Boxing: Dan Rafael

Pavlik retirement a surprise

January, 19, 2013
1/19/13
7:34
PM ET
ESPN's Dan Rafael was working the phones and tapping the keyboard furiously in the hours before the Top Rank card at the Madison Square Garden Theater, breaking the story that ex-middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik was hanging up the gloves, at age 30.

At the Garden, neither Bruce Trampler nor Brad Goodman, Top Rank matchmakers, had heard the news when I asked them about it. Good for Kelly, both said. Trampler said it was likely Pavlik would have signed on for a fight with Canada-based Lucian Bute, after his fight with Andre Ward was scrapped, because Ward hurt his shoulder.

Most folks I talk to seem to think the Youngstown Ohioan, age 30, won't be able to kick the boxing jones, and will glove up again. The thrill of the roar of the crowd, the endorphin and dopamine rush you get when you're standing center ring after besting your fellow man -- it's not replicable, usually. We shall see. He entertained us, gave it his best in every outing, and for that, we thank him, and we wish him well, and that he finds the life of the ex-fighter engaging and fulfilling.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays

December, 24, 2011
12/24/11
2:55
PM ET
Readers, thank you for logging on to NYFightBlog. Our growth since debuting in September has been phenomenal, and I appreciate your patronage!

Thanks to the editor who oversees the blog, Mr. Jon Scher, who has just the right mix of encouragement and positive feedback and critique and polite chopsbusting to keep me on message.

I will be off radar for a couple days, so if you seek any boxing news, head over to ESPN.com, and soak up material there. You I'm sure do that anyway, but that Dan Rafael is the hardest working man in the biz, so I'm guessing he'll have fresh pieces up while the rest of us sip eggnog.

That eggnog for me will be virgin, by the way, which brings me to a final point. Some folks overindulge during the holidays. If you see that, and see someone grabbing for the keys to drive themselves home, step in, and lobby for another method of home delivery. No one likes hearing about or reading about on-the-road tragedies during the holidays. If you care to, check out this piece I wrote for TSS about the holidays, how hard they can be for some. Kelly Pavlik, the Youngstown super middleweight is having trying times right now..

Here's to the folks having the trying times. I toast you all.

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