Kelly Pavlik's ongoing problems with a staph infection on his left hand left Paul Williams with a choice: reschedule the middleweight championship fight for a second time, or move on.
Williams has elected to move on.
Williams' promoter, Dan Goossen, told SI.com on Wednesday night that he will keep the Dec. 5 date and find another opponent for Williams. HBO Vice President Mark Taffet confirmed that -- assuming the two sides could come to an agreement on an acceptable opponent -- the fight would still be broadcast on HBO.
"I could sit here and say a lot of things that don't need to be said," Goossen told SI.com. "It doesn't help that we are facing this again. We want to keep Paul's activity going. He's on his way to becoming a star."
A source of irritation for Goossen were comments made by Pavlik's trainer, Jack Loew, to The Youngstown Vindicator. Loew told the Ohio newspaper that he had been trying to keep Pavlik's injury problems "a secret" and that, at this point, "I'm not going to fool anybody any longer."
"I think his words say everything you need to know," said Goossen. "His own words allow you not to have to speculate as to what was going on behind the scenes. We rescheduled [the October fight] knowing full well what we thought could happen. And it did."
Goossen said that he is considering several opponents and will have an announcement by the end of the week. He did not specify what weight class Williams -- a former two-time welterweight (147 pounds) champion who holds an interim title at junior middleweight (154) and was preparing for his third fight at middleweight (160) -- will compete at, just that Williams "will fight for or defend his title in December."
The cancellation also comes as a big blow to HBO, which was counting on Williams-Pavlik to be the anchor for their end of the year boxing schedule. That card also was scheduled to feature a fight between two former welterweight titlists, Joshua Clottey and Carlos Quintana. But because Clottey is promoted by Pavlik's promoter, Top Rank, that fight is reportedly off.