown and longtime trainer Jack Loew. Pavlik has since moved his training headquarters to Oxnard, Calif. under the watchful eye of red-hot boxing trainer and former champion Robert Garcia.

Thousands of miles, several months and two fights later, Pavlik’s career is in a better place than it’s been for the past two years. Enough positive changes have been made to where HBO has even agreed to get back in the Kelly Pavlik for the first time since his loss to Sergio Martinez in April ’10.

Pavlik returns to the network on July 7, when he faces Will Rosinsky (16-1, 9KO) at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The bout serves as the chief support to a bantamweight unification clash between Nonito Donaire and Jeffrey Mathebula. Both bouts air live on HBO.

The slot is a far cry from where Pavlik once was and had served for the better part of a 2 ½ year stretch as middleweight king. But he has since realized that each opportunity on the comeback trail leads him one step closer to reclaiming past glory, as well as restoring credibility. None of that happens if he never takes personal inventory and recognizes that he was heading nowhere fast.

“I wasn’t going any further where I was at,” Pavlik says of what had been a career spent in his hometown with the same team. “We had a conversation with Bob (Arum) and Cameron (Dunkin). I had to move out. I’m hungry and rejuvenated now. You can never quit learning in this sport.

“I’m learning again. I’m isolated out here. I don’t have any headaches or distractions. I’m able to focus on what I need to do.”

Doing what he needs to do includes accepting a fight on short notice which requires staying healthy enough to fight twice in the span of a month. Pavlik has managed to escape unscathed in each of his two knockout wins this year, including a 7th round stoppage over Scott Sigmon on ESPN2 earlier this month.

Making better choices in and out of the ring is already paying dividends, with the best still yet to come as long as he remains on the straight and narrow path. With each win, he will continue to win over his detractors – and more importantly, win back some of the fans and supporters he long ago lost.

“I think so. If not, oh well,” Pavlik states, matter-of-factly in accepting the way of the world. “No matter what happens there will always be doubters. I think what this shows is that I’m taking my career serious.”

For now, he’s won over those who are having an immediate impact on Kelly Pavlik version 2.0.

“Everyone at the gym was very welcoming,” Pavlik recalls of his first days in his new surroundings. “After the first day, I was comfortable like I was there for five years already. Getting to see how everyone trains and working with Robert, makes you hungry and makes you want to fight again. I feel rejuvenated. I’m learning. I’m staying active and these are big fights coming up now.”

Each win brings more opportunities for Pavlik, who believes he still has plenty left to offer the sport. That was the greatest motivating factor behind packing bags and heading west. It wasn’t to retire and pass along knowledge, but to rebuild and return to the top.

The change of scenery has provided just that for 30-year old, who recently celebrated a dozen years in the pro ranks.

“I didn’t come to Oxnard to train fighters and help Robert; I came win another world title,” Pavlik states. “It makes it fun because you’re getting out of your bad habits and moving into good ones.”

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]

Tags: Kelly Pavlik image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by New England on 06-29-2012

[QUOTE=deanrw;12290194]I see some improvements in Kelly, most notably his body punching is way more pronounced. Balance is a bit better also and he seems to fight more instinctively when throwing punches with less predictability. Now I also see less of…

Comment by deanrw on 06-29-2012

I see some improvements in Kelly, most notably his body punching is way more pronounced. Balance is a bit better also and he seems to fight more instinctively when throwing punches with less predictability. Now I also see less of…

Comment by deanrw on 06-29-2012

^^^ That White Knight fellow sure has a dislike for Rosinsky!LOL

Comment by The Big Dunn on 06-29-2012

[QUOTE=White Knight;12290087]9 out of 10 guys walking around the streets of the USA could beat Rosinsky. He is that bad. A club fighter maybe, but not worthy to carry Pavlik's underwear. Pavlik needs better competition than a part time hose…

Comment by New England on 06-29-2012

[QUOTE=White Knight;12290087]9 out of 10 guys walking around the streets of the USA could beat Rosinsky. He is that bad. A club fighter maybe, but not worthy to carry Pavlik's underwear. Pavlik needs better competition than a part time hose…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (6)
Top Headlines Mosley: Mayweather Sr. vs. McGregor is 50-50 Fight - I Pick Sr. Photos: Luis Nery Embraced in Mexico as Hero After Title Win Mayweather: Conor McGregor, as a "Fighter" - is Undefeated! Photos: Maurice Hooker vs. Courtney Jackson - Official Weights Photos: Jennings, Alvarado, Stevenson, Reed Ready To Fight Video: Crawford vs. Indongo - Weigh-In Gets Very Tense Mayweather-McGregor - Weigh-In Ticket Information Photos: Crawford, Indongo - Ready For Unification War Manny Robles, Everton Lopes Return on LA Fight Club, 9/1 Crawford, Indongo Intensely Go Head-to-Head at Weigh-In Luis Ortiz Laughs at Joshua: Where is Your Pride To Fight The Best? Mosley: McGregor Will Be Surprised By Mayweather's Power Hugo Centeno Returns, Set To Face Immanuwel Aleem Shawn Porter Plans To Pursue Danny Garcia Showdown Joshua Admits He Felt Massive Disappointment Klitschko Retired Report: Leo Santa Cruz-Abner Mares Rematch Off Over Money Mayweather: I'm Partying at My Strip Club Every Day Through Fight Antonio Orozco vs. Roberto Ortiz Set For Linares-Campbell Card News: Briedis-Perez Tickets, Victory Boxing Update, Yard-Ford Bob Arum Eyes Michael Conlan ESPN Card in Ireland, in 2018 Mayweather Sr. on McGregor, Malignaggi: Neither One Can Fight! White: Floyd Wouldn't Even Discuss 8-Ounce Gloves in Negotiations Mayweather: I'm Taking Bigger Risk Than McGregor; Legacy on Line Nicholas Walters Cancels His Return Due To Illness, Eyes Fall Bout Shakur Stevenson: I Plan on Taking Over The Sport of Boxing Paddy Barnes To Return On October 6 In Scotland Whyte: We Are Trying To Make Noise To Get The Wilder Fight White: Malignaggi Had To Leave, He Got His Ass Whooped Bad! Billy Dib vs. Guillaume Frenois Eliminator For Gervonta Davis Terence Crawford-Julius Indongo: Risk All Around Mayweather: McGregor 'Extremely Dirty' Even With Cortez in Camp McGregor: I'm Confident I'll Walk Through Mayweather's Shots Arum Aims To Finalize Pacquiao-Horn Rematch Soon, at Suncorp Beterbiev-Koelling, Magdaleno-Juarez To Land at Cosmo in Vegas Video: Bryant Jennings Talks Joseph Parker, Future Plans Video: Julius Indongo Ready For Terence Crawford Showdown Video: Dillian Whyte Talks Wilder, Parker, American Debut Frampton vs. Gutierrez Will Not Be Rescheduled, Now Cancelled Mayweather Assesses What He Saw in McGregor-Malignaggi Sparring Mike Gavronski vs. Bryan Vera Set For September 9
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement