Seasons Beatings' for Espino," Pavlik trainer Jack Loew said

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AFP) – Kelly Pavlik will defend his World Boxing Council middleweight title against fellow American Miguel Espino on December 19 before a host of hometown supporters, according to promoters. Pavlik, 35-1 with 31 knockouts, beat Jermain Taylor for the crown in 2007 and will make his third title defense against Espino, 20-2 with one draw and nine knockouts. Pavlik suffered his only defeat when he stepped up in weight 13 months ago to face US legend Bernard Hopkins and lost a unanimous decision, but bounced back to stop Mexico's Marco Antonio Rubio in the ninth round here in February. "I?m not going to allow Espino to be the Grinch who took my world title," Pavlik said. Pavlik backed out of two fights against US southpaw Paul Williams due to staph infection in his right hand but will step into the ring only two weeks after Williams, who replaced Pavlik for a December 5 fight in Atlantic City. "It?s going to be 'Seasons Beatings' for Espino," Pavlik trainer Jack Loew said "Nothing but lumps of coal in his stocking plus a few lumps on his head." Espino has a four-year, 11-bout win streak, including his past four victories by knockout. His most recent fight was a sixth-round stoppage of former world champion Alejandro Garcia of Mexico in March. "I?m very grateful for this opportunity and I intend to make the most of it," Espino said. "All fighters dream of the chance to fight for a world title and now I'm living that dream. "If Pavlik takes me lightly he?ll be making a big mistake."


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