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Hopkins faces Ornelas on December 2; televised on VERSUS!

Press Release: PHILADELPHIA, PA - Long synonymous with the fighting city of Philadelphia, future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins' remarkable career will continue in his hometown on Wednesday, December 2, when "The Executioner," who will be fighting in Philly for the first time since 2003, faces hard-hitting Enrique Ornelas at theLiacouras Center at Temple University. The 12-round light heavyweight bout will be televised live on VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, at 8 p.m. ET.

In addition to fighting for his fans, Hopkins will be fighting for charity as he has committed to donating one dollar from each ticket sold to three select charities. Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Philadelphia & Susquehanna Valley, to which Hopkins will donate in memory of Shaun Negler, one of his biggest fans, whose last wish was to attend Hopkins' fight against Joe Calzaghe before succumbing to brain cancer in late 2008 at the age of 18, will be one beneficiary. The second recipient of the fight's proceeds will be The Hero Thrill Show, an annual day of events designed to raise money for the education of relatives of deceased police and fire personnel killed in the line of duty while protecting Philadelphia. Finally, one dollar will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. in memory of Hopkins' deceased mother Shirley who suffered from breast cancer and in recognition of all those who are currently battling the disease.

"I'm thrilled about the opportunity to once again bring a fight to the city of Philadelphia," said Hopkins, the former middleweight champion who owns a perfect 10-0 record in Philly. "A lot has changed in my career since I fought here six years ago and I want to give my fans the chance to see me fight again at home. To top it off, a portion of the proceeds from this fight will go to three charities that are extremely important to me. December 2 is going to be a great night for boxing and a great night for Philadelphia."

"Fighting Bernard Hopkins is an honor and I thank him for the opportunity," said Ornelas. "But once the bell rings, I'm going to do everything in my power to beat him and show the world what I can do when the spotlight is shining brightest."

"Broad Street Brawl": Hopkins vs. Ornelas is presented by Golden Boy Promotions East and will be televised live on VERSUS beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the first bell rings at 6 p.m. ET.

Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, will go on sale on Thursday, October 15 at 10 a.m. ET exclusively through ComcastTIX on line at, by calling 1-800-298-4200 or in person at the Liacouras Center box office.

A man who needs no introduction to fight fans, Philadelphia native Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (49-5-1, 32 KO's) already assured himself a spot in the boxing Hall of Fame with his more than 10-year reign as champion atop the middleweight division with a record 20 successful title defenses. Never one to rest on his laurels, in 2006 Hopkins moved up in weight and recorded a huge win over Antonio Tarver to win the light heavyweight title. With his subsequent win over Winky Wright and his destruction of the younger and then undefeated Kelly Pavlik in his most recent bout in October of 2008, Hopkins is showing the world that life begins at 40. Now 44 years young, Hopkins is back in action and eager to continue to show the young guns how it's done.

Hard-hitting, Enrique Ornelas (29-5, 19 KO's) has emerged from the shadow of his older brother, super middleweight contender Librado Andrade, and carved out his own niche in the fight game with his aggressive style and fight-ending power. Fresh off of a fourth round stoppage of Roberto Baro in July, the 29-year-old Los Angeles based native of Jesus Del Monte, Guanajuato Mexico is eager to put his mark in the history books by becoming one of the few fighters to own a win over Bernard Hopkins.

Despite being home to such legendary fighters such as "Smokin" Joe Frazier, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Meldrick "The Kid" Taylor, Jeff Chandler and Tommy Loughran, Philadelphia may be known to fight fans mainly for the great middleweights it has produced over the years, including Bernard Hopkins, Bennie Briscoe, Willie 'The Worm' Monroe and Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts. These 160-pound warriors made their names in such storied venues as the Blue Horizon and the Spectrum and with their never surrender attitude in the ring, they let the world know just what it meant to be a "Philly Fighter". Hopkins is modern day Philadelphia boxing's link to that tradition and will look to prove it on December 2 in front of his hometown fans in what could be his last fight in the City of Brotherly Love.

A full slate of exciting undercard bouts will be announced shortly.

Diaz vs. Malignaggi December 12 rematch close to a done deal! has been informed that Diaz vs. Malignaggi is very close to being a done deal. While the fight is not yet officially set, it has been determined that the agreed upon weight is 139lbs, the date will be December 12, and the fight will be televised on HBO.

In terms of venues at which the rematch will take place, it comes down to Las Vegas, NV and Chicago, IL. Should both parties agree to have the fight in a neutral location, they'd be better served to put it in Chicago.

Las Vegas is probably a little too close to Houston to suit the comfort of Team Malignaggi. According to reliable sources, Team Malignaggi is waiting on a signed contract from the Diaz camp. Stay tuned for more to follow.

Can Taylor spoil Abraham's debut at super middleweight?

Over two years ago, Jermain Taylor was the undisputed middleweight champion of the world enjoying his lofty status in the top ten of most pound for pound ratings.  All of accolades would come to a crashing halt in the 7th round of his title defense against Kelly Pavlik at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, when he was beaten the canvas by Pavlik and mercifully saved by the referee. 

Since the knockout loss to Pavlik, Taylor has gone 0-2 in his last couple of fights, including a dramatic knockout loss to WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch in the final seconds of his last fight in April. Tayler, ahead on the judges scorecards, was merely seconds away from victory before it was painfully snatched away from him. Funny how such a scenario could literally be taken as déjà vu, as yours truly recalls another memorable fight with a shockingly similar conclusion, involving another fellow named [Meldrick] Taylor. Leading on two of the official ringside judge's scorecards, Meldrick was also knocked out by the great Mexican champion Julio Cesar Chavez in the closing seconds of their classic title fight in March of 1990! 

This Saturday night at the O2 World Arena, Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany, Taylor will attempt to revive his career when he takes on undefeated former IBF middleweight champion King Arthur Abraham who is making his debut in the super middleweight division. Abraham vs. Taylor is one of the opening bouts, in a series of intriguing matchups that will be taking place in Showtime's Super Six Classic tournament. The tournament is intended to match the best super middleweight titlists and contenders against one another, in what will hopefully produce the universally recognized super middleweight champion of the world - the first since Joe Calzaghe defeated Mikkell Kessler for the distinction back in November of 2007.

Abraham had been a middleweight titlist for nearly four years, winning the vacant IBF title belt with a fifth round knockout of Kingsley Ikeke in December of 2005.  Since winning the title, Abraham has scored a series of title defenses against the likes of Kofi Jantuah, Edison Miranda, and Lujuan Simon.  In the last two years, three of Abraham's victories have been stoppages that occurred in the final three rounds [KO 11 Khoren Gevor; KO12 Elvin Ayala (brutal); TKO 10 Mahir Oral in his last fight].

Following the announcement of the Super Six Classic, as well as the contenders who were to be involved, this reporter did not view Taylor as worthy candidate.  Cynics had endlessly criticized Taylor for his performances throughout his title reign, in his title winning effort over Bernard Hopkins as well as his less than stellar title defenses, claiming that he failed to live up to the tradition of great middleweight champions before him.

What many had dismissed was the notion that he faced his two biggest threats immediately upon winning the title, which happened to be Hopkins in a rematch and Wright immediately following.  What remains in question is how successfully the battle-tested Taylor will be able to perform, following two devastating knockout defeats, when entering the much anticipated and highly competitive super middleweight tournament.

Such statistics are sure to pose a concern to Team Taylor, realizing that their charge has shown a tendency to tire in the late rounds. While Abraham is favored to defeat Taylor on Saturday night, one can not deny that Taylor has faced far more credible opposition in Pavlik, Hopkins, Wright, and Cory Spinks.  
One can not count Taylor out, not in this fight or the tournament in general, as he may very well be the Super Six Classic's dark horse.  Taylor has faced the best opposition of all the candidates, but he has also taken the most punishment and suffered the most humiliating experiences of all of them as well. 

There are many questions to be asked:  Can Abraham carry his punching power up with him eight pounds north of his previous weight class? How much does Taylor have left following the knockout loss to Froch?  Have the knock out losses to both Pavlik and Froch taken a toll on Taylor psychologically as well as physically?  Such questions will be answered on Saturday night when these two fighters meet in Germany on Showtime Championship Boxing. 

Logic tells this reporter that Abraham should be able to break Taylor down in the later rounds, as he has done against previous opponents, after experiencing some nervous moments of his own in the early rounds.  A precise prediction is soon to follow.

Salgado stops Linares in first round; scores upset to win title!

Juan Carlos Salgado TKO1 Jorge Linares...Over the weekend in Tokyo, Japan, Juan Carlos Salgado won the WBA super featherweight championship, upsetting the previously unbeaten Jorge Linares by way of a first round technical knockout. Salgado dropped Linares with a quick left-right combination less than a minute into the round. Linares seemed to hit his head as he fell to the canvas from the first knockdown, which discombobulated him when he rose to his feet and beat the initial eight count. As the action resumed, Salgado wasted no time as he sprinted across the ring and fiercely attacked Linares, prompting the referee to stop the contest 1:13 into the first round.

Such a loss spells devastation early in the career of Linares, who joins Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz in the latest of young fighters who have suffered disappointing upset losses by way of stoppage. Perhaps what is most unfortunate about this defeat is the fact that this was Linares' Golden Boy Promotions debut, as the 24 year old was recently the latest of a series of prize fighters to sign with the promotional power house.

Linares had been showing promise as a young titlist and rising young star in the game, ever since his 10th round TKO of Oscar Larios in July of 2007. Where Linares goes from here, and how well he is able to rebound, remains to be seen. Possibly with careful matchmaking and an ability to learn from this set back, Linares will be able to fight his way back into contention and garner another title shot down the road. Others have lost fights in a similar fashion and have been able to climb back into contention to win world titles.

Khan, the current WBA super lightweight champion who was stopped in 52 seconds by the power punching Columbian Breidis Prescott in September of 2008, has since been able to sustain a successful return to prominence under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. Khan scored a five round technical decision over Marco Antonio Barrera last March, further adding to the foundation of that win by securing his first world title with an impressive unanimous decision over Andriy Kotelnik this past July in Manchester.

Years ago super bantamweight Oscar Larios was hurt and stopped in similar fashion when he fought Israel Vasquez, who is currently one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport of boxing. A few years later, Larios and Vasquez would have a rematch in which Larios exacted revenge by beating up Vasquez and stopping him in the 12th and final round of a sensational fight that was televised on ESPN Friday Night Fights. Therefore anything is possible in rematches, should a rematch between Salgado and Linares materialize in the future. After all, it was not as if Salgado issued an extended beating to Linares or even knocked him out in brutal fashion.

This was a case of Linares being caught cold and stopped early. What remains to be seen is how well Linares is able to recover from such a loss, moreso mentally than physically.

Clottey set to face Quintana on December 5!

Former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey finally has an opponent for his December 5 bout.  In the HBO televised opening bout  to the Pavlik vs. Williams middleweight title fight at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Clottey will face Former WBO welterweight champion Carlos Quintana in a battle of former welterweight champions.  Quintana is best known for his upset unanimous decision victory over Paul Williams in February of 2008 to win the title, but Williams would knock Quintana out in the first round of their June 2008 rematch to reclaim to it.  Clottey two biggest fights to date have come in title challenges against former two time welterweight champion Antonio Margarito and WBO welterweight Miguel Cotto.  Clottey dropped close decisions in both  fights.

Floyd Mayweather Jr: "God doesn't want me to lose."

As you're content to renounce your two most credible tests, while sporting a record of 40-0, you have nothing to worry about in terms of losing - inside the ring.

Floyd Mayweather confirmed in yesterday's interview with David Skretta of the Associated Press, that he is not going to wait around for the winner of the November 14 Pacquiao vs. Cotto mega fight, nor is he interested in challenging welterweight champion Shane Mosley. Mayweather returned to the ring last month, scoring a lopsided unanimous decision over lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez. Mayweather proceeded to tell the Associated Press, “I sit back and think sometimes, God doesn’t want me to lose.”

