It’s been nearly three weeks since Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik relinquished his WBC and WBO middleweight championships to Sergio Martinez via unanimous decision and the wounds on his face are still readily visible.
Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs) was badly bludgeoned by Martinez (45-2-2, 24 KOs) during their matchup and “The Ghost’s” corner has received enormous flak for not managing to close the slices around his eyes.
“Worst job by a cut man since (Mike) Tyson’s guy against Buster Douglas,” said one Boston trainer from Southie.
Pavlik’s promoter, Bob Arum, also chimed in with complaints against the native of Youngstown, Ohio’s corner.
“They need to reevaluate their entire team,” said Arum, who admitted during a 2000 federal trial that he is a bribing and corruptible snake.
“They have to start listening to people who know. Maybe the result would have been different if they had an experienced cut man. To have a cut man that was so ineffective is inexcusable.
"But they are the kind of people that you can’t tell anything to. At least we haven’t been able to. Kelly needs to go away to train. He has to have a nutritionist. You can’t bulk up and then try to lose weight when all you’re doing is eating muscle. Boxing is not a mom and pop sport anymore. And that’s what they don’t get.”
Pavlik has employed Jack Loew from his hometown as his trainer for his entire career.
What Arum doesn’t “get” is the definition of the word loyalty.
“My corner was giving me all the right advice,” said Pavlik, 28, who suffered his first loss as a prizefighter to Bernard Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) in October 2008. “Everything (Loew) was telling me between rounds made sense. I just wasn’t able to capitalize on it. And when that blood started to get in my eye, I just couldn’t do anything. I give a lot of credit to guys who have fought with blood in their eyes. It’s a real pain in the ass.”
Pavlik said he would like to utilize his rematch clause to again battle Martinez.
However, he said he would only scrap Martinez at 164 pounds, and not again at 160 pounds.
“I took my rematch with Jermain Taylor at a catch weight,” said Pavlik. “He should give it to me.”
Unfortunately for “The Ghost,” Martinez’s flunkies made it clear that there is a better chance of Paris Hilton preaching abstinence than of their fighter adding weight to again fight Pavlik.
Therefore, Pavlik needs to focus his attention onto either undefeated IBF super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute (26-0, 21 KOs) or retired cokehead “The Italian Dragon” Joe Calzaghe (46-0, 32 KOs).
Calzaghe, a Welshman who hung-up his gloves as an unbeaten champ after he trumped Roy Jones (54-7, 40 KOs) by unanimous decision in November 2008, is reportedly on the cusp of returning to the ring.
When Pavlik was recently asked if he’d like to matchup against Calzaghe, he responded, “F--- yeah I’ll do it. I’d love to fight Joe.”
Since going 34-0 to begin his career, Pavlik has now lost two of his last four bouts.
Beyond his struggles in the squared circle, Pavlik has also been tormented recovering from his twice surgically repaired left-hand.
Pavlik uses an orthodox stance and his right-hand is still as thunderous and potent as ever.
However, Pavlik’s jabbing is what prepares and positions him to launch his mighty right.
If Pavlik’s left-hand remains troublesome, he may have difficulty establishing an advantage and that could preclude him from ever being the fearsome puncher he once was.
Provided that Pavlik regains his health and form, a matchup pitting him versus Calzaghe would be intriguing.
Calzaghe was an enormously skilled pugilist and he is considered one of the best boxers of the past 25 years.
Nevertheless, Calzaghe is now 38 and he hasn’t fought in nearly two years while he’s been doing blow.
Pavlik could revitalize his fledging reputation with one resounding victory over a marquee opponent.
Joe Calzaghe is that “marquee opponent” and, at this juncture, the Welshmen would get smoked by the Ohioan.
“A lot of fighters have four or five losses. I have two,” said Pavlik. “I know my next fight is important.”
Pavlik’s next fight is indeed extremely “important.”
If they do meet, expect “The Ghost” to knock “The Italian Dragon” onto Queer Street for his first ever loss.