By Johnny Walker
Super middleweight contender and former middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik (36-2, 32 knockouts) today nixed his upcoming fight with Darryl Cunningham this Saturday in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, reportedly over monetary concerns regarding a future bout with IBF super middleweight champ Lucian Bute.
According to a report in RingTV.com, Pavlik is apparently unhappy that his promoter, Top Rank, offered former champion Mikael Kessler approximately $3.5 million for a fight with Bute, while Pavlik has been offered only $1.1 million to fight the champ, if he was successful against Cunningham.
According to an unnamed source quoted in the report, “I don’t think that (Saturday’s) fight’s going to happen. Unless, of course, Top Rank comes back with something (better).”
Obviously, that better offer was not in the cards.
Pavlik is no stranger to controversy and problems. He was recently treated for alcoholism at the Betty Ford Clinic, and was involved in what was reported as an alcohol-fuelled scrap with his brother that involved the police a few weeks back. Pavlik later admitted that he had fought with his brother, but denied that alcohol was involved.
“Top Rank is very disappointed at Kelly’s sudden decision to discontinue the rebuilding of his boxing career,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “Kelly’s team specifically outlined a strategy for Kelly to return to the ring in an effective fashion. Kelly’s team gave us their objectives and we set them on a course, which began last May with Kelly’s fight against Alfonso Lopez and was to continue on Saturday against Darryl Cunningham. It seems Kelly has derailed this plan.”
The Pavlik-Cunningham bout was scheduled to take place on Saturday at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, OH, and was to be televised live on SHOWTIME® as the main event of a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation. Both the broadcast and the live event have been canceled. Ticketholders can get a refund by returning their tickets to the place of purchase.