Thu, Jul 30, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Police find no sign champ beat up man at nightclub

AP , YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO

Police say they have found no evidence that WBC middleweight boxing champion Kelly Pavlik and his trainer assaulted a man in a nightclub last weekend in Pavlik’s hometown of Youngstown.

No charges have been filed.

Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said on Tuesday the initial investigation into a report filed by 45-year-old Ronald Cappitte of Boardman had turned up no corroborating evidence.

Cappitte alleges he walked up to Pavlik in a bar about 11pm on Saturday, said, “Hi,” and was punched in the groin. A police report says he fell, got up and was punched repeatedly in the body by Pavlik and trainer Jack Loew.

Loew said the incident “got so blown out of proportion.”

He said Pavlik and Cappitte have been friends for years.

“They were goofing around and the next thing I know he lunges at Kelly and grabs him by the neck, and Kelly thinks they’re still playing. He’s laughing around. And my wife says to me, ‘Jack, I don’t think this kid is playing around anymore.’ And I stepped between them.”

Loew said he and Pavlik had just arrived at the East Side Civics club. The two had been at an amateur boxing show that was a fundraiser for Pavlik’s gym, the Southside Boxing Club, where the boxer trains.

“There was not one punch thrown,” Loew said. “We were having a great time ... I’m 49 years old. I got no use to be rumbling on bar floors.”

Loew said several other people at the bar got into a scuffle after he pulled Pavlik away.

John D’Altorio Sr, one of Pavlik’s publicists and friends, said Pavlik and Cappitte were “horsing around” and things got a little out of hand. He said Pavlik frequents the club and is very popular.

As for Loew, “Jack was trying to break things up,” D’Altorio said.

Pavlik has held the WBC middleweight crown since September 2007.

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