Kelly Pavlik escaped the rough streets of Youngstown, Ohio to lead a nice, productive life. Pavlik would like to continue living that life in a healthy manner, so according to ESPN, Pavlik has announced his retirement from the sport of boxing.
Pavlik is quoted as saying that he is concerned about the long-term medical impact of continuing to fight and no longer motivated to get in the ring.
“When you stay in the sport too long you have health problems. That’s a big, big thing for me,” Pavlik said. “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.
“I won the world title, I defended my title, I was champ for three years and I made good money. Why take the chance of medical problems? That’s a big part of it. I also don’t think the drive is there anymore. I’m moving on to a new chapter in my life.”
Pavlik had been scheduled to challenge super middleweight champion Andre Ward on January 26 in Los Angeles. 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.
Pavlik hinted that the two cancellations might have been a blessing.
“I’ve been a pro for 13 years and doing this since I was 9,” he said. “I go away for two or three months at a time (to train) and I’m tired of leaving my family. It comes to a point where you just don’t want to do that anymore. 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.”
“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).
“I’m fine physically. But I feel like why keep pushing the envelope? I made it this long and this far and I have had fights that were tough fights. I got dropped by Jermain Taylor, got dropped earlier in my career. But you constantly take punches and it all adds up. When you’re done, you might have brain problems, you might be punchy, you might develop Parkinson’s. Why push it? I don’t need it and my heart’s not in it anymore. So why take the chances? I’ve been very fortunate up to this point.”