RingTV.com caught up to Jack Loew, the trainer of Kelly Pavlik, for this Q&A regarding his thoughts on his fighter pulling out of a scheduled Showtime-televised bout with Darryl Cunningham in Pavlik's hometown of Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday.
Pavlik (37-2, 32 knockouts) said that he was upset with the $1.35 million minimum he was to be paid by Top Rank for a planned November clash with IBF super middleweight beltholder Lucian Bute. The 29-year-old former middleweight champ thought it was not enough money compared to that which he believed Mikkel Kessler had turned down for a match up with Bute.
The move by Pavlik, who was coming off of a 10-round majority decision over Alfonso Lopez, forced Showtime to cancel the entire card, angering Loew, the network, his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, and his manager Cameron Dunkin.
RingTV.com: Has there been any conversation with Kelly?
RingTV.com: Have you tried to call him or has he tried to call you?
My opinion is that if I was Kelly Pavlik, I would have jumped on a f**king airplane and flown out there and sat down with [Top Rank promoter] Bob Arum myself. But I have no idea where he's going to leave it or what he's going to do. I have no idea.
RingTV.com: Is there anything that you want to say about your relationship with Kelly?
I didn't say anything really negative toward the kid. I just thought that things could have been handled a little differently. But they weren't, and now, Kelly has got to deal with that.
RingTV.com: How would you have had Kelly handle the situation?
Or I would have said, "To hell with you, Bute." Now I want to go another route. I want to go and do this or that. I just would have fought this Cunningham fight. I just would not have walked away like that. I would not have made a move like the one that he made.
RingTV.com: Do you believe that you're one of those closest to Kelly who tells him what he needs to hear and not what he wants to hear?
But the guy is a contractor. He's a very successful contractor but he's not a boxing person. He's the one that advised Kelly that what they were offering him wasn't enough money for him. You're going to listen to a guy who pounds nails? This guy was a yes man with Ray Mancini, and he's a yes man with Kelly.
Look at it, the writing's on the wall. What I told him he knows that it was the truth, and he knows that fighting Cunningham is what I thought that we should have done. But you know, I can't control what he does.
He's been loyal to me and what started out as a trainer-fighter relationship has grown into a helluva relationship beyond boxing. So, just because he's doing what he's doing, I'm not going to abandon that friendship. And I'm not going to abandon Kelly Pavlik.
RingTV.com: But you're not going to tell him what you think that he wants to hear as much as you believe that he needs to hear?
JL: Absolutely, I have to. You know if I tell him what he wants to hear, then it's just going to be detrimental to him. And at this point in Kelly's career, he doesn't need people who are just telling him what he wants to hear.