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Kelly Pavlik has thrown thousands of punches.
“I miss some of it,” Pavlik said. “Some of it I miss.”
When you’ve been doing something since the age of nine, you’re bound to miss it, but when Pavlik decided to call it a career in late January, he did so for a multitude of reasons.
“I think that my record and the four belts, in my case, sum up my career,” he said.
Traveling to the West Coast for training camps and missing time with his family are points Pavlik repeatedly emphasized when talking about his decision to retire. But an internet report on 8-count-news.com says Pavlik had suffered three recent seizures. It’s a report Pavlik says is not accurate.
“I had one seizure,” Pavlik said.
He said the seizure took place in early December. The seizure, Pavlik said, is caused by swelling on his brain, which he believes is a direct correlation to his more than 20 years in the ring.
“Three days a week of sparring, nine, 10 rounds since I was nine years old. Thirteen years of being a pro. It takes a toll on the head. Unfortunately, in my situation, I had the seizure. It could have been a mix of a lot of things, too,” Pavlik said.
One of those possibilities is alcohol. Pavlik, who spent 60 days in a rehab facility in 2010 and had a drunk driving charge from an ATV accident reduced in 2012, said he’s received no medical evidence to support that claim.
“Could it have been a possibility? I don’t know. I’m not a neurologist or doctor,” Pavlik said. “But I’ve got punched in the head since I was nine years old for a living.”
Pavlik still believes his future is in the ring. He wants to train young fighters. His first step to doing that is disciplining himself to give up some of the things he’s grown to love.
“As far as boxing, done,” Pavlik said. “As far as anything else that will affect my health, done.”