Pavlik Withdraws From Bout With Cunningham

August 2, 2011

Top Rank boxing has announced in a press release that former middleweight champion and current WBC number one-rated super middleweight contender Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik has withdrawn from this Saturday's ten-round bout against Darryl Cunningham.

The fight was to take place in Pavlik's hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and was to be televised live by Showtime as the main event. Both the broadcast and the live event have now been canceled.

“Top Rank is very disappointed at Kelly’s sudden decision to discontinue the rebuilding of his boxing career,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, Pavlik’s promoter. “Kelly’s team specifically outlined a strategy for Kelly to return to the ring in an effective fashion. Kelly’s team gave us their objectives and we set them on a course, which began last May with Kelly’s fight against Alfonso Lopez and was to continue on Saturday against Darryl Cunningham. It seems Kelly has derailed this plan.”

The Daily Sports Herald contacted Top Rank for further information, and a representative of the company confirmed that Pavlik "is not injured."  That same Top Rank representative indicated that the first sign of trouble occurred earlier in the week when Pavlik did not appear for a run with trainer Jack Loew.

Since his breakthrough knockout win over Jermain Taylor, Pavlik's career has gone south.  "The Ghost" has dealt with hand injuries, weight issues, and a reported alcohol problem.  His straight-ahead, one-two boxing style also has been exposed in losses to more dynamic opponents, namely Bernard Hopkins and Sergio Martinez.

Although Pavlik apparently is having second thoughts about renewing his career, as of this point no formal retirement plans have been announced.

By Mike Elliott
Staff Editor for The Daily Sports Herald

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