Pavlik to defend middleweight titles on Dec. 19
Trainer Jack Loew told The Associated Press that Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs) signed the contract Monday for a Dec. 19 bout at the Beeghly Center at Youngstown State University in Pavlik's hometown.
Pavlik has had complications from a hand injury and twice backed out of fighting Paul Williams (37-1, 27 KOs), who's now facing Sergio Martinez on Dec. 5. Loew says therapy on Pavlik's hand has been going well.
The trainer calls Espino (20-2-1, 9 KOs) "dangerous" and says the fight is no "tuneup bout" for Pavlik. Loew says his fighter would like to take on Williams next, if Williams gets by Martinez.