Mayweather is reluctant to face the two or three of the top contenders currently campaigning in his weight class. Taking that fact into account, Money May's most critcal yet logical detractors will continue to question why he chose to return to the ring for any motive that excludes monetary compensation.

On numerous occasions, Mayweather was quoted in saying that he's the face of boxing, he is the cash cow, and he is his own boss who can call his own shots on who he elects to fight. Additionally he claims that he continues to fight for the love of the sport. He continues to fight because he wants to; not because he has to. Given such passionate implications, what exactly prevents the undefeated, former pound for pound best fighter in the world from solidifying the super fights that can further cement his legacy as an all-time great?

Assuming Mayweather does in fact control his own business endeavors [being his own boss, as he often likes to boast], fights with Mosley and Pacquiao should be relatively easy to make based on the sincere self-proclamations that he, not anybody else in the sport, is the face of boxing. Given his love for the sport and his firm belief that he is greatest fighter of all time, one would think he has more than enough internal devotion to prove such greatness against the world’s best.

During his interview with the Associated Press, Mayweather elaborated, "“I wonder, 20 years from now, what are they going to say?” “What are my grandchildren going to say?” Perhaps it was his advisor and confidant, Leonard Ellerbe, who had the best answer to those questions. “Once you reach this level that Floyd’s at, he’s hands down the best." Ellerbe continued, “Can you just imagine if boxing was a mainstream sport, and we had the same opportunities that the NBA does, that the PGA Tour does? When you look at Floyd, he can generate $30 million or $40 million or $50 million in one night, and that’s just plying his craft.”

While Mayweather's undefeated professional boxing record is still intact, and his penchant for generating record high PPV revenue remains unscathed, there are sure to be historians twenty years from now who will question his inclination to face the best available opposition anywhere north of the super lightweight division.

Earlier in his career, young Mayweather appeared more than willing to square off with the best fighters available. At the weight limit of 130lbs, Mayweather defeated Genaro Hernandez and Angel Manfredy. He took on Hernandez based on the face that many viewed Hernandez as the best at 130lbs. Following Manfredy's win over Gatti, he too had emerged as one of the best fighters in the world at 130lbs, so Mayweather fought him and scored a 2nd round TKO. At this point, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Mayweather was the best fighter in the world in that weight class. Upon entering the lightweight ranks Mayweather fought the champion Jose Luis Castillo in what was his debut fight at that weight class, twice defeating the tough Mexican in consecutive bouts.

Once Mayweather arrived at the 140lb weight limit, his tendency to face perceived threats would gradually begin to dwindle. Rather than face Miguel Cotto or Ricky Hatton at 140lbs, Mayweather chose to fight DeMarcus Corley, Henry Bruselles, and Arturo Gatti (God rest his soul). Later in his career, from welterweight to super welterweight, Mayweather's biggest wins would come against Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Oscar De la hoya, and Ricky Hatton who was coming up in weight from 140lbs.

In the golden era of boxing back in the 1980s, when rivals such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, and Marvin Hagler were actively competing, fans were consistently treated to the spectacle of exciting, highly anticipated showdowns between these warriors. These fights did not only take place for the millions of dollars earned, but because each fighter was determined to prove to himself, given his own respective level of pride, that he was the very best in a group of proud, evenly-matched competitors.

Let's fast forward to the present day, shall we? In the last two years, this reporter has seen several fights between the elite world-class welterweights [which happens to be Mayweather’s weight class]. Allow yours truly to name a few of those fights. Margarito vs. Williams. Cotto vs. Mosley. Cotto vs. Margarito. Margarito vs. Mosley. Cotto vs. Clottey. On November 14, Pacquiao will be facing Cotto. There is one fighter whose name does not appear in any of those matches. Can you guess who it is?

