Arum on Pavlik's Camp Issues, Personal Problems, More

By Keith Idec
Kelly Pavlik’s promoter suspects the embattled former middleweight champion’s abrupt withdrawal from a tune-up fight against Darryl Cunningham had more to do with desire than money.

“The way I read it is that he doesn’t want to fight anymore,” Top Rank founder Bob Arum said Tuesday. “And it’d be wrong to really force him to fight.”

Arum hasn’t spoken to Pavlik since Pavlik informed manager Cameron Dunkin that he wouldn’t face Cunningham for $50,000 on Saturday night in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Pavlik also told WFMJ-TV, a Youngstown television station, that he won’t fight Lucian Bute, either, because he’s “not going to fight a southpaw for peanuts.”

Arum said Top Rank offered Pavlik a $1.35 million guarantee to challenge the unbeaten Bute for the IBF super middleweight title. That fight was tentatively scheduled for Nov. 5 at Bell Centre in Montreal, the Romanian-born Bute’s adopted hometown.

Pavlik reportedly is bothered because he thinks Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler was offered $3 million for battling Bute, before Kessler declined and Bute’s handlers turned their attention to Pavlik.

“This whole thing with Mikkel Kessler, that was like fantasy,” Arum said. “That was an excuse, [saying] that Kessler, if he fought Bute, would get $3 million. That’s silly. Was it written anyplace? Probably, with one of these Web sites. But Showtime was paying $2 million for the fight, plus the gate, and the other guy [Bute] has got to get paid. So $1.35 million was a good guarantee and he could’ve made more.”

Arum added that Top Rank struck a 60-40 deal with Quebec-based Interbox, which promotes Bute, and that Pavlik was to receive 82 percent of Top Rank’s 40-percent split.

“I don’t know what more you can do,” Arum said. “So it seems to me, coming the way it did, the week of the fight, it seems to me that he has second thoughts about fighting.

“From what I understand, he really wasn’t giving it his all in sparring. A lot of these people in Youngstown, they’re well-meaning, like Jack Loew [Pavlik’s trainer]. They do what they can to cover up and the hope is that it’ll all come right [by fight night]. But it just isn’t the case.”

Pavlik, 29, has fought just once since losing the WBC and WBO middleweight titles to Sergio Martinez 15 months ago in Atlantic City. Pavlik pulled out of a super middleweight fight scheduled for Nov. 13 on the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito undercard to enter a Southern California rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse.

After two months of treatment, Pavlik returned to training and boxed Alfonso Lopez on the Pacquiao-Shane Mosley undercard May 7 in Las Vegas. He wasn’t impressive against Lopez (21-1, 16 KOs), whom Pavlik defeated by majority decision in a 10-round super middleweight fight.

That subpar performance prompted Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) to take a tune-up fight against Cunningham (23-2, 10 KOs), a left-hander fighter from Detroit, before boxing Bute (29-0, 24 KOs), a much more talented southpaw.

Pavlik remains under contract with Top Rank, which his promoted him throughout his career. But Arum isn’t sure if Pavlik will fight again.

“He might have a change of heart,” Arum said. “I really don’t think that anybody should force him or encourage him. It’s up to him. Unless he truly, truly wants to come back and fight, without having other people trying to push him, the same thing is going to happen again.”

Arum is much more concerned with Pavlik’s comeback outside the ring.

“I’m not trained in this, but from what I hear he’s not talking to his father,” Arum said, referring to Mike Pavlik. “I’m really troubled by this. It’s got nothing to do with him fighting or not fighting. I’m past that. I’m really troubled by what’s happening with him as a person. … Basically, he’s a nice kid. How this thing happened, I can’t figure it out. You need a trained psychiatrist to figure this out.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by LeadUppercut on 08-03-2011

I could be way off the mark there, maybe that was a wacky thing to suggest? It just seems to me that first you identify the problem, then you research/plan, then you implement the solution. Experience is the key to…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 08-03-2011

