Our hometown middleweight champion of the world Kelly Pavlik goes back to the ring this Saturday to defend the belt he won this past autumn. In an article in the LA Times about him, he refers to Youngstown as “cruddy,” but as the reporter contextualizes, with Pavlik that’s a sign of honesty and affection. Which is totally my sort of fellow. Here’s hoping he’ll have another win this Saturday, when I’ll be somewhere in the city with a bunch of other crazies from this “shot-and-a-beer” town cheering him on.
From the LA Times:
Pavlik has become a hard hitter from the hard streets of Youngstown. Residents of this shot-and-a-beer town now make a ritual of celebrating Pavlik’s shots with a beer. Or several. They had a parade when he beat Taylor in September. If he does it again, they may have a stampede. Between bars.
Youngstown appears to be as much of the story these days as Pavlik himself. Some towns get down on their luck. Youngstown hasn’t had any for about 30 years now.
Once, in the ’70s, you could look down the Mahoning River and see steel plants as far as your eye could travel. As lore has it, Youngstown once produced more steel than any place in the world, even more than nearby Pittsburgh.
Pavlik refers to his hometown as “cruddy.” With him, that is honesty and affection.