Not surprisingly, all it took was someone actually talking to Kelly Pavlik himself for someone to have a different spin on negotiations for his December 5 fight with Paul Williams. T.K. Stewart spoke with the middleweight champ, and Pavlik doesn't paint Williams as quite the feared fighter he claims to be.
"It took us two months of negotiations, back and forth, to get Paul Williams to sign a contract," Pavlik explained. "He's gone out there on all the boxing websites, USA Today, and everywhere else and bragged about how people are so fearful of him. Well, now he's basically backed himself into a corner and now he has no choice but to fight me.
"This is going to be a big test for him," Pavlik says. "He fought Winky Wright, but we all know that Winky Wright can't punch. Fighting me is going to be a real nice test for him and a nice introduction into the middleweight division. He throws a lot of punches against welterweights and junior middleweights, but I'm a middleweight and I throw a lot of punches. I'm a big, strong middleweight."
"It took us a lot to get this fight done," said Pavlik. "We were supposed to fight back before I fought Hopkins. Yes, I had the situation with my hand and that was unfortunate. But he complained about everything from the money to where the fight was going to be held. It just seemed like anything and everything to get out of the fight. Well, he can't weasel his way out this time."
Most of the talk has been about Pavlik pulling out of the original October 3 date, and about a revenue split that some people feel Pavlik was too hard-line about (I'm not one of them, he's the champ and the draw in AC), and little has been said about Team Williams.
It's spin either way, but Pavlik should have his say, too. Most likely, as in most he said-he said cases, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and both promoters fought to get their guys what they felt was deserved, and eventually the fight came about. Honestly it seemed like less trouble to make than a lot of fights.
As for his health, he's doing well after his surgery, but he sounds bored:
"I can't do anything," said a somewhat frustrated Pavlik. "I can't pick up anything with the right arm because of the I.V. I'm not allowed to lift anything heavier than eight pounds and I can't getting anything sweaty on my left hand."
He'll have plenty of work to handle with his fists on December 5.