Boxing


2011 A Bad Year For Floyd Mayweather Junior; An Even Worse Year For Kelly Pavlik

Floyd MayweatherBy James Slater: Two great fighters who fought their way to the very top of their respected weight divisions have suffered crushing, humbling falls from grace this year; with Floyd Mayweather Junior and Kelly Pavlik both taking their humiliations in full public gaze.

Unbeaten Mayweather will serve time in prison starting on January 6th of next year, the result of his domestic violence misdemeanours, but at least his boxing career has a great chance of remaining where it is - on top - when “Money” is released in April (or sooner). Mayweather had a good year inside the ropes, scoring a fairly easy 4th-round KO over a young, dangerous fighter in Victor Ortiz. Indeed, Mayweather’s latest win saw him return to the top of the P-4-P ratings of some publications.

Former middleweight king Kelly Pavlik faces no such prospective return to glory when he fights again after putting his own issues behind him (if he ever will). “The Ghost’s” alcohol problems have been well documented. After having spent a substantial amount of time in rehab earlier this year Pavlik was reportedly feeling great and looking ahead to rebuilding his career up at super-middleweight. With a move to California and a switch of trainer planned (from long-time coach Jack Leow to Robert Garcia), Pavlik looked to be getting back on the right track.

Sadly, earlier this week, the Youngstown man’s issues with the booze resurfaced. Charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (OVI), Pavlik reportedly became abusive with the police officers who attended the scene that had seen the former champ crash into a light post. Fans and those people who care about Kelly are now asking if he will ever rid himself of his alcohol problems. It certainly doesn’t look good. Released on bond, Pavlik is still reported to be set to begin training on December 29th.

It will be nothing short of a miracle, however, if Pavlik is able to again reach the dizzy heights he scaled back in the years 2007 and 2008, when the exciting warrior was winning and defending the world middleweight crown, fighting names like Jermain Taylor (twice) and Gary Lockett (the first of Pavlik’s two title retentions). Pavlik was on top of the world, his face everywhere boxing related.

The problems had likely already begun, however. Later speaking of how fans everywhere “always wanted to buy the champ a beer,” Pavlik had grown to rely on booze. The stint in rehab was thought to have ironed out the dependency, but in light of this new development things look bleak for the likeable fighter.

Mayweather will almost certainly fight again, and the time he spends in jail may not even trouble his mind or body too much. Pavlik faces a longer, harder road if he is ever to safely enter the ring again.

Good luck to both men; both prize-fighters sure need it.

Article posted on 25.12.2011



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