Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams Will Fight Oct. 3 in Atlantic City

Paul Williams will get that big fight he's been hunting, and Kelly Pavlik will take on an opponent known as someone other boxers would rather not face.

That's because they will be stepping into the ring against each other. ESPN's Dan Rafael reported today that Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall will host the middleweight championship bout between Pavlik and Williams on Oct. 3, which will be televised on HBO.

The fight had been rumored for some time, but money and a contentious relationship between Top Rank head Bob Arum (who promotes Pavlik) and Williams' manager Al Haymon made it difficult to put together. As recently as earlier in the day on Tuesday, papers in Pavlik's home state of Ohio were speculating that the WBC and WBO middleweight titleholder would look for a match with Winky Wright instead.

Ironically, Wright was the most recent opponent for Williams, who pitched a virtual shutout against him en route to a unanimous decision four months ago. Williams has garnered a reputation - well-deserved in this blogger's opinion - of being a headache many other fighters would just as well do without thanks to his high punch output and long arms that enable him to throw those shots from unusual angles.

At least partially because of that, The Punisher has been floating around between three divisions in his last four fights, all victories. Pavlik once had similar thoughts of moving around in weight, but those were largely put to bed after his October 2008 thrashing at the hands of Bernard Hopkins, and his team has since refocused on competing at 160 pounds, where The Ghost has never lost.

Both fighters should be willing to mix it up, though they go about their business in different ways. Pavlik is more straightforward, stalking and setting up power shots off his jab, while Williams can box as the aggressor or the counterpuncher while letting go with unique combinations.

Williams was also exceptionally tall for a welterweight, where he fought most often from 2005 to 2008, but that won't be an issue for Pavlik, who should actually be looking down at his foe just a bit. Like all of Williams' previous opponents though, he will have to deal with The Punisher's lankiness: according to press releases from prior fights, Williams will enjoy a seven-inch reach advantage.

Posted by The Franchise

No comments: