Boxing

Pavlik, Leow & Arum conference call quotes, Julio-Smith on 5/20, Weights from Atlantic City

Former World Middleweight Champion KELLY ďThe GhostĒ PAVLIK, his trainer JACK LOEW and Hall of Fame promoter BOB ARUM participated in an international media conference call on Friday to discuss Pavlikís upcoming return to boxing on Saturday, May 7 at the sold out MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.

Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs), of Youngstown, OH, will make his long-awaited return to the ring when he takes on undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas super middleweight champion ALFONSO ďEl TigreĒ LOPEZ (21-0, 16 KOs), of Cut and Shoot, TX.

The 10-round Pavlik-Lopez super middleweight rumble will headline the Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship undercard. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions, Tecate and MGM Grand, the four-fight Mosley-Pacquiao pay-per-view extravaganza will be produced and distributed live on SHOWTIME PPVģ.

Closed circuit tickets, priced at $50, are on sale and available at all Las Vegas MGM Resorts properties.

The Pacquiao vs. Mosley pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $54.95, will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPVģ. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. For Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight week updates, log on to www.sports.SHO.com or www.toprank.com.

What the participants had to say on Friday:

BOB ARUM: ďWe really anticipate May 7, one because Pacquiao-Mosley, we believe, is going to be a great fight, great event, and secondly because itís marks the return to boxing after an absence of Kelly Pavlik Ė one of the most popular fighters in boxing. Kelly has been training with Jack Loew in Youngstown, Ohio. I want to welcome Kelly back to the boxing stage.Ē

KELLY PAVLIK: ďI want to thank Top Rank and the rest of my team. Itís an honor to be a part of this card. Itís great to be back; Iím really, really excited. Training is going phenomenal right now. I havenít had this much energy in a long time for a fight. Iím getting ready to get back on track and start making a noise for myself in the super middleweight division.

ďTraining is going great Ė everything is just falling right into place. The weight is perfect right now, the amount of running and sparring is better than itís ever been Ė weíve never had as easy a time getting this many rounds. My camp is going really good now, itís really smooth. We donít have to focus on going to 15 different gyms to make weight, we can focus on boxing and I think thatís going to make a big difference in this fight.Ē

JACK LOEW: ďLike Kelly said, we wanted to train like a fighter again, instead of training five times a day, four times a day, and four of them being about just trying to get the weight or keep the weight down. Itís great just getting our running in and our physical conditioning in and going to the gym and spending more time working on boxing. We had more rounds sparring for a 10-round fight than when we fought a title fight because heís had so much energy. His step is back and itís just the old Kelly back. It feels good and itís a very comfortable weight for him. And I think thatís a huge key for him.Ē

Jack, are you surprised at how good Kelly is looking in the gym coming off of this long layoff?

LOEW: ďNo, I donít think Iím surprised at all. We can train again as a normal athlete and weíre doing the right thing. Nobody can go through what we put him through, working him out so many different times a day. What we put him, through thereís not an athlete out there that could have done that and it finally caught up to him. Iím not surprised at all. He looks great and everything is back to normal.Ē

What is the impact of the layoff?

PAVLIK: ďYou know what, itís surprising because I expected it to be that way and if was that way I wasnít going to be frustrated, but everything fell right back into place quickly. I kept myself in shape, too. The last time I had a year off it was a different situation. There was a staph infection and then we had the reaction to it. I really wasnít able to do anything constantly being on antibiotics. That wasnít really a rest or my idea of taking a break or a year off. This time, itís totally different. I come back now and my energy level is just totally different than what itís been in the past. Iím able to do things in the gym now where before it was a struggle. Everything came back and itís been very fluent. Granted, in the beginning in the first couple of times of sparring, some of the timing was off. But thatís going to happen and thereís nothing you can do about it. But it all came back pretty quick this time and everything is going good right now.Ē

Where you able to do physical exercises during the time you were away in rehab?

PAVLIK: ďVery little in the time that I had. When I did I just lifted weights and did some other exercises that I would do at the boxing gym because there wasnít much else to do. I kept myself moving. I wasnít rusty or falling apart Ė I didnít have a big belly or anything else. I was pretty healthy.Ē

Is super middleweight your division long term? And do you see your power being the same there as middleweight?

PAVLIK: ďI see it being the same. Actually, I see it being even better. Itís not like Iím moving up to go to 168 and Iím adding weight on. I still have to lose a considerable amount of weight to make 168. When you walk around 195 thatís still walking around pretty heavy for a super middleweight or a light heavyweight. I donít see the strength being an issue or power-punching.

ďI think our strength and everything is going to be great at that weight class. It will be the same, if not better.Ē

There are a lot of super middleweights out there. When do you think youíll be able to get in the ring with someone like Lucian Bute or someone from the Super Six?

ARUM: ďKelly is ready but the guy heís fighting on May 7 is no pushover. He has a lot of knockouts, heís a Texas kid, and thatís a tough chore. Weíll see how he does in that fight and then weíll talk it over with the team and see who comes next. The super middleweight division is rich with talent and Kelly, I hope and believe, fits right in with all of them.

ďYou have to understand that there are a lot of great fighters out there in the super middleweight division, but with the exception of Bute in Canada, theyíre not particularly big attractions in terms of ticket sales. In order for them to make a big ticket fight they have to have Kelly Pavlik. Itís not a question of who Kelly is going to go after, itís a question of who the team wants Kelly to fight. These fighters in order to have a big fight have to fight Kelly Pavlik.Ē

Kelly, can you talk about some of the changes youíve made in your lifestyle since entering rehab?

PAVLIK: ďIím not one to make any excuses to say thatís what hurt my career because I wasnít doing it while I was training. I can easily make it a great excuse, but in my opinion I donít see it as that. But as of now I think the big difference is Iím able to focus more clearly on my career and take everything serious. I think thatís going to be the big difference now when compared to the past.

ďI do everything the same. The only difference is I donít drink. I donít believe in changing a lifestyle or doing stuff to keep yourself even more unhappy, that leads to even worse problems. My regular day is still the same Ė I still enjoy everything I do. Iím having a blast doing what Iím doing and I donít need a bottle to keep myself happy. I think thatís the big thing. I go to the same stores, I play with my kid the same way, I call people on the phone the same way, nothing has changed. ď

Jack, how concerned were you that when he returned to the gym youíd have a completely different person to train?

LOEW: ďEvery time Kelly came to the gym he worked hard. Thatís one thing I never had to worry about no matter what was going on outside of the ring. Kelly was always, always a hard worker in the gym no matter what we did. No matter what we put him through he always gave me 100 percent in the gym. Just like Kelly said, I knew I had a more clear-headed kid coming into the gym and itís all worked out.Ē

What have you seen in Lopezís style?

PAVLIK: ďHeís a tough kid. Heíll try to box in there and heíll try to move a little bit. The danger I see is heís a hungry fighter and this is a golden opportunity for him. Heís no spring chicken in the sport and heís getting the opportunity of a lifetime. He has a very good record so I think right now heís coming in hungry for this fight like itís going to be his last chance. Anytime you get a fighter like that you always have to be on your toes and ready for him. Weíve been watching him on film Ė heís always in good shape, so we know that. He can go 12 hard rounds or 10 hard rounds. More so, from what Iíve seen, the kid comes to fight. Nothing phenomenal, but heís a kid that you canít take likely and youíve got to be in shape to fight for 10 rounds.Ē

Are you going for the knockout?

PAVLIK: ďIím going to go in there and do what I always do. Itís what got me to where Iím at today. Iím going to go in there and just fight the way I fight. If I feel like I need to pick the pace up as the fight goes Iíll do that.

ďWeíll see. It all depends. Thatís the good thing about boxing Ė you have to have backup plans and you have to be able to think quick in that ring because it doesnít always go the way that you want it to go. Iíve had the experience on the big stage and I think thatís going to be to my advantage.Ē

Are your techniques or timing a little rusty?

PAVLIK: ďEverything is coming back really nice. Youíre going to have days in sparring where youíre like, Ďdamn, Iím off a little bit today.í Thatís granted, nobody in the world can go through a training camp and just be sharp every time. But, for the most part, the timing is back, the rust is gone Ė thatís been gone Ė and weíre feeling really good.Ē

What are you working on now to improve?

PAVLIK: ďRight now, we have more time to focus on things. Right now, Iím pretty much just working on the hand speed, the movement, getting back to kind of the basics. The power is there so we donít have to work on the power Ė fortunately, Iíve been blessed with natural power. So weíre working on the fundamentals and getting back to the boxing aspect of it.Ē

Kelly, you mentioned that you donít have to have a bottle to be happy. Have you figured out what led to your rehab situation?

PAVLIK: ďItís not always that you have to be unhappy. Pretty much what happened is I got caught up in the partying part. Of course, when you get caught up in that youíre going to have the stress and everything with your home life and everything else that comes along with it. Itís pretty much just getting caught up with everything involved; I guess the word to use is the partying. What I mean by I donít need to pick up a bottle, I mean that if I canít drink anymore itís not going to make me unhappy. Iím not going to be a miserable person because I canít drink. But as far as what was making me unhappy or what drove me to the bottle, it wasnít a case of that. It was just the fact that I got caught up in a lifestyle of going out and partying and needing a kick in the ass before it got too late.

ďFor me, it was just the fact that I donít want to do it because I donít want to end back up in a situation where I was at, especially now with my kids and everything else. Itís not worth it. Iím not missing anything. Iíve seen enough in my lifetime of only 29 years than most people will in three lifetimes. Thereís not much Iím going to miss out on, so thatís how I look at it.Ē

You mentioned this is a chance of a lifetime for Lopez. Do you see this as a fight where you have to rebuild your credibility as a champion caliber fighter?

PAVLIK: ďI definitely do think this is a very, very important fight. I think itís a fight where I have to go out there and look good. Unfortunately, in most situations, most fighters with four or five losses can get away with a year-and-a-half layoff and people will say they look good after a year-and-a-half off. Even if I have three years off, if I donít come back and perform at the top of the top itís going to be brutal. So I think this fight is very important for me to get back out there and cement my name out there again. Thatís why weíre taking this fight so seriously. I think this is one of the most important fights of my career, believe it or not.Ē

When you compare yourself now to the person who was going through these past two or three years, what would you say is different?

PAVLIK: ďIím a more mature person now, overall, just in all aspects of life and my career. More mature. What I mean by that is I know what has to be done; Iím not taking anything for granted. Iím able to lay things out better and see the big picture better and start focusing on different parts of life Ė the future, the present, everything that goes on instead of just flipping out and not thinking about the things that are important to think about. I think now I see things with a better approach and a more mature approach than I would have done in the past.Ē

Kelly do you think you tried to be too many things to too many people? Were you maybe too nice of a guy?

PAVLIK: ďThatís a good point. It did at some points become overwhelming. Again, Iím not a person to make an excuse, Iím not going to use the pressure of being pulled, but it had a little bit of a help to it. You could easily notice with the staph infection, we had to bring all these people the Cleveland to see that I actually had a staff infection. I got beat up for that. Iím walking around with my IV bag and Iím trying to defend myself at the same time.

ďThere was a certain amount of time there where we were going at a very fast pace with everything and it just became a little overwhelming. But, the thing is now, we just got to learn how to say no and get ourselves back on track and take care of whatís important.Ē

Can you talk about your loyalty to Jack?

PAVLIK: ďItís a simple thing. We got to the point in our career where a lot of fighters donít get to. It goes deeper than, Ďyou have two losses so now itís the time do that (change trainers).í In my opinion, fighters change trainers but theyíre not always successful when that happens. More times than not they end up losing one of their fights. I think the main thing is once you get a clear head and you can focus on what you have to focus on and make the right decisions in your career. Even as far as the weight issue. Jack Loew had his say, Ďyou know what, we donít want to but we have to move up in weight class because it ainít going to work at 160 Ė itís totally impossible.í Simple things like that, those type of decisions make a big difference in your career.Ē

Jack?

LOEW: ďObviously Kelly has been extremely loyal to me. And, obviously, heís been attempted to be pulled in many different ways. We lost to two great fighters, our record speaks for itself. I think if Kelly was not getting any better or at a stand-still then maybe we could be concerned. But weíre not. Everything is going the way we want it to go. We moved up in weight class. I think a lot of people are going to see a more complete Kelly. Going off the two losses that we had, thatís complete ridiculous. A lot of people donít know the circumstances we had. To blame anybody I think the whole camp would have to take blame for a lot of things that went on in those fights. We just got to go out there and prove ourselves and I need to continue to do a good job with Kelly. We need to take care of business against Lopez and go from there.

ďIt was his decision to quit drinking. People have to realize that. We didnít put a gun to his head and make him go to California. He did that. Heís trying to make himself a better person and I donít think people are giving him as much credit as he deserves. I think everybody involved in this is going to benefit from what Kelly did Ė not from what we had Kelly do, but what he did. I think everyone is going to see a whole different fighter come May 7.Ē

Is this like a second chance? Are you relieved not to be in the main event?

PAVLIK: ďItís definitely a second chance. As far as not being the main event on a Manny Pacquiao card, I have no complaints with that. Even after being off for a year-and-a-half to be on the undercard is a pleasure of mine and an honor. Itís going to be more of a great experience to be a part of this card on May 7. Iím just worried about getting back in there and performing and moving on with my career.

ďIíve never done anything to offend anyone. I didnít do anything for them to jump off the bandwagon. Fighters lose; even great, great champions have a lot of losses. As far as going back out there and trying to win people back, Iíll never do that again. When I get back on top, the ones that jumped off I donít even want them back. I want the people who have been there and supported me and been with me through thick and thin. Thatís the only ones that Iíll be fighting for on May 7 in Vegas.Ē

Did you have any moment where you realized you needed to change?

PAVLIK: ďNo, not at all. More or less what it was just the route that it was going. It wasnít one experience or it wasnít a life threatening experience or anything like that. It was just the point where it came to, Ďhey, itís got to stop.í

ďIt wasnít me getting roughed up or shooting somebody or robbing somebody to get alcohol or vice-versa, it wasnít that extreme. But it came to a point where it was like, Ďletís get our head out of our ass and move on here and letís get back on track.íĒ

Bob, was there a time where you thought about you couldnít count on Kelly?

ARUM: ďThe staph infection was real and serious and indeed can be life threatening. People

donít understand that if you get a certain type of infection you donít cure it by iodine. If you donít undergo the extensive medical treatment you could lose your life. It is something very, very serious. So many of the media said Kelly was drinking and there was nothing wrong with him. They sent people to Youngstown to see the kid. That was unfortunate. Then of course the addition and the problems he had with alcohol, nobody could have solved that expect one person, and thatís Kelly Pavlik. So I think Kelly is a hero and I think heís a real hero for even talking about it because itís very, very personal. So I give him a lot of credit and I think heís going to get his career righted again and heís going to end up better than he ever was and people will look up to what he did and heíll be a great example to people who suffer from addiction.Ē

What was your sobriety date?

PAVLIK: ďNovember 1st or 2nd of this year. Everything has been going fine. Thereís no concern with me right now. Thatís the least on my mind. There are so many other things out there and everything is going as smooth as possible. It would just take a bonehead to go out there and ruin any situation or opportunity that I have right now.

ďI think I treated my (alcoholism) at an early stage. It didnít get to the point where I couldnít function without alcohol. It just got to the point where I got in the party mode and it kept escalating. When things didnít go my way I got mad and I kept doing what I was doing. Thatís exactly what happened. I just needed to kick it in the ass before things started going bad Ė to where I started losing my money, to where I started losing my family, losing my house and things like that. Unfortunately thatís one of the horrible things that come with the consequences that come with addiction. I didnít want it to get that far. I worked too hard in my life to get where I am now that I didnít want it to get out of control to that point.

ďBoxing has been a very big part of my life since I was 9 years old, alcohol isnít.

ARUM: ďI want to really congratulate Kelly on how he handled this call. Questions that were asked of him, they were appropriate questions, but they were deeply personal in nature and Kelly handled it with candor and dignity and showed what a real man he is. I would, for one, look forward to his appearance in the ring on the Pacquiao-Mosley card and Iím sure all of you are looking forward to that.Ē

Julio vs. Smith tickets on sale for 5/20 bout


The main event features the much anticipated 10 round junior middleweight bout between Joel Julio of Monteria, Columbia (36-4, 31KOs) and Antwone Smith, of Miami Fl, (20-2-1, 12KOs). The Main Events Brick City Boxing Series card will take place in the intimate boxing club environment of Prudential Center's AmeriHealth Pavilion, in Newark, New Jersey.

Local fighter favorites to be featured on the undercard include: Sadam "World Kid' Ali of Brooklyn, NY, 12-0, 7 KO's, who is scheduled to take on John Revish of Baton Rouge, LA 9-3-2, 8 KO's; Jose "Mangu" Peralta of Jersey City 6-1, 4 KO's; crowd-pleasing Vinny O'Brien of East Hanover, 2-0, 2KO's; Newark favorite, Angel Concepcion, 4-0; and Tyrone Luckey of Middletown, NJ, 3-0,3 KO's.

Tickets are on sale now, $100 for ringside and reserved floor seats, $60 general admission bleachers and $30 general admission standing. Tickets available online at www.ticketmaster.com, Charge-by-phone: 1-800-745-3000, Ticketmaster Express 866-448-7849 and Ticketmaster ticket centers. Tickets are also available at Prudential Center's Box Office and www.prucenter.com.

The fight is promoted by Main Events in association with DiBella Entertainment and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Weights from Atlantic City

Caesars Atlantic City
Saturday, April 23, 2011

Edgardo Torres 138 Korey Sloane 138
Antowyan Aikens 163 Willie Mack 161
Keane Davis 146 Dontre King 146
Jose Medina 175 1/2 Derrick Webster 169
Bryant Jennings 224 David Williams 227
Ronald Cruz 146 Manuel Guzman 144 1/2
Garrett Wilson 184 Omar Sheika 185

Tickets $75 & $50
Palladium Ballroom
First fight 7.30pm
Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.

Article posted on 23.04.2011



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