There’s a boxer here in Youngstown who is taking on Jermain Taylor for the Middleweight Championship on HBO. Kelly Pavlik has been working hard for what he wants. I’m not a fan of boxing, but I’m a fan of people who chase their dreams. He’s the talk of the town right now, and with good reason. There’s been so much disenchantment with being able to achieve the “American Dream” in this community for lots of good reason that anytime anyone from here is able to make something happen, everyone gets behind them. I felt that kind of support recently when my first novel came out. There are things that you don’t get in a poverty-stricken community, but one thing you get that isn’t the same everywhere is a community spirit that feels a little bit like the sort associated with family.
Here is a three part pre-fight documentary about Pavlik and Taylor. The parts that document Youngstown and how growing up in an area like this shapes a person are really good. I thought the footage of the streets and description of the neighborhoods was done well too. There’s a shot of Kelly running down South Avenue, a few blocks from where I live, past Angelo’s pizza. I’m goofy hometown proud, even if I’m not a boxing fan, and anyone with a nickname like “Ghost” that comes from Youngstown has got my support. So Good luck on Saturday, Ghost.