If Kelly Pavlik never again entered a prize-fighting ring, if his July 2012 win against Will Rosinsky is indeed his farewell to the sport, then he can look back on his run with pride.
The former middleweight champion, who snagged the WBO version from Jermain Taylor in 2007, hung up the mitts last year. He cited health reasons when he exited the stage in January 2013, and assured the planet that he was done, that he wanted to let his 40-2 (34 KOs) record stand static.
"Why take the chance of medical problems?" he stated in his exit interviews at the time.
He'd been slated to embrace maybe the sternest challenge of his career, a scrap against super middleweight champ Andre Ward on Jan. 26, 2013, but the fight was postponed and then scrapped, because of a Ward injury. Pavlik said the postponement was a blessing, because it gave him time to assess his past, present and future. Goodbye, boxing, he decided.
Now, it appears he may have undecided.
The fighter took to Facebook to reveal that he's still got an itch, and he just might scratch it. Late on Tuesday night, the night owl, now 32-years-old, wrote, "Really people thinking about making a come back vs ggg is possible let me know fans if u think i should make this happen?" It being Facebook, that they did. Many friends and "Facebook friends" said he had nothing to prove, and should stay on the sidelines. Many said they backed this play, and would love to see him tackle Golovkin, the baby-faced banger who himself just turned 32 on Tuesday. A couple accused him of being in the cups, on the sauce, and urged him to re-visit the issue when sobriety beckoned. No, said the ex hitter, who has long battled issues stemming from alcohol use, and was in court to face a DUI charge from a Dec. 13 arrest, this isn't idle bar-room chattering.
Now, his retirement period couldn't be called a period of serenity and tranquility, judging by periodic news reports. The onetime hope and pride of Youngstown, Ohio, who today possesses a love-hate relationship with that community, was busted, and tagged with a theft charge after he and a cabbie got into a difference of opinion. The cabbie drove Pavlik home from a night out in September 2013, and said Pavlik refused to pay a $25 fare. On Jan. 31, Pavlik collapsed in a court appearance for that incident, and word was he suffered some sort of seizure. From afar, it looks like, just maybe, idle time is the consummate devil's playground for the heavy-handed banger, who has done a couple rehab stints to confront substance abuse. Perhaps the ring, with the structure and support which comes from working toward a concrete goal, is more of a safety zone than some would assume. The boxer was on a four fight win streak following a 2010 loss to Sergio Martinez, who confiscated Pavlik's middleweight crowns.
I reached out to Pavki, via Facebook, for clarity, and am awaiting a response. I also reached out to a rep from Team Golovkin, the promoter Tom Loeffler. What about it, would Golovkin and his crew entertain a fight against the former middleweight champ? "We would have a much more than theoretical interest in a Golovkin-Pavlik fight," said Loeffler, who has been working on finishing up terms for a July fight between Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. "He would still be very viable, and the fight could be at either 160 or 168 pounds. The Chavez Jr. fight isn't done yet, but that would be the perfect fight after Chavez."
Readers, talk to me. Get into our Fabulous Forum, and weigh in on that fight, and a Pavlik comeback. Good idea? Bad idea? Weigh in!
Follow Woods on Twitter.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV