Kelly Pavlik, the WBO, WBC and The Ring (I love Naomi Watts) middleweight champion, said that he nearly died from an allergic reaction to a medication prescribed to treat a staph infection.
The allergic reaction caused Pavlik's temperature to reach 104 degrees, prompting the 27-year-old boxer to check into the hospital. A specialist at the Cleveland Clinic (which I assume is in Cleveland) informed Pavlik's father, Mike, that the situation was looking pretty grim.
Pavlik says he doesn't remember everything that happened last month, only bits and pieces.
He recalls a doctor telling him that he wasn't going home right away, and that every step he took toward the emergency ward was more difficult than the last. He remembers his skin crawling, his heart feeling like it would jump right out of his chest.
He doesn't remember the steroids doctors gave him to make the reaction subside.
"I don't remember that day, that's how bad it was," Pavlik told The Associated Press. "They told me it was pretty serious. It was the worst form of reaction you could have."
The staph infection, although cleared up, has prompted Pavlik's trainer, Jack Hoew, to cancel Pavlik's December 5th bout against Paul Williams. The fight had already been pushed back, amid contentious negotiations between the two fighters' camps.
Pavlik first noticed something wrong while playing basketball last March, a few weeks after he defeated Marco Antonio Rubio in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio.
He was playing basketball on a warm March day when the knuckle split open. After a few minutes, Pavlik looked down to see a colorless ooze where there should have been blood, and a trip to the doctor confirmed the bacteria.
A month went by and antibiotics weren't doing their job, so Pavlik had surgery in Youngstown to clean out the infection. When the stitches were removed, the hole was still there. Further tests revealed MRSA, a sometimes fatal strain of staph that resists broad-spectrum antibiotics.
"I was ready to say right there, chop the hand off," Pavlik said.
Man, that doesn't sound like a very good situation. This recent development involving Pavlik certainly begs the question: what is going on with Cleveland and all of these high profile staph infections? Many of you may recall how six players for the Cleveland Browns have been treated for staph infections since 2003, including Kellen Winslow and Joe Jurevicius, who subsequently sued the Browns organization because of it.
What gives? Is there anybody out there who can shed some light on this perplexing issue?
Pavlik says he nearly died from allergic reaction [Yahoo!]
Another Staph Infection? [Waiting For Next Year]
Joe Jurevicius staph-infection lawsuit highlights growing legal threat to non-health-care facilities [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
(Previously on Deadspin) Okay, Perhaps Kellen Winslow Is A Soldier