By Keith Idec
Kelly Pavlik acknowledged on a conference call on Wednesday that he was involved in an altercation with his older brother earlier this month, but the former middleweight champion emphasized that the incident hasn’t hurt his focus for an Aug. 6 fight in his hometown.
“I’m doing great,” Pavlik said. “There’s nothing you could do about that. I guess, you know, 90 percent of America has siblings and they get into fistfights. But I can’t get in a shoving match with mine, so … it is what is. But it’s no biggie. We tossed that out the window and right now we’re focusing on Darryl Cunningham.”
According to a July 12 report on Vindy.com, the Web site for the The Vindicator newspaper in Youngstown, Ohio, the brothers fought at the home of Pavlik’s parents in Youngstown. Pavlik reportedly punched a side door at his parents’ house, which broke a window Kelly Pavlik used to pull Michael Pavlik through.
No charges were filed as a result of the incident, which reportedly occurred July 8, and Michael Pavlik reportedly told police officers that responded to the scene that he didn’t need medical attention. He appeared to have minor cuts on his hands and arms, according to The Vindicator.
Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) will encounter the relatively unproven, left-handed Cunningham (23-2, 10 KOs) in a “ShoBox: The New Generation” main event at Covelli Center in Youngstown. The 10-round, 170-pound bout will mark Pavlik’s first fight in his hometown since he underwent treatment for alcohol abuse at a Rancho Mirage, Calif., treatment center.
He expects strong support from the fans who’ve remained loyal to him amid struggles inside and outside the ring.
“I’m hoping they are [supportive],” Pavlik said. “Word is, it’s going pretty good right now with tickets. There’s a lot of people still saying they’re going to get their tickets. They expect a big walk-up crowd in Youngstown.
“That’s one of the big things, too, so I’m going to go do my thing, I’m going to put on a great show, I’m going to fight as hard as I can and whatever happens as far that part goes, my true fans, which I’m sure there’s a lot, they’ll be in for a treat.”
If Pavlik, 29, defeats Detroit’s Cunningham, 36, he’ll likely challenge a much more accomplished southpaw, IBF super middleweight champ Lucian Bute (29-0, 24 KOs), in his next fight. Top Rank president Todd duBoef said on the conference call that negotiations are ongoing for a fall fight against Bute, probably in Montreal, the Romanian-born Bute’s adopted hometown.
“He’s coming to fight,” Pavlik said of Cunningham. “He’s ready to go and I know the last couple questions were about [fighting Lucian] Bute, but if we don’t look impressive against Cunningham, I don’t think there’s going to be a Bute [fight]. So our main goal right now is to go in there and put on a good performance against Cunningham.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.