Ex-middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik hangs up boxing gloves
New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Former middleweight champion Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik has decided to hang up his boxing gloves, saying he is no longer motivated and worried about the health problems that may arise from continuing to fight.
“When you stay in the sport too long you have health problems. That’s a big, big thing for me,” said Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs), who held the middleweight championship from 2007 until 2010 when he lost a bloody decision to Sergio Martinez.
“I’m not talking about now. I’m talking about in the future. I’m talking about when I’m 55 or 60. What’s gonna happen to me then? Why take any more chances, especially in that sport. It’s a brutal sport and you never know what can happen,” Pavlik added.
Pavlik added that he achieved what many boxers are aspiring, including world championships and good money, making it easier for him to walk away from the sport with a clean bill of health.
Pavlik had been scheduled to challenge super middleweight champion Andre Ward on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles in the main event of a major HBO card.
However, the fight was postponed to March 2 and ultimately canceled when Ward injured his right shoulder and had surgery that will keep him out of action likely until the fall.
“I put my money away and then with the Ward fight being canceled, well, health and time with my family is more important at this stage, especially with no guaranteed big fight or date,” Pavlik said.
Pavlik’s manager Cameron Dunkin said he’s happy to see his ward retire with his health and money.
“I love Kelly. He did a lot of great things. He’s a friend and a great guy to know,” said Dunkin. “It was a great experience working with Kelly and I’m very happy for him making his decision.
Pavlik, who turns 31 in April, won the middleweight championship in 2007 when he stopped Jermain Taylor in dramatic fashion in the seventh round.
He defended the title three times, scoring knockouts against Gary Lockett, Marco Antonio Rubio and Miguel Espino, but lost to Sergio Martinez in 2010.
Pavlik also had his share of problems between 2010 and 2012 when he battled alcoholism and wound up in rehab twice, was arrested on a DUI charge, went through a messy contract dispute with career-long promoter Top Rank and had a breakup with trainer Jack Loew.
He got back on track in 2012, winning against Aaron Jaco, Scott Sigmon and Will Rosinsky in July.
“I had a pretty good career,” Pavlik said. “I was 40-2 and I only lost to two of the best guys, Martinez and Hopkins. I’m content. It’s not like I got knocked out. It’s not like I got knocked out the way Manny Pacquiao got knocked out in December by Juan Manuel Marquez.”