By Rick Reeno
When George Peterson surfed the internet on Monday night, he was stunned to learn that WBO/WBC middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik was scheduled to fight in Youngstown on December 19 against Miguel Espino. Pavlik had been scheduled to fight Paul Williams on October 3. Pavlik was plagued by a staph infection in his left hand; forcing him to withdraw from the fight. The event was pushed to December 5. The staph infection continued to affect Pavlik’s ability to train. He was unable to make a fist with the left hand, and withdrew from the fight for a second time. WBC junior middleweight champion Sergio Martinez has stepped in as Pavlik’s replacement for the December date with Williams.
Peterson, trainer/manager of Williams, spoke with BoxingScene.com about Pavlik’s decision to fight Espino. For the last few months, Peterson has refused to believe the stories surrounding Pavlik’s staph infection. He was convinced then, and even more convinced now, that Pavlik was doing everything in his power to avoid the fight with Williams. Peterson doesn’t hold it against him.
“He did the correct thing for not taking the fight with Paul because all Paul does is spank butt. I have never seen anything like this before. Here is a middleweight who doesn't want to fight a welterweight. He aint fooling nobody. The boxing community knew the whole thing. We were telling them that all along. So there it is. Now the whole boxing community knows that he aint about nothing,” Peterson said.
“I was like, 'what in the world is going on.' Here is a man who was near his grave three weeks ago and now he [is] rejuvenated. All of a sudden since Paul signed a contract to fight Martinez, everything gets well. We know the deal. They didn’t do this [Espino deal] in no split second.”
Peterson doesn’t believe the fight will ever happen. And it doesn’t appear like Team Williams will be easily brought back to the table in the future.
“We set up three training camps for his ass. These training camps are expensive and time consuming. I would hate to see Paul get in the ring with him now after going through all that. We're over him now. We are concentrating on Sergio Martinez. Paul Williams aint about no lies in his camp. Paul Williams will go out and do what he does best - and spank that butt,” Peterson said.
Despite the numerous setbacks, Pavlik would like to fight Williams at some point in 2010. Members of Pavlik’s team told the press in Youngstown that Espino became their choice because Williams’ side refused to have the fight pushed back to December 19. Williams’ promoter Dan Goossen had a different take on the situation when speaking with BoxingScene.
“We wanted to fight on October 3, and he refused. We wanted to fight on December 5, and he refused. We would have been waiting here until December of 2011 for this fight to happen,” Goossen said.