While Mayweather was accurate in his statement to ESPN's Brian Kenny that all of these guys are fighting each other but nobody has ever beaten him, he fails to acknowledge that they are beating each other up because they are proving their willingness to face one another!

Following Hatton's publicly televised challenge to Mayweather after his win over Castillo in 2007, Mayweather quickly answered Hatton's call and made a fight with Hatton. Soon after Marquez pursued the retired Mayweather following his win over Juan Diaz earlier this year, Mayweather came out of his extended retirement to face the lightweight champion of the world at a catch weight of 144lbs. Mosley, the welterweight champion, approaches Mayweather about the prospects of putting together a fight with him that the fans want to see, yet Mayweather is not interested? There lies an inconsistent pattern of behavior on the part of Mayweather.

Boxing fans will not have to worry for much longer, as Pacquiao who is currently the pound for pound king at would be happy to oblige Mosley, should he emerge victorious against Cotto. Both of their promoters, Golden Boy and Top Rank respectively, have ironed out their fundamental differences and would appear to have the capacity to put together such a match up. 

What makes matters even easier is when the promoters are fortunate enough to have two foes who are more than eager to face one another, as it takes two to tango.  That is the reason why the consensus rate Pacquiao as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. Such a designation has even been approved by none other than Money May himself. According to an article on GMANEWS.TV, Mayweather was quoted as saying, “Pacquiao can be called the best pound-for-pound, you can just call me the cash king. You know stats don’t lie. I don’t fight for bragging rights, I fight for checks!"

Message to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

At the end of the day, Mr. Money May, you’re right. God probably does not want to see you lose. Not in the square ring, or life in general. After all, does God really care to see anybody lose? Is our God a vengeful God? This reporter doubts as much, but winning and losing are necessary facets of life. People in this world can not have one without the other. However, it is quite likely that God wants to see you make the most of your ability in your craft. God may or may not want to see you lose, but God does want you to learn a lesson just as well as anybody else. We fall so we can learn to pick ourselves up, but such a lesson can never be determined if one renounces the most legitimate tests within his craft. Greatness is not necessarily measured by one’s ability to remain unbeaten, but the degree to which one rebounds following adversity.

Bernard Hopkins to fight in December; Mosley vs. Berto finalized!

Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has confirmed with the Los Angeles Times that former light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins will face unheralded Enrique Ornelas in his hometown of Philadelphia on December 2. 

Hopkins is taking the fight with Ornelas as a tune-up for his proposed spring showdown with Roy Jones Jr, who is also fighting on the same day in Australia against IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green.  In his last outting almost one year ago, Hopkins fought current middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik at a catchweight of 170lbs and handed the the previously undefeated Youngstown, OH native his first professional defeat by way of unanimous decision.

According to Schaefer, the match between champion Shane Mosley and undefeated Andre Berto has been finalized for January 30.  The welterweight title fight will take place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV and will be televised on HBO. The contracts will likely be signed this week, so expect a public announcement to follow very shortly.  Mosley would prefer to land a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr, but who wouldn't fight the man who just generated a total of 1.6 million PPV buys in his last fight??

Mosley was last seen in January dominating and stopping Antonio Margarito to win the welterweight championship of the world in front of a sold crowd at Staples Center in Los Angeles [record high attendance for any sporting event; a convenient statistic for those who insist that boxing is dying!].

New Pound for Pound ratings are in! has updated the Pound for Pound list.  Since the last update, we have seen Pound for Pound King Manny Pacquiao win a world title in another weight class, stopping Ricky Hatton in two rounds for the 140lb championship.  Once again an active fighter after a 21 month lay off, Floyd Mayweather has returned to the ring with a one sided unanimous decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez.  Who has exited the list? Who has moved up? Who has fallen? See for yourself right here.

Mosley vs. Berto on January 30: Signs that Mosley has the inside track on a fight with Mayweather?

Will Mayweather vs. Pacquiao be placed on the backburner?

According to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, in an article written by Robert Morales at, welterweight champion Shane Mosley, who turned 38 on September 7, is close to finalizing a deal for a title unification contest against WBC welterweight titlist Andre Berto at the Mandalay Bay on January 30.

