Former undisputed middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik has officially split with career-long trainer Jack Loew, and will leave his native Youngstown, Ohio, on Sunday to begin working with Robert Garcia in Oxnard, Calif., his father, Mike Pavlik, told RingTV.com on Friday.
“They’re getting him out of here this weekend. They’re sending him to Oxnard, Calif., to train with Robert Garcia. Kelly should be leaving either tomorrow, Sunday or Monday. I spoke with Cameron Dunkin on Tuesday about it. Kelly is just going to train there,” said Mike Pavlik, his son’s co-manager with Dunkin.
“They’re looking at training for six, seven or eight weeks and then see what type of progess has been made with a fight under Robert Garcia. They, they’ll repeat the process again. Kelly leaving Youngstown has been planned for months, so it had nothing to do with him backing into a lamp post.”
Pavlik is leaving behind a troubled local life by vacating his hometown to train. Last month, he was arrested for a DUI in Canfield, Ohio, after having been treated and released from the Betty Ford Center for a drinking problem in January after a two-month stay.
Pavlik has refused to link any of his problems with alcohol, including an altercation with his brother in July.
In an interview late last month with RingTV.com, the 29-year-old Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) said that he was ready to take advantage of career changes proposed by his father, Dunkin, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti during an Oct. 21 meeting in New York.
Dunkin, Arum and Moretti had invited the Pavliks to New York, where they were in attendance for an Oct. 22, HBO-televised bout during which Top Rank Inc. fighter Nonito Donaire won a unanimous decision over Omar Narvaez at Madison Square Garden.
In an interview on the evening of Oct. 21, Arum told RingTV.com that the gathering with the Pavliks went well, and Dunkin outlined the details designed to resurrect the beleagured Kelly Pavlik to the point where he is on par with mangerial stablemates such as Donaire, RING No. 1-rated lightweight Brandon Rios, RING No. 8-ranked pound for pound WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley and unbeaten featherweight prospect Mikey Garcia.
“Robert Garcia is a great trainer, so we’ll see,” said Arum, Pavlik’s promoter, of Garcia, who also trains Donaire, Rios and his brother, Mikey.
“Apparently, this weekend, he’s heading out to California to be with Garcia. Kelly swears that he’s going to turn over a new leaf, so a different environment will probably help.”
Pavlik said that he welcomed the change “for several reasons” during an interview with RingTV.com in late October.
“Everybody and their mother knows that there has been a lot of negativity surrounding me in Youngstown, especially from the media outlets there. The negativity has flowed all around. I still have a lot of friends there and people who are friendly with me. I can’t even go to the store without somebody wanting to shake my hand or to take a picture with me to get an autograph from me,” said Pavlik.
“To this day, in that small, little city, I’ve probably, since 2007, signed every autograph there. But really, I guess that I haven’t. It’s just that there are some negative parts. Behind my back distractions. So I just think that it’s better to get away and maybe try a different atmosphere. At this stage, you know, what’s it going to hurt? I want to get out there, see what they have, work with personal trainers. Let’s just see what happens.”