Initially, Pavlik was to move with his wife and two young children from Youngstown to Oxnard, Calif., where Garcia lives. Top Rank was to pay for Pavlik’s living expenses caused by the change, which was meant to allow Pavlik to spend the holidays with his family in Youngstown so as not to disrupt the lives of his wife and children too suddenly.
But Mike Pavlik said that his grandchildren and daughter-in-law will stay behind, although they may visit on occasion.
“Every fighter moves on,” he said. “A lot of people get stale at what they’re doing, and sometimes, a change and getting back to the basics and a change of scenery would be good.”
Pavlik will return to the ring as a super middleweight, where he will look for bouts opposite
“I can never see Kelly making middleweight again. He’s a big kid. He’s not going to go back to 160,” said Mike Pavlik. “He’s built more like a wide receiver or a small tight end.”
In August, Pavlik withdrew from a scheduled, Showtime-televised fight against Darryl Cunningham, citing his disappointment over the offer he received from Top Rank to face Cunningham and then IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute 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 matchup with Bute.
The move by Pavlik forced Showtime to cancel the entire card that was be held in Youngstown, but Dunkin and Top Rank hoped that the new direction might rejuvenate Pavlik toward gaining possible matchups opposite Bute or other super middleweights such as WBA/WBC beltholder Andre Ward or ex-beltholder Carl Froch.
Pavlik first became champion when he dethroned Jermain Taylor, who was 27-0-1 with 17 knockouts before being stopped in seven rounds and dethroned by Pavlik in Sept. 2007.
Taylor also lost his non-title rematch with Pavlik by unanimous decision in February of 2008, when they each weighed 164 pounds, and was subsequently knocked out in the 12th-round by Froch in April of 2009.
Pavlik lost his first career bout in October of 2008, when Bernard Hopkins won a unanimous decision at a catch weight of 170 pounds. Hopkins’ win had come over a man who had twice beaten the same Taylor who had twice defeated Hopkins.
Pavlik had scored two straight knockouts after the loss to Hopkins before citing a staph infection in one of his fingers for twice pulling out of scheduled bouts opposite Paul Williams that were to be televised on HBO.
In April of 2010, Pavlik was dethroned as WBO and WBC middleweight titleholder by Sergio Martinez, and cited a rib injury as his reason for eschewing a scheduled bout with Bryan Vera, which was slated for the HBO pay per view televised Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito undercard on Nov. 13 of 2010.
Pavlik returned with May’s 10-round victory over previously unbeaten Alfonso Lopez, a super middleweight debut for Pavlik that was televised on the Showtime pay per view under card of Pacquiao’s unanimous decision over Shane Mosley.
Lopez was Pavlik’s last fight.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org