[QUOTE=fastblack;10940726]Pavlik is a deeply disturbed mentally disturbed person with alcoholism issues and a tattoo problem coupled with the fact that he is not popular even in his own home town. Take away the beatings of a half brain dead jermain…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 08-03-2011

[QUOTE=edgarg;10937153]The last lying, cheating, thieving conman who made himself a relatively immense fortune was P.T. Barnum, but I don't recall that he ever made fortunes for his employees or associates. And he cheated EVERYBODY. And I believe that his memory…

Comment by LeadUppercut on 08-03-2011

[QUOTE=edgarg;10937081]It's hard for YOU to believe, but don't include intelligent, reasonable people in your back-handed compliment to Arum. It's not Hard for ME to believe.[/QUOTE] Bob Arum will tell the truth when it suits him, otherwise, he will say whatever…

Comment by fastblack on 08-03-2011

Pavlik is a deeply disturbed mentally disturbed person with alcoholism issues and a tattoo problem coupled with the fact that he is not popular even in his own home town. Take away the beatings of a half brain dead jermain…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (50)
Top Headlines Kautondokwa Still Unbeaten, Knocks Godoy Out in Five Parker's Trainer: Despite Taunts, Joshua 'Has Pretty Good Chin' Linares: On May 12 - Lomachenko Will Bow Down To King Jorge! Golovkin Wants Answers: What Did Canelo Inject in His Belly? Tyrone McKenna vs. Anthony Upton on Frampton-Donaire Card Photos: Anthony Joshua in Top Form, Grinds For Parker Clash Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares - Ticket Information Whyte: Browne 'Just a Clubber;' He Hasn't Fought Anyone Like Me Ryan Garcia: I Want Gervonta Davis, I Want To Fight Him! Hearn Sides With Joshua's Position: No Face To Face With Wilder Browne: 'Idiot' Whyte Famous Only for Getting KO'd by Joshua Naoya Inoue's Power Has Improved at 118, Says Sparring Partner Hearn: Anthony Joshua is Very Interested in Rematch With Whyte Frank Bruno Issues Joseph Parker Warning To Anthony Joshua Golden Boy Prez on Golovkin: Sounds Like Fear, Making Excuses Liam Smith: There is No Way Ali Beats Even a 75% Version of Cotto Willy Vlautin and His Love For The Sport of Boxing WBC Prez is Waiting For Mikey Garcia To Make His Decision Golden Boy Prez Reacts: It Sounds Like Golovkin Wants Out! Golovkin: Those Responsible For Draw Are Terrorists, Need Jail! Golovkin: Canelo is Cheating, Using Drugs - De La Hoya is Dirty Yuriorkis Gamboa, Golden Boy Promotions Part Ways Jorge Arce Comes Out Firing in Defense of Canelo, Luis Nery Hearn Reacts To Wilder Calling Him 'White Man Milking a Brother' Ryota Murata vs. Emanuele Blandamura Will Be Carried By ESPN Julian Williams vs. Nathaniel Gallimore Finalized For SHO Triple ESPN Names Mayweather 8th Most Dominant Athlete of Past 20 Years Kautondokwa: After Godoy, I am ready for Billy Joe Saunders! Jose Ramirez's First Defense Targeted For Ballpark in Fresno Tyson Fury's New Goal - Break Joe Louis' 25 Defense Record News: Payano vs. Plania, Braulio Rodriguez, Vicente Eyes Dogboe Photos: Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne, Frank Buglioni - Workouts Ramirez-Imam Tripleheader Averaged Only 488K Viewers for ESPN Anthony Joshua Won’t Discuss What He'll Weigh for Parker Fight News: Klara Svennson Update, Rocco Wadell Back on April 21 Billy Joe Saunders vs. Martin Murray Moves To June 23rd Parker on Joshua: Somebody is Getting KO'd - It Won't Be Me! Prograis Sees 'Lots of Holes' in Jose Ramirez, Respects His Chin Mikey Garcia Explains Why He'd Want Spence Bout Over Crawford Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam: Afterthoughts

Latest Active Forum Threads