Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Pavlik goes into attack mode
Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik defended his decision to pull out of Saturday night's fight, claiming he's been mishandled by his management and promoter and vows to come back "better than ever."
On Monday, former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik informed trainer Jack Lowe of his decision to pull out of Saturday's fight against Darryl Cunningham over the money he was offered to face IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute in a fall bout.
On Tuesday morning, at about 11, Pavlik's promoter, Top Rank, informed Showtime officials of the fighter's move, which forced the network to cancel an entire card that was to take place in Pavlik's hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
On Tuesday evening, even in the face of worldwide media criticism, the 29-year-old Pavlik defiantly defended his actions to the point of asserting on a MaxBoxing.com radio show that while he remains among the sport's most popular fighters he also is one of its most abused and underpaid by his promoters.
Below are some of the highlights of Pavlik's interview with moderator Alec Kohut, who, like Pavlik, is a Youngstown native.
"If I was fighting Bute in Atlantic City, I would fight him for $1.1 (million). But I've got to (go to Canada) and put the guy on a stretcher to win that fight. So for me to go over there, it's kind of like Top Rank cashing in on me. You know? Like, 'We're going to go and make our money off of him, and we're done with him, and that's it.'"
"Some of my handlers, where they're getting like $130,000, they're happy with that. They're good, you know? But I look at the big picture and the bigger money and everything else. But I don't need the money where I've got to sell my career and my soul short."
"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 to fight. I don't need the money that badly."
"And then we had to negotiate to get to $1.35 (million). I mean, come on, you're offering Mikkel Kessler $3 million? My name is better than Mikkel Kessler's. We can argue that. We can take a poll if you want. And if it's not as big, then it's close."
"Now, 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 he tells me, 'You got 20 hours to turn it back in. If you don’t turn it back in within 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. It's over, and I don't need to fight no more. ... I still don't have a fight contract for this fight that was coming up, which was only a week away. I have nothing. No paper. I have no idea what's going on."
On the perception that issues with alcohol -- he was released in January following a two-month stay at the Betty Ford clinic -- were a factor in his pulling out of the fights: "Like people say, 'He's out drinking, and he's on the sauce, and he's doing this and he's doing that.' But look, 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, and I mean the big fights, and they pay me what I'm worth, then I'll take them."
"That's stupid. I'm selling myself short by doing that. They're saving their money. 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."
"And you've got to pay me more money than that you're offering. ... Kelly Pavlik is Kelly Pavlik. My name still draws. ... You can't tell me that the money's not there and the draw is not there. I will draw people to a fight. So until I'm happy and I get what I deserve, then I'm not happy.
"Top Rank, right now, what they're telling me is that they're going to sit me. We're going to sit you right now and you're not going to fight. Well then, sit me. My contract is up in the air. I'm not hurt. So you really can't put it on me. By no means do I want to sit, but if that's what they're going to do, then that's what they're going to do.
"There is nothing I can do about it. ... Hopefully, they won't. Hopefully, the fans want to see me fight. Hopefully Top Rank puts me in a fight. I'll fight whoever for a decent amount of money. ... If you're going to put me in a world title fight, then pay me what I deserve.
"... I'm not Money Mayweather. I'm not asking for $20 million for every fight. If Top Rank wants to sit me for a year, then I'll sign with somebody else and I'll come back better than ever. I'm only 29 years old. ... But I do have kids. I'm not trying to go out there and get my head beat in for nothing. That's my story."
"Because what they're thinking is, 'We’ll tell him a week before and there’s nothing he’ll do about it. You know, he won’t cancel the fight.' Well bulls--t. I called bulls--t on that. I will cancel the fight."