Kelly Pavlik has threatened to pull out of Saturday’s fight against Darryl Cunningham over the offer he received to face IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute in his next fight, RingTV.com has learned.
A source familiar with the negotiations said Pavlik (37-2, 32 knockouts) is upset because he has been offered far less by his promotional firm, Top Rank, than Mikkel Kessler was offered to face Bute. Kessler turned down the offer.
The Cunningham bout is part of a package deal that is to lead to a fall match up against Bute.
“Kelly had heard that Kessler was being offered something like $3.5 million, and that he turned that down. So Kelly wasn’t really happy with the $1.1 million that Top Rank was offering him,” the source said on Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
“So I would say that right now, I don’t think that (Saturday’s) fight’s going to happen. Unless, of course, Top Rank comes back with something (better).”
Pavlik, the former middleweight champion, pulled out of a fight with Paul Williams last year because of a staph infection in his hand.
“This had nothing to do with an injury,” the source said.
Showtime is scheduled to televise the Pavlik-Cunningham fight.