Kelly Pavlik Keeps His Sense Of Humour, And His Feet On The Ground, Ahead Of Lockett Clash

by James Slater: Along with being one of the most exciting fighters in the world right now, Kelly Pavlik is also one of the most likeable and approachable. One reason “The Ghost” is so likeable is his down to earth qualities. Refusing to change now that he happens to be the middleweight champion of the world, the fighter from Youngstown remains the same humble guy he always has been..

At a press conference this week to promote next Saturday’s title fight defence against Welshman Gary Lockett, Pavlik made it clear he is still as level headed as always. Kelly also demonstrated his good sense of humour.

When trainer Jack Leow was asked how he keeps Kelly so grounded, the middleweight champ jumped in and began speaking.

“You didn’t hear about that?” Pavlik asked. “I got three Rolls Royces, four Bentleys, I got a 7,500 square-foot house with ten bedrooms and all gold bathtubs!”

Of course, Kelly was joking. Not for him are the trappings of fame and money that some athletes get into in a big way.

“What keeps me grounded is that I’m not that type of guy,” a now serious Pavlik said. “I don’t need that stuff. I’ve got a 1,100 square-foot house. I’ve got the same car, actually, that was given to me through endorsement deals. Simple things keep me happy. I didn’t have anything for 25 years. I can go without.”

Floyd Mayweather Junior Kelly Pavlik certainly is not. It is his level headedness that will prevent him from taking any opponent, Gary Lockett included, at all lightly.

“Nobody really knows the opponent’s he’s [Lockett] fought just because he’s not from the States, ” Pavlik said. “That’s what a lot of people don’t understand. They say, “Well, he hasn’t fought nobody,” or, “He’s going to be an easy fight for you because nobody here in the States or in boxing has really seen him fight. But that’s just kind of wrong to go by that. You have a lot of great fighters from the U.K right now that are making noise.”

Obviously, Gary Lockett wants to join them, and if he can shock Pavlik he will be right up there with fighters like Calzaghe, Haye and Hatton. Kelly does not plan on letting that happen, however.

“Going into this fight, I know I got a guy whose in the best shape he’s ever been in and is hungrier than he’s ever been,” Pavlik stated. “This [his first title defence] means more to me than anything, as much as the first Taylor fight.”

With this kind of attitude it’s going to be extremely hard for Gary Lockett to cause the upset.