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Pavlik "ive got alot to prove starting with williams&qu


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Kelly Pavlik says he has a lot still to prove, starting with a December clash with Paul Williams.


Pavlik will defend his WBO and WBC middleweight titles against 'The Punisher' on December 5.


The fight, which will take place in Atlantic City, had been originally scheduled for October before Pavlik suffered a staph infection on his left hand.


He has now undergone two operations to rectify the problem and now has his sights set on a convincing victory in order to convince doubters he says continue to belittle his achievements.


"I still have a lot to prove," Pavlik said at the announcement of the fight on Tuesday. "Even after the Williams fight, a dominant performance, there still would be a lot to prove."


Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs) has been criticised for staying close to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and for also sticking with unheralded local trainer Jack Loew.


Since claiming the titles against Jermain Taylor two years ago, the 27-year-old has made two underwhelming defences against Marco Antonio Rubio and Gary Lockett.


He also suffered the only defeat in his professional career when stepping up to 170lb to face veteran Bernard Hopkins.


"Critics come in boxing all the time, no matter what you do," Pavlik added. "If I go in there and dominate Williams, people will probably say he's a welterweight, blown-up junior middleweight, blown-up middleweight."


Like Pavlik, Williams (37-1, 27 KOs) is a lanky fighter with power in both hands and, having won WBO belts at 147 and 154lbs, versatility.


He may be a natural welterweight but, standing at 6ft 2in, Williams says he can fight anybody up to 168lb.


As a result, he has had difficulty finding opponents at the weight he feels most comfortable and, having been avoided by the likes of Shane Mosley, he now feels there is no option but to move up.


"We're coming up out of necessity, but part of Paul's attraction to the fans is that he's willing to take anyone on," his promoter Dan Goossen said.


Williams impressed last time out against Ronald 'Winky' Wright and before that the awkward left-hander beat Antonio Margarito and Verno Phillips.


In between times, he avenged his only loss to Carlos Quintana by knocking him out in the first round of their rematch.


Goossen added that victory against Pavlik would enable Williams to start picking opponents - a luxury he has never before had.


"We had the first taste of it with Margarito. We tried to get any other welterweight in the ring, we just couldn't drag any of them in," he said.


"This just takes us to the next step right now. A win over Pavlik cements his position in the middleweight division."

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