By Mel "Sabaka" Ohlhoft
Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik sat down with the Youngstown Vindicator to further discuss his decision to withdraw from this weekend's fight with Darryl Cunningham, which was scheduled at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown. Pavlik left a lot of hometown fans crying foul, and his promoter Top Rank, and televison network Showtime, lost money with the withdrawal.
Pavlik was not happy with the money he was offered for the fight. He was set to make $50,000 for the Cunningham, which is $200,000 less than what he made for his May comeback fight against Alfonso Lopez. That wasn't all. He wasn't happy with the money being offered for a planned November clash with IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute. Pavlik felt the offer of $1.35 million to face Bute in Canada was below his standard of payment.
“The only thing I feel bad about is how it went down. I feel bad that it was a week out. But I had to make a decision. I had to put my foot down. Hopefully the message got through, and if it didn’t, oh well. I won’t fight no more. I didn’t want to cancel the fight, and I feel bad for the people in Youngstown, but everybody stands to get their money back. I’m the only one who stands to lose money,” Pavlik said.
"If I lost the fight to Lopez, OK, I understand that [amount]. But I didn’t lose. I won. I’m not trying to be a cocky person, but the name Kelly Pavlik still carries a lot of weight. No matter what I do, Kelly Pavlik can still draw. If I’m not paid respectably, I won’t fight. I won’t care. If I have to be the bad guy, oh well. I don’t have to fight anymore. I still have it; I still want to fight. But it has to be on my terms. I’m not asking for [Floyd] Mayweather money or [Manny] Pacquiao money. I’m not asking for millions upon millions. I’m just asking for my fair share.”