NEW YORK — RingTV.com caught up with manager Cameron Dunkin in the lobby of the Affinia Hotel on Friday night to discuss the future of former undisputed middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik hours after a meeting that took place involving Dunkin, the fighter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and Pavlik’s father and co-manager, Mike Pavlik.
Dunkin and Arum were in New York promoting Saturday night’s HBO-televised bout during which THE RING’s No. 4 pound-for-pound WBO/WBC bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs) successfully defended his belts against WBO junior bantamweight beltholder Omar Narvaez (35-1-2, 19 KOs) of Argentina at Madison Square Garden.
In an interview on Friday, Arum told RingTV.com that the meeting went well.
“We had a very, very good discussion. Everybody emerged very satisfied from the discussion, I will say that,” said Arum. “What we discussed, nobody authorized me to talk about. But I will say that it was non-controversial meeting.”
The 29-year-old Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) pulled out of a scheduled August fight against southpaw Darryl Cunningham (23-2, 10 KOs) on Showtime, citing his disappointment over the offer he received from Top Rank to face Cunningham and then southpaw IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute (29-0, 26 KOs) in November.
Pavlik said that he was upset with his reported payments of $50,000 for facing Cunningham, and the $1.35 million minimum he was to get from Top Rank for a meeting Bute.
Pavlik said that he had heard that Denmark’s ex-titleholder Mikkel Kessler had turned down a larger amount for a match up with Bute.
The move by Pavlik forced Showtime to cancel the entire card that was be held in Pavlik’s hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and it frustrated network executives, Arum and Dunkin.
Dunkin revealed some of the details of the meeting to RingTV.com below.
Bob Arum was very supportive of that. We talked about different places that he can go, and we narrowed that down. The entire meeting was very positive.
Kelly is supposed to let me know as soon as tomorrow. It could be as soon as tomorrow when he wants to start looking at camps and stuff. It could be really soon.
RingTV.com: He’s obviously going to fight as a super middleweight, but what is the timetable for pursuing a title in that weight class — two fights and then a title shot?
We’ll see where you’re at. And if we need a third or a fourth, then, you know, we need it. We want to get him back to where he was fighting like he was when he fought Edison Miranda, and when he fought Jermain Taylor and those type of guys.
We want him back there. Because if he gets back to there, then everybody does well.
CD: I think that he’s got to back and start again. I know that he’s 29 years old. He’s almost the same age as Nonito Donaire. People look at Donaire and they say that he’s just getting started.
But they say that Kelly is a shot fighter. He may be. Kelly understands that. But we have to find out. We’ve got to get him a nutritionist. We’ve got to get him a dietician.
We’ve got to get him a strength trainer. We’re going to get him a trainer. We’ve got to get him everything to support him 24/7 to make him the best that he can be.
RingTV.com: And that starts with building him back up?
CD: Yeah. And we’re going to start with the easy fight. An easy fight and then another easy right. And then we’re going to see where he’s at. We’ll try new things.
We’ll check with his weight of course. Like Bob said in the meeting, ‘you dont’ know if you’re not even a 160-pounder. You never did any nutrition. You never dieted properly. You never did anything.’
Kelly was like an old time guy who just trained his a– off, sweated, and then fought. And so we’re going to find out. We’re going to go more into new tactics that other people are using.
Like Nonito Donaire, like Brandon Rios, like Mikey Garcia, and like Timmy Bradley. We’re going to implement those techniques into Kelly and let him see what that’s like.
We’ll see how he likes it, and find out if we’ve got ourselves a heckuva fighter. We think that we could and that we do.
RingTV.com: Can you shed any light on Jack Loew?
CD: We believe that Jack Loew’s going to be gone. We want to send him to Oxnard with Robert Garcia. Robert doesn’t even know yet. We’re going to send him up to Oxnard. We’re going to get him a nice, beautiful house for his family.
That way, he’s not staying in a hotel room. We’re going to give him the best of everything. We’re going to rent him a van, you know, for his kids and everything and for his wife.
We’re going to give him the best of everything so that he’s going to have a chance to become a good fighter again, and if he doesn’t, then he doesn’t. But he’s going to have a chance to.
CD: Yeah, Victor Conte’s going to be involved also.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.