When Kelly Pavlik in essence ended Jermain Taylor’s career with a right hand to become the undisputed middleweight champion of the world, I predicted he would be boxing’s next big star.
He had the perfect back story.
He came from Youngstown, Ohio, which is one of the most run down towns in the United States. He was an underdog, he was a knock out artist, and he seemed like success wouldn’t have an affect on him.
But it did—but not in the way you think.
Most people who come from very little and become celebrities become infatuated with the fame. They become different people and forget what they did to get them to that superstar level.
Kelly’s problem was that he didn’t want to be a star. He wasn’t used to everyone having their hand out. He wasn’t used to people trying to manipulate and take advantage of him.
He was a small time kid that couldn’t handle the big time lights.
To deal with the stress, he drank and drank heavily.
There were rumors that several of his bigger fights had to be canceled because of his drinking habit and the fact he was not in shape.
People always made excuses for him and he himself never admitted to a problem. Denial is always the first sign. Chris Mannix of SI.com is reporting Pavlik is entering rehab.
Saddened, but not surprised to hear Kelly Pavlik is in rehab for alcohol addiction. Rumors of Pavlik’s drinking has been rampant for years.
I’ve asked Pavlik point blank about it several times. He’s denied any problem, often citing his love of darts and just hanging out.
Hope Pavlik gets the help he needs. A good guy who just got caught up in the trappings of fame in a small town.
I hope he gets the help he needs, because he appears to be a good guy who just wasn’t ready or prepared for the success he had.
It is unfortunate that his career has bottomed out to the point you wonder if he will ever enter a ring again. Unfortunately, I don’t think he will ever reach the heights he had when he beat Taylor.
More important than boxing is life and I pray Kelly gets his in order.