CANFIELD - Former middleweight boxing champion Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik was arrested at his home Friday after failing to turn himself in this week to face a petty theft charge.
Mahoning County Sheriff's deputies led Pavlik from his Canfield home in handcuffs about 1 p.m. He was taken to the Mahoning County Jail, but released a short time later after posting his $2,500 bond.
Deputies charged him Wednesday after he refused to pay a cab driver a $25 fare for driving him from Billy's Bar in Youngstown to his Canfield home early that morning, according to an incident report.
The cab driver, Santino A. Bleggi, told a deputy that he was "ripped off" by a drunken Pavlik, the report states.
Pavlik was charged later on Wednesday in Mahoning County Canfield Area Court with petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. Deputy Maj. Jeff Allen said Pavlik was to be arraigned Friday in Canfield and that he expected Pavlik to turn himself in.
According to the incident report, Bleggi picked up Pavlik, 31, at the bar at 40 S. Meridian Road about 2:30 a.m.
Bleggi reported that Pavlik requested to be taken to his Canfield residence at 3692 Sugarbush Drive. However, when they arrived at the home just before 3 a.m. and Bleggi told Pavlik the cab fare was $25, Pavlik refused to pay it, reports state.
Pavlik got out of the cab, cursed at the driver and said, "I'm not paying. You go (expletive) yourself," according to reports.
Bleggi told deputies that he called police after Pavlik went into his home. He said he recognized Pavlik because he had seen him on TV and on posters all over Youngstown.
Pavlik won the World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Council middleweight championship in 2007. He announced in January that he was retiring from the sport of boxing, finishing with a career record of 40-2-0.
He cited health concerns as the main reason for deciding to retire.
He spent 60 days in a rehab facility in 2010 and had a drunken driving charge from a 2011 ATV accident reduced in 2012. In 2005, he was arrested for getting into a fight with a Mahoning County Sheriff's deputy who was working an off-duty security detail at a bar. He pleaded no contest to a charge of misdemeanor assault in Youngstown Municipal Court and was fined $250.
The judge also ordered him to undergo an alcohol assessment.