Kelly Pavlik cleared to train, will fight on December 5

Middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik has been cleared to train after a hand injury. Pavlik faces Paul Williams on December 5. (Photo via www.freefightingillustrated.com)

Middleweight world champion Kelly Pavlik has been cleared to resume training, and his December 5 championship defense against Paul WIlliams will move forward.

The two agreed last month to fight on October 3. Just days later, as everyone was preparing for the press conference to announce the bout, Pavlik pulled out of the bout with staph infection in his left hand.

Arum said the infection and staph infection existed before Pavlik's one-sided loss to Bernard Hopkins last year. Arum says that's why Hopkins dominated the fight.

"That why's Pavlik wasn't himself," Arum said. "He was on antibiotics. He had no energy."

That's the first time we've heard that, but why bother getting into it? It's not the first excuse, either. He had the flu or something last time they tried to paint it as something other than Hopkins demoralizing Pavlik because he was a much better fighter that night and Pavlik didn't seem prepared for someone that not only fought back, but took the fight at him. Eh, at least they haven't said he was drugged with funny water before the fight.

Pavlik-Williams is one of the major fights of 2009, frankly far more important than Mayweather-Marquez and I truly believe it's at least near the level of Cotto-Pacquiao. Williams deserves to be a bigger star than he is, and Pavlik probably does, too. Both are arguable as top 10 pound-for-pound, Williams is a unique and special fighter, and Pavlik is the type of power-punching throwback so many people want to see.

If you have any interest in boxing, watch this fight. Tell your friends. Treat it like it's huge, because it deserves to be. So long as they don't call it off again.

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