What Happened to Kelly Pavlik?

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According to this column on thesweetscience.com, a boxing web site, one of Youngstown’s most well known natives, boxer Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik, has had a disappointing downturn in his once-promising career.

I know nothing about boxing, but according to this piece, it doesn’t look good.

“How does someone go from being one of boxing’s most celebrated fighters to a forgotten man in less than a year?” the web site asks. “Ask Kelly Pavlik. He should have more than a few pointers for how to run a career into the ground.” Ouch!

For some good background on Pavlik, read this piece from about a year and a half ago in Valley Magazine. His rise from underdog status seemed a metaphor for the city’s troubles – and some say eventual resurgence. “To Youngstown, Kelly Pavlik’s “Rocky-like” rise to success is the very story an entire region has been waiting decades to tell,” Valley said.

“When people ask me what Youngstown is about, what Youngstown is going through, I say look at Kelly Pavlik. A lot of people didn’t think he had what it took,” Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams told the magazine. “For Pavlik to survive that (second) round, and how he was able to stumble, get back up and keep his footing [says a lot about Youngstown]. For the city, the chapter of us ultimately winning hasn’t been written, but we are on our way to the seventh round.”

Unfortunately, Pavlik has had some rough spots since then.

I hope he can turn things around. Are we folks from downtrodden cities too desperate for hero figures? Or did Pavlik deserve the praise he received?

3 Comments

Filed under Featured, regionalism, Sports

3 responses to “What Happened to Kelly Pavlik?

  1. Maureen

    There are rumors of possible substance abuse, or emotional breakdown. It is sad. I don’t know anything about boxing either but I can’t imagine it is easy to stay at the top.

  2. Special K

    Here is another story about the importance of sports to a city and it can really impact people’s civic self-esteem. This one deals with Detroit:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/email/idUSTRE57O01G20090825

  3. Mike

    Maureen for someone who knows nothing about boxing or Kelly Pavlik you are quick to throw out substance abuse or emotional breakdown. I personally know Kelly and he is one of the absolute best people I know. He gives a lot to the community and is a devoted family man. He does not have a substance abuse problem or an emotional one either. Very harsh judge of character for someone who has no idea.

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