Kelly Pavlik's Father Wanted The Hopkins Fight Stopped After The 7th-Round

Kelly Pavlik22.10.08 - by James Slater - It has been revealed in The Vindicator paper that Mike Pavlik, father of middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, wanted his son's recent bout with Bernard Hopkins stopped after the 7th round. Before losing for the first time in his career, in a shock points upset to the amazing 43-year-old, Pavlik felt extremely sluggish in the dressing room, the paper also revealed.

Kelly admits he took antibiotics after being diagnosed with bronchitis on October 14th - a mere four days before the Hopkins fight, and he was also given a shot of penicillin three days before the fight. Also, as was well documented, Pavlik injured his elbow in sparring and this too was far worse than Team Pavlik let on. Apparently, Kelly suffered an inflamed bursa sac in his left elbow. And while this injury has not been used as an excuse by Kelly or his team for the loss, they do feel the 26-year-old would have done far better than he did had he not had his training compromised by these factors.

Perhaps, in hindsight, Kelly should have been pulled out of the fight? His handlers, according to the Vindicator article, considered doing just that.

"We all learned a good lesson," said Mike Pavlik. "We know now that if he's not completely healthy, we shouldn't go ahead with the fight. He's a tough kid and I think he'll come back with a vengeance. If not, then it's time for him to retire."

Any talk of even possible retirement is likely to come as a big shock to fight fans. It certainly comes as a big shock to this writer. But then it does seem as though Pavlik was in far worse shape on October 18th than anyone was led to believe.

"My arms felt like they were 100-pounds each," Kelly said. "I've never felt like that in the ring. I'd go back to my corner and Jack [Loew] would say, 'You've got to do this,' and I couldn't do it. Even when I was throwing punches and hitting him, there was nothing on it."

During the sparring mishap everyone read about, Pavlik's elbow filled with fluid and continued to bother him for a full five weeks, compromising his training to the extent that discussions took place about whether or not to postpone the fight.

And after seeing how poor his son was performing in the actual fight, Mike Pavlik was hoping, he has said, that the fight would get stopped after the 7th round.

"The Ghost" explained how avoided being KO'd.

"I don't like losing and I definitely didn't want to get stopped," Kelly explained. "You just suck it up and get through it. There were only two times in that fight when I was legitimately hurt and felt off-balance."

As for trainer Jack Loew, he says he will never again allow any of his fighters to enter the ring unless they are tip-top shape.

"If they wanted to postpone the fight they should have," the trainer said. "As a team we made the decision and we have to live with it. It's our stupid [selves] who put him in the ring and we learned a valuable lesson. I don't care if it's a four-round preliminary fight or a world championship fight, if my fighter's not 100-percent healthy, we're not going to go."

Loew also said there will be no more fights for Kelly above 160-pounds.

"He's a middleweight," Loew stated. "We're sick and tired of moving up in weight to fight someone. If someone wants to fight us, he's going to have to come down to 160."

Article posted on 22.10.2008

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