Friday and Saturday, downtown Youngstown took on the kind of supercharged atmosphere of a tailgate party. Cleveland residents, out-of-town media and Pittsburgh boxing fans (including members of the Steelers) helped create what hotel managers and restaurant owners called "a good night." Rooms weren't sold out, but most of the Pavlik Nation was already home. Most important, it was certainly the town's biggest night since early in the Reagan presidency.
"The atmosphere was explosive," says Lori Greenwalt, a lifelong Youngstown resident, one of Pavlik's merchandise managers and owner of Civics social club, the unofficial Shrine of All Things Pavlik. "Everybody was there. It was the biggest night I can remember, ever."