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Pavlik to return December 19

Will defend against Miguel Espino

WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik will defend his belts on December 19 against WBC #3 rated Miguel Espino (20-2-1, 9 KOs) at Youngstown State University’s Beeghly Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Pavlik was forced to pull out of a bout two weeks earlier because of a staph infection in his left hand. Espino is best known as a participant on season one of “The Contender.” The Pavlik camp took the fight on short notice, rather than be stripped of the belts. “I talked with my dad, Jack (Loew) and my manager (Cameron Dunkin) and we decided it’s not worth losing the title,” Pavlik told the Youngstown Vindicator. “If I lose, I want to lose fighting.” The bout will be televised on Top Rank’s December 19 “Latin Fury” card.

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