Promoter Lou DiBella, who represents Berto, also declared that a formal announcement is close to being made in the near future. Originally there were tentative discussions of Mosley facing former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey on December 26, but that fight went up in smoke.

Considering the three fight dates that HBO has granted Mosley in the year 2010, Mosley will be more active inside the ring next year. Furthermore, Mosley will be presented with the kinds of opportunities that evaded him in 2009 to make the fights that fans and experts alike wish to see happen. Mosley vs. Berto is an attractive prelude to that objective; a crossroads fight that pits a seasoned multi-division champion against a young but relatively inexperienced athletic pugilist who is eager to prove his own worth.

Floyd Mayweather Jr, coming off his unanimous decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez, would also like to remain active in 2010, but with Mosley potentially fighting Berto and Pacquiao vs. Cotto having yet to happen, who might Mayweather's dance partner be in his next fight?

How about pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao? The pride of the Philippines still has a fight coming up against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on November 14. Should that fight live up to expectations or even exceed them, there is a distinct possibility that fans could be privileged to a rematch early in 2010. A rematch between Pacquiao and Cotto is an easier fight for Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to make, given the fact that both Cotto and Pacquiao fight for Top Rank, rather than matching either one of them against Mayweather.

On the other hand, Mosley is the easier fight for Mayweather to make, given his solid business relationship with Mosley's representatives at Golden Boy Promotions. The negotiation process for Team Mayweather would not be nearly as disputed or hotly contested with Mosley as it would be with the vastly more popular Pacquiao, who has his own respective fan base and enjoys the fruits of his own revenue generating abilities. Pacquiao, who is promoted by Arum, believes he deserves the lions share of money against Mayweather.

As many of you are probably aware of by now, Mayweather objects to the notion of taking the shorter monetary end of any purse split and was successful in exhibiting his sustained marketing power in his fight against Marquez a couple weeks ago. Mayweather and Arum have been feuding for years, as a result of Mayweather's claims that Arum failed to promote him into the lights out super star that he always felt he deserved to be when he was still fighting for Arum. Therefore it would be an understatement to suggest that the negotiations, let alone the finalization, of a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao super fight are unforeseeable in the immediate future.

Schaefer was adament in his proclamation that Mayweather will once again be forced to face fighters in his own weight class, which happens to be the welterweight division, as he was quoted in saying, "I personally think a Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather fight would be huge.  I could see Mayweather fighting Mosley next, or I can see Mayweather fighting Pacquiao sometime early next year, and then the winner of that fight, who would they want to fight? Who is the biggest name out there? I would have to say it is Shane Mosley, if he beats Berto."

Schaefer's intentions behind HBO's three fight schedule for Mosley in 2010 would likely include the match against Berto in January, one more fight which would probably be a tune-up on HBO at some point in the spring, and inevitably big showdown on PPV in the fall, which would seem to be Mayweather.

Defeating the younger, undefeated Berto would serve as some what of a feather in the welterweight king's cap, proving that Mosley's best days are not yet behind him and also generating some interest in a super fight with Mayweather later in the year depending on how impressive Mosley's performance is against Berto.

Should Cotto manage to pull off the upset over Pacquiao next month, and Mayweather shows a reluctance to face Mosley, how about Mosley vs. Cotto II? Their first fight back in November of 2007 was quite a memorable battle. There are a number of options for big fights in 2010, as this reporter is looking forward to seeing how exactly the following year is going to unfold!

IN THE NEWS: Pavlik vs. Williams, Joshua Clottey, Paulie Malignaggi, Victor Ortiz, and more!

In this edition of In The News, the author will discuss the announcement of the middleweight championship fight between champion Kelly Pavlik and former two-time welterweight champion Paul Williams.  Other topics include the failed attempt to finalize the anticipated 140lb rematch between Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi, as well as fights for former welterweight champion Joshua Clottey, jr welterweight contender Victor Ortiz, and newly crowned IBF super featherweight champion Robert Guerrero!

Announcement of the war by the shore, hoping somebody is sent crumbling to floor!

On Tuesday afternoon, middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik and former welterweight champion Paul Williams met at the NY Giants training facility in NJ to announce their middleweight title fight that is scheduled to take place on December 5.  Both fighters were sporting NY Giants jersies.  This bout was originally scheduled to take place this coming weekend, October 3, but Pavlik was forced to withdraw from the contest due to a staph infection in his left hand.  Now that the hand is just about healed, Pavlik looks forward to getting his training camp for this pivotal fight underway.  Tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $100, and $50 are now on sale at Ticketmaster. 

Pavlik stated at the press conference that this is the fight he's always wanted, but it is also a fight that bares the type of signficance that fans and experts have been eagerly awaiting for over two years.  We finally see the middleweight champion of the world in a fight against a legitimate threat campaigning in his weight class, for the first time since his dramatic title winning effort via 7th round TKO against defending champion Jermain Taylor back in September of 2007! The fight will take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ and will be televised on HBO World Championship Boxing.

Diaz vs. Malignaggi II not happening???

Promoter Lou Dibella, according to his twitter page, claims he finalized a deal for the HBO rematch between his charge Paulie Malignaggi and former lightweight champion Juan Diaz to take place on December 12 at 140lbs.  Dibella had some choice words for the Baby Bull, but his since retracted those sentiments in hopes of eventually getting this fight made in a professional manner.  As many of you know, Diaz won a controversial decision over Malignaggi in Diaz's home town of Houston, TX on August 22.  Diaz elected to decline on the offer for the rematch, insisting that he wanted to the rematch to also take place at a catch weight of 138.5 pounds. CEO of Diaz's promotional company, Richard Schaefer, argues that Diaz was the official winner of the first fight and should not agree to taking short money for the rematch.  Hopefully the fight still materializes, as the first fight was entertaining and left the viewers with more questions than answers.  If not, there is a plethora of talent in the 140lb weight class and both combatants should move on to other opportunities.

Clottey appearing on the Pavlik vs. Williams undercard December 5.

Former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey, coming off a razor thin split decision loss against Miguel Cotto this past June, will make a televised appearance in the preliminary bout of the Pavlik vs.Williams HBO telecast.  Talks of a Mosley vs. Clottey fight happening on December 26 went up in smoke, as did a proposed fight between Clottey and WBC super welterweight champion Sergio Martinez when Clottey turned down the offer.  According to Bad Left Hook, it appears as though Clottey may be facing former WBO super lightweight champion Kendall Holt.  Why not?  Both former champions could use a good win exposed to a nationwide audience and the style contrast in that matchup has the makings of a crowdpleasing affair.

Paul Spadafora resurfaces!

Undefeated former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora returned to the ring yesterday, now fighting as a welterweight, winning an eight round unanimous decision over Jermaine White at Heinz Field’s VIP Tent in Pittsburgh, PA. Spadafora is probably best remembered for giving Floyd Mayweather Jr all he could handle in a sparring session between the two many years ago. Hopefully "The Pittsburgh Kid" has intentions of remaining active at the world class level that he once fought at when he was a lightweight titlist.

Ortiz/Guerrero doubleheader on December 12

Given the fact that Diaz vs. Malignaggi II has fallen apart at least for the time being, there are tenative discussions of staging an HBO Boxing After Dark doubleheader featuring Victor Ortiz and newly crowned IBF super featherweight champion Robert Guerrero.  Guerrero is coming off an impressive title winning victory over Malcolm Klassen in August, while Ortiz will attempt to rebound from his disasterous yet memorable TKO loss at the hands of interim WBA super lightweight champion Marcos Maidana back in June.  Speaking of Guerrero, how about a unification  match between Guerrero and WBC champion Humberto Soto?  That has the potential to be one hell of a battle, symbolic of the ulterior motive behind the evolution of HBO Boxing After Dark in 1996.

Photo courtesy: Chris Farina / Top Rank