Pavlik charged with stiffing cab driver

Kelly Pavlik

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CANFIELD, Ohio — Retired former middleweight boxing champion Kelly Pavlik was charged Wednesday with ripping off a cab driver who drove him from Billy’s Bar to his Canfield home.

Pavlik, 31, was charged in Mahoning County Canfield Area Court with petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. The cab fare was $25.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Reports say Pavlik, who has battled alcoholism, was drunk when the cab driver picked him up at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday from the South Meridian bar.

The driver told Mahoning County Sheriff’s deputies he dropped Pavlik off at about 3 a.m. at his Sugarbush Drive home. He said he told Pavlik the fare was $25. Pavlik exited the cab, cursed at the driver and said “I’m not paying. You go (expletive) yourself,” reports say.

Pavlik then went into his home and the driver called police.

The driver told investigators he recognized Pavlik from seeing him on TV and from posters around Youngstown.

Pavlik spent 60 days in a rehab facility in 2010 and had a drunk driving charge from an ATV accident reduced in 2012.

Pavlik won the World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Council middleweight championship in a stunning upset over Jermaine Taylor in 2007.

He defended his title three times and eventually lost his titles to Sergio Martinez in 2010. Pavlik fought four more times until retiring in January with a 40-2 professional record with 34 knockouts. He announced his retirement months before he was scheduled to fight super middleweight champion Andre Ward for the titles in Las Vegas.

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