Kelly Pavlik Sounds Off: “I’m Tired of Being a Puppet!”
|Kelly Pavlik Sounds Off: “I’m Tired of Being a Puppet!”|
By Ryan Maquiñana
Former undisputed middleweight Kelly Pavlik spoke to my colleague Alec Kohut of MaxBoxing on Tuesday night and sounded off on criticism surrounding his decision to pull out of a Saturday fight on ShoBox against Darryl Cunningham in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
In the radio interview, the 29-year-old Pavlik pulled no punches. Aside from confirming that trainer Jack Loew remains in his corner, he described his current icy relationship with his promoter, Top Rank, as well as his justification for cancelling the fight, which was only four days away and effectively put the kibosh on a lucrative payday against IBF super middleweight champ Lucian Bute.
Some of the highlights:
ON HIS DISPLEASURE WITH TOP RANK'S CONTRACT FOR SATURDAY’S FIGHT:
“When I was told I was fighting for $50,000, you paid me $350,000 to fight Miguel Espino at Beeghly Center in Youngstown for minimum. You paid me $1.5 [million] to fight Rubio at the Chevrolet Center. You paid me $3 million just to jump up two weight classes to fight Bernard Hopkins at light heavyweight. And you turn back around and tell me I’m making $50,000 to fight a southpaw on five weeks’ notice? That’s not going to happen. So everybody thinks right now, ‘Oh, hey, you pulled out because of personal problems, this, that.’ No, I pulled out because I don’t need to fight no more…I will retire. I don’t need the money that bad. It ain’t going to happen.”
ON ACCUSATIONS THAT HIS PAST OF ALCOHOL ABUSE WAS A FACTOR:
“People say, ‘Well he’s out drinking, he’s back on the sauce, and he’s doing this, he’s doing that.’ Well you know what? I haven’t lost any money. I don’t lose money and I don’t need to fight no more. Until I get the fights that I want, the big fights, and pay me what I’m worth, then I’ll take them.”
ON HOW NEGOTIATIONS FOR SATURDAY’S FIGHT TRANSPIRED FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE:
“Well, I found out about a week ago that they were paying me 50 grand for this fight, and I’m sparring with a right-hander who’s turning southpaw. Then they told me with the offer for Bute, which wasn’t going to happen, they told me, ‘Hey, you’re going to make $1.1 [million].’ I still have not got a fight contract for this fight coming up. Now I’m a week out and I still haven’t got a fight contract. Now my agent’s going to send me a contract over and tell me, ‘You got 20 hours to turn it back in. If you don’t turn it back in in 20 hours, the fight’s off.’ So my attorney and my accountant don’t have time to look at the contract, and this is what happens all the time in my career. So I’m tired of it. I’m not playing the game no more.”
ON HIS UNTIMELY WITHDRAWAL FROM SATURDAY’S FIGHT:
“That’s Top Rank’s fault and my agent Cameron Dunkin’s fault because if they would’ve told me two weeks ago and three weeks ago the amount of money and what they’re paying me, then I would've said, ’You know what, I’m going to cancel the fight.’ But you’re going to let me know a week before because what they're thinking is, ‘We’ll tell him a week before and there’s nothing he’ll do about it. He won’t cancel the fight.’ Well bull!!. I call bull!! on that. I will cancel the fight and I’m going to leave it up to Top Rank to come out and make a clear statement. You’re going to pay me $275,000 to fight [Alfonso] Lopez after a 13-month layoff, then turn back around and tell me you’re going to fight in Youngstown for $50,000? Come on.”
ON HIS DISPLEASURE WITH THE PROPOSED FIGHT WITH LUCIAN BUTE:
“I’m tired of being a puppet…Kelly Pavlik is still one of the biggest names in boxing. It is. You go and offer Mikkel Kessler $3 million and you turn back around and offer me $1 million. Now I have not known about until a week ago the amount of money I was getting paid for this fight in Youngstown, and the amount of money that I was getting paid to fight Bute in Canada. If I was fighting Bute in Atlantic City, I would fight him for $1.1 [million], but I got to put the guy on a stretcher to win the fight [in Canada], so for me to go over there is kind of like Top Rank is cashing in on me, you know, like we’re going to make our money off of him, we’re done with him, and that’s it. But you know what? I don’t need the money. I don’t. I made enough money in my career…I’m living happily ever after right now...I would rather retire before I sell my career short.”
ON WHAT HE MEANS BY “CASHING IN”:
“How are you going to pay me $2.5 [million] to fight Gary Lockett in Atlantic City with 8,000 people? $2.5 million, O.K., for a title fight against a low-name fighter. How are you going to pay me $3 million to fight Bernard Hopkins with 9,000 people in the arena, O.K., for a non-title fight, and turn back around where there are going to be 20,000 people filling the arena and tell me that the money’s not there to give me $2.5 [million]? You offer Mikkel Kessler $3 million. You’re telling me $1 million is not there? How does that happen...What they’re trying to do is cash out. They’re saving the money. They want to pay me $1.1 [million]. $3 million is there, but that’s what they’re cashing out on. They’re going to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to pocket $2 million. He’s going to lose the fight, and we’re done with him.’ And that’s it. That’s how it works.”
ON FIGHTING CARL FROCH INSTEAD:
“My name is bigger than Mikkel Kessler’s, believe it or not. If you go on the internet and look at every boxing site and everything else, any time Kelly Pavlik’s name comes up it’s big. You mean to tell me right now that you’re going to draw 25,000 or 20,000 people in Canada, in Montreal, in his hometown, and you’re going offer me $1 million, and then we had to negotiate to get to $1.35 [million]…The whole thing comes down to I’m tired of playing the game…For Top Rank to say, 'Well, he ain’t got the heart to fight anymore,' but I do, but make it worth it. You know, I’d rather fight for $200,000, fight a couple tune-ups and wait for Carl Froch to open up. I’m the number one [WBC] mandatory for that fight, so put me in there against him.”
ON A POTENTIAL FREEZE-OUT BY TOP RANK:
“If Top Rank right now is telling me they're going to sit me…'We’re going to sit you right now, you’re not going to fight, you’re done.' Well then, sit me. My contract’s up in a year. I’m not hurt. I’m not injured, so you really can’t put it on me. I don’t want to, by no means do I want to sit, but if that’s what they're going to do, that’s what they’re going to do. There’s nothing I can do about it.”
ON PARALLELS BETWEEN HIS SITUATION AND OTHER PRO ATHLETES:
“I’m not the only one. Half the athletes right now…you had a sit-out in football because the players want more money. The owners don’t want to pay them more money. So how come it’s O.K. for them to argue and get away with it, but it’s not for me?”
ON THE SUPPORT HE’S RECEIVED REGARDING HIS DECISION:
“A lot of people that are real close to me, and good people, have supported me 100 percent. I actually have one guy, and I’ll throw his name out there, we call him the Tank. I won’t give his full name. He worked with [Ray “Boom Boom”] Mancini, and he told me, 'Kelly…you’d be asinine for you to take the fight.' …When he found out I pulled out of the fight today, he sent me a text and said that was the smartest thing you ever did with your career. You’re finally making a stand in your career. It’s about time. I got people telling me that. I got support from the people that matter to me. The only people I care about are my wife, my parents, and that’s about it.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and a member of the Boxing Writers[..]ociation of America. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org , contact him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rmaq28 or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.
Kelly Pavlik Sounds Off: “I’m Tired of Being a Puppet!” - Boxing News
|08-03-2011, 02:09 PM||away - #2|
damn he went off..thats wasup more fighters need to stand up like this...promoters and !! cant make money if guys wont fight
|08-03-2011, 04:50 PM||away - #3|
I don't think it's a good career move, but I would be pissed too if my agent and promoter were hiding the contract until fight week. He was taking the fight in good faith and then they screwed him once they thought they had him stuck with nowhere to go. I'm sure they stalled and stalled and stalled because I know he would have been asking about the money.
|08-03-2011, 06:56 PM||away - #4|
I did think the $50,000 payday was real odd when i read it a few days ago but.... I figure he KNEW about that payday before hand and agreed to it.
|08-03-2011, 08:17 PM||away - #5|
man i wish boxing had only one or two unified[..]ociations like a minor and a major leagues [pic] the sport would be so much better off
|08-03-2011, 09:21 PM||away - #6|
not buying this
|08-04-2011, 04:34 AM||away - #7|
ON HIS DISPLEASURE WITH THE PROPOSED FIGHT WITH LUCIAN BUTE:
“I’m tired of being a puppet…
(true, he is a puppet)
Kelly Pavlik is still one of the biggest names in boxing. It is. You go and offer Mikkel Kessler $3 million and you turn back around and offer me $1 million. Now I have not known about until a week ago the amount of money I was getting paid for this fight in Youngstown, and the amount of money that I was getting paid to fight Bute in Canada.
(Dunno how likely this is)
ON WHAT HE MEANS BY “CASHING IN”:
“How are you going to pay me $2.5 [million] to fight Gary Lockett in Atlantic City with 8,000 people? $2.5 million, O.K., for a title fight against a low-name fighter.
(Network funded fight. Gate is irrelevant in network funded fight)
How are you going to pay me $3 million to fight Bernard Hopkins with 9,000 people in the arena, O.K., for a non-title fight,
and turn back around where there are going to be 20,000 people filling the arena and tell me that the money’s not there to give me $2.5 [million]? You offer Mikkel Kessler $3 million. You’re telling me $1 million is not there? How does that happen...What they’re trying to do is cash out. They’re saving the money. They want to pay me $1.1 [million]. $3 million is there, but that’s what they’re cashing out on. They’re going to say, ‘You know what? We’re going to pocket $2 million. He’s going to lose the fight, and we’re done with him.’ And that’s it. That’s how it works.”
Well who knows with this. Could be all true, or all false, or a mixture of both. Bell Centre will definitely by at capacity, but... it is always at capacity for every Montreal fighter's fight. So, Pavlik should not feel entitled to any of that gate whatsoever. Also, as mentioned earlier, Pavlik's career earnings as of late has little to do with gate, so him continuously mentioning it shows his utter lack of business savy.
Um, who knows if Kessler was to make $3 million or not? I'm not sure that is fact. What we do know is that when those Super 6 fighters were agreed to enter that risky tournament, they were all made promises from Showtime... they were all given IOU's. Since we are just speculating, who's to say that Showtime isn't repaying Kessler for his participation in the tournament by giving him and his promoter an inflated payday?
Kelly is right though... that IS how "it" works. When your promoter wants to be rid of you, they find you a big fight, that you probably won't win... they rip you off on the payday and when you lose... they wash there hands of you. Arum in particular is known for getting his fighters the absolute toughest fights right at the end of their contracts with Top Rank. It's a win/win for Arum. If the fighter wins, then he has the pockets to outbid other promoters to retain thst fighter's services. If the fighter loses, then.... you can either move on or sign them back to a !!ty, devalued deal.
Kelly hasn't done himself any favors of late though... so, if his promoter wants to be done with him, then it's very likely his own fault. Cuz seriously, what's more marketable in american boxing than the great white hope?
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