Reports Say Kelly Pavlik Has Pulled Out Of Saturday’s Bout Vs. Darryl Cunningham

By James Slater - Reports are coming in from a number of sources (, The Vindicator, Yahoo! Sports, etc) that former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik has pulled out of this Saturday’s fight with Darryl Cunningham. At the moment the reason (s) Pavlik has bailed on the fight are unclear, but according to a short piece on, Pavlik told WFMJ that his reason for pulling out of the fight is “a business decision.”

According to the piece, “The Ghost” also said that “The fight is off and the [Lucian] Bute fight is not going to happen. I’m not going to fight a southpaw for peanuts..”
So, it appears as though the Youngstown hero is angry due to the financial matters surrounding both bouts. As fans know, Pavlik was all set to challenge IBF 168-pound boss Bute next, providing he got past Cunningham, also a lefty. Where Pavlik goes from here now is anyone’s guess.

Needless to say, the Top Rank promotional group is most unhappy; with Todd DuBoef releasing the following statement:

“Top Rank is very disappointed at Kelly’s sudden decision to discontinue the rebuilding of his boxing career. Kelly’s team specifically outlined a strategy for Kelly to return to the ring in an affective fashion. Kelly’s team gave us their objectives and we set them on 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 question now is, will Top Rank come back with a better financial offer to Pavlik so as to save Saturday’s fight and, more importantly to the fans, the Bute fight? Another question, though, is should they do so?

Pavlik can ill afford more long layoffs, but at the same time, if he does feel as though he is being seriously underpaid, his actions are not too hard to understand.

Article posted on 03.08.2011

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