Lem Satterfield

Kelly Pavlik’s manager speaks out

Cameron Dunkin, the manager of former middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik, spoke to RingTV.com at length about the fighter's decision to pull out of last Saturday's super middleweight fight with Darryl Cunningham, which was to be televised on Showtime.

The move forced the cancelation of a card, which angered officials at the Showtime and frustrated his promoter, Bob Arum, and his trainer, Jack Loew.

Pavlik said he was upset with the the $50,000 he was to be paid for facing Cunningham, as well as the $1.35 million minimum he was to receive from Top Rank for a November meeting with IBF super middleweight beltholder Lucian Bute.

Pavlik said that he had heard that Denmark's ex-titleholder Mikkel Kessler had turned down a larger offer to face Bute.

Below are Dunkin's responses to various aspects of the situation.

On what has transpired since Pavlik pulled out on Tuesday:

"Everything is good with Kelly. I had a long talk with him and he's happy. Other than he's sad about the fight, he's fine."

On how he learned of Pavlik's decision to pull out of the fight:

"Kelly called me that morning, and my friend Jay Johns [a Houston trainer and manager] was with me as my witness. We were out at [a restaurant] having breakfast. This was the same morning [Tuesday] that Kelly called and he canceled.

"So my phone rang and it was Kelly. I picked up and said, 'Hey Kell.' And there was quiet. And then he goes, 'Hey Cameron.' And I asked, 'How are you doing?' And he goes, 'Not well.' I said, 'Well what's wrong?' And he said, 'I'm not fighting. I'm not fighting either fight.'

"And I go, 'Why, what's going on, Kell?' And then he just went on to tell me why. But as he was explaining things to me, there were things in there that he was saying that made no sense at all."

On the contradicting perspectives between himself and Pavlik:

"He goes, 'I'm only getting $40,000?' And I go, 'No, Kelly, you're getting $50,000. Who told you $40,000?' And he said, 'Jack [Loew.]' So I said, 'That's not true.' And then Kelly goes, 'It's $50,000?' I said, 'Yeah, it's $50,000.'

"But then he goes, 'Well, still, I'm paying all of the expenses and then I'm only getting half of the profits.' Then I said, 'No, Kelly, you're getting all of the profits. Who told you that you're splitting the profits?' And he goes, 'Jack.'

"I said, 'That's not true. You're getting all of the profits after all expenses are paid.' I told him, 'You're getting 50 grand, Top Rank will pay all of the expenses and everything, and then you keep whatever is left over as profit.'

"He goes, 'Oh, I didn't know that.' So I said, 'OK.' So I said, 'What else?' And he said, 'Well, you know, I'm not getting paid fairly. This is unfair.' So I just told him to explain what his thoughts were."

On his view that Loew negatively impacted Pavlik's thinking:

"Kelly brought up Carney Bowman, a 16-0 featherweight who I co-manage and who is out of York, Pa. I didn't know that Jack Loew had a problem with Carney Bowman until Kelly told me. But the kid's fighting a six-round fight and I owed him a fight.

"Top Rank was like, 'He's not far away, he can drive in 400 miles one way to be on the show, so it's not costing anything. He also brings fans.' Kelly said that he was told by Jack that he was getting $6,000 for a six-round fight.

"So Kelly said, 'I'm only getting $40,000 for the main event, so I'm only making $34,000 more than him. This is my my whole show. I said, 'Kelly, first of all, who told you Bowman is getting $6,000?' And he said, 'Jack did.'

"So I said, 'That's not true.' I said, 'Kelly, he's getting $2,500, and he's driving in. So they're paying for their own gas to get on the show and he'll bring some people with him from York.

"So I told him that they're coming for free, and he's fighting a solid guy in a real fight. I said, 'Kelly, that doesn't hurt you.' So he said, 'No, you're right, and I'm sorry.'"

On how the news was broken to Top Rank officials:

"So I called [Top Rank matchmaker] Bruce Trampler because it was his show. I told him everything. I told him that I did not believe that Kelly was going to fight on Saturday night. I remember telling him that he may change his mind.

"But I told him that I was going to call Kelly's father, Mike Pavlik. And Bruce said, 'Have you talked to [Top Rank Chairman] Bob Arum and [Top Rank President] Todd duBoef?' I said, 'No, I called you first because I knew that you are dealing with all of the opponents and the travel.'

"Bruce said that somebody needs to call Todd. That's what I did, and Bob was with Todd in New York. Todd's answer was that he couldn't make Kelly fight. Then Bob got on the phone, and I told him what I told Todd. Bob said the same thing, 'The guy doesn't want to fight, we can't make him fight.'

"Todd got on the phone and said that 'This is not good.' So I thought that there was nothing more to do except to call the father, Mike Pavlik, to see what his thoughts were, and to call Kelly to see what his thoughts were.

On Pavlik's subsequent remarks targeting him and Top Rank:

"The next day, all of a sudden, there were two negative remarks from Kelly in the newspapers about how our relationship was strained and that he didn't know what he was making. That bothered me.

"Where he said that our relationship had been bad for a while really bothered me. So I called up Kelly, and he was very nice. I said, 'Do you have a problem with me, Kelly?' And he said, 'No, not at all, why?'

"I said, 'Well Kelly, I've been getting calls and text messages that there was an article in the newspaper where Jack Loew was saying that you and I have a bad and strained relationship and that we have for some time.'

"He said, 'Absolutely not. Cameron, that's not true. I've never said anything bad about you at all. Whatever you want me to do, Cameron, I'll fix it. I've never said anything bad about you.'

"So the next day in the newspaper, Kelly was quoted as saying that he never said that there was a problem and that he never said any of those things. He said there was a miscommunication."

On the damage that was done to Pavlik's career and where he and Top Rank take him from here:

"I did go … have a two-hour lunch with Bob Arum in order to address this thing. He just basically said that it's going to be hard. Bob and Todd both said that it's going to be difficult for television people to believe that Kelly's going to show up.

"You know, he's pulled out of fights several times. So it may be tough convincing them. Bob said, 'You're going to go and call up the networks and say, 'We want to put Kelly Pavlik on after this?'

"He said it's going to be a hard sell because of the problems that he's had. So I just said, 'Look, I have had a long talk with Mike Pavlik, and we're going to speak with Kelly and get to the bottom of it."

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