Kelly Pavlik charged with theft

Updated: September 18, 2013, 8:10 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, who abruptly retired in January, was charged with theft on Wednesday after stiffing a cab driver in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, for the $25 fare.

Pavlik refused to pay the cab fare after getting a ride home from a bar at 2:45 a.m., according to the Youngstown Vindicator, the newspaper in his hometown. Pavlik has had at least two stints at an alcohol rehabilitation facility.

The Vindicator, quoting the sheriff's report, said Pavlik asked to be driven home from the bar and when the driver dropped him off 10 minutes later, Pavlik refused to pay the fare, cursed at the driver twice, got out of the cab and walked into his home. At that point, the driver called police.

In 2011, Pavlik was charged with DUI and eventually pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs), 31, knocked out Jermain Taylor to win the middleweight world championship in September 2007. He beat Taylor again in a rematch in a 2008 nontitle fight and defended the title three times.

His only defeats came by decision, to Bernard Hopkins in a nontitle light heavyweight fight in 2008, and when he lost the championship to Sergio Martinez in 2010. Pavlik last fought in July 2012, winning a 10-round unanimous decision against Will Rosinsky.

He was supposed to challenge super middleweight champion Andre Ward for a seven-figure purse in January, but after Ward suffered a shoulder injury and had to postpone the fight, Pavlik announced his retirement.

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