Franchise Thoughts: Health Scares for Pavlik and John, Plus Adamek's Chances As a Heavyweight

Apparently I owe Kelly Pavlik at least a partial apology.

As an Associated Press article detailed earlier this week, The Ghost's stubborn staph infection - which has already derailed his fight with Paul Williams twice - is not only the drug-resistant MRSA variety, but it also caused him to have a near fatal allergic reaction to medication. So yeah, that's bad stuff, and I kind of feel bad for doubting that everything was as it appeared to be with regards to the infection.

Interestingly, the article also mentions the fact that some fans who were attracted to Pavlik's "Pride of Youngstown" persona have grown weary of the constant drama surrounding him this year and basically given up on him. I find that amusing because I've always felt that more than any other top boxer out there, Pavlik's public image is something of a sham. While it's certainly rooted in the truth, it's been carefully cultivated and spun to keep the most compelling parts and eliminate all the negative ones.

In the end, it really doesn't make that much of a difference to this boxing fan, as I tend to not care what boxers are like outside the ring (unless you're acting like, say, Mike Tyson at his craziest). I'd like to see Pavlik back inside the ring, free of medical problems and the unfortunate decisions and mishaps that have stalled out his career.

Speaking of medical problems, hot on the heels of the Pavlik report came the story that Chris John was hospitalized with dengue fever. Dengue isn't usually life-threatening, and isn't uncommon in John's native Indonesia, but considering that it belongs to the same family of diseases as West Nile Virus and other hemmorrhagic fevers and was once researched as a possible biological weapon, it's nothing to play with either.

ESPN's Dan Rafael says John hopes to return to action around May of next year, and I hope that's the case because at age 30, he should be in the prime of his career. Some fans dislike his lack of power, but I was impressed with his skills during his two fights with Rocky Juarez, and I would look forward to seeing him fight a few more times in the U.S.

In any event, my early hope for 2010 is good health for fighters everywhere. The sport seems to have avoided the clutches of the H1N1 outbreak for now, so let's hope it stays that way.

The other thing that caught my attention over the last few days was Tomasz Adamek's smoking KO of fellow Pole Andrew Golata. Not that beating Golata was that much of an accomplishment in and of itself, mind you, but at least the Foul Pole is a very legitimate heavyweight size-wise, and Adamek's power translated beautifully.

Is Adamek a credible threat to the heavyweight titleholders if his handlers at Main Events try to push him that way? I'd like to think so because of his power, sturdy chin and more than passable skills, but I can't see him dethroning either of the Brothers Kiltschko if he ever landed a date with one of them.

The reason is size, and not just giving away pounds, though that would certainly be a factor. Adamek is about five inches shorter than Wladimir and six shorter than Vitali, with reach disadvantages that are just as daunting. That means he'd have to bull his way inside, and no one has been successful with that tactic against either brother during their current reign.

Now a fight with David Haye, assuming he's able to wrest the WBA blet away from giant Nikolai Valuev, is one I'd pay to see. Both men have explosive power and are similar in size, and they'd be hit enough to make for an exciting bout. HBO, please suggest that you'd be interested in that one if Haye wins next weekend.

Posted by The Franchise

No comments: