Kelly Pavlik pursues Lucian Bute
By John F. McKenna (McJack): The old fire appears to be back for former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (36-2, 32 KO’s) as he prepares for his August 6 showdown against Daryl Cunningham (23-2, 10 KO’s).
For the 29 year old Pavlik this will be his 2nd straight fight at the 168 pound weight class.
Pavlik debuted as a super middleweight in May when he scored a majority decision over Alfonso Lopez (21-1, 16 KO’s).
In all honesty the “Ghost” was not the least bit impressive in his win over Lopez and it was obvious that long inactivity and a stint in an alcohol rehab had taken its toll. Kelly acknowledged that he had great difficulty in making the weight in his losing effort against Sergio Martinez and that there was nothing left in the tank on the day of the fight.
In an interview with “The Ring” Pavlik said “It was a situation where we shouldn’t actually have taken the fight. Three weeks out I couldn’t get below 170 pounds. That became a big issue in the fight. I hate doing this and I’m not making any excuses, and I’m not taking anything away from Sergio Martinez, who is a great fighter.”
Pavlik will be facing the 36 year old Cunningham, who is from Detroit in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio at the Cavelli Center. It will be Pavlik’s fourth apearance in his hometown, where he stopped his previous three opponents.
Kelly is hopeful that if he gets by Cunningham he will get a shot at reigning Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute (28-0, 23 KO’s) from Canada. Since Bute and Cunningham are both southpaws, the upcoming fight on August 6 is looked at as being a tune up for Pavlik.
Nothing was mentioned of an altercation Kelly had with his brother a couple of weeks ago at his parent’s home. Police who investigated the incident suspected alcohol as a possible reason for the disturbance. Hopefully the demon that is alcohol abuse is a thing of the past for Kelly Pavlik.