Kelly Pavlik's persistent reaction to a staph infection in his left hand has forced a postponement to his Oct. 3rd fight with Paul Williams.

The WBO/WBC titlist and Long Tall Paul will instead glove up sometime in November or December, if Pavlik's hand heals properly. The original fight site, Atlantic City, should remain the destination for one of the more anticipated clashes of the 2009 calendar, in which we will see if Williams deserves to be considered a top ten pound for pounder, and if Pavlik can get back the momentum that he was soaking up before cagy Bernard Hopkins halted the rise of the rust belt battler.

Pavlik (35-1, 31 KOs) was supposed to defend against Sergio Mora in early summer but that fight was put off because of the staph infection.

Williams (37-1, 27 KOs) took down respected vet Winky Wright in April, and he has to wonder now if Pavlik's run of ill fortune will ever allow the Ohioan to get back on track. The Youngstowner has been plagued by rumors that he's been partying too hearty, and was involved in a barroom dustup two weeks ago, in which a patron claimed the fighter and trainer assaulted him, but that account was deemed non-credible by authorities. Clearly, reading between the lines, Team Pavlik and his promoter Top Rank haven't been on the same page for some time, and this postponement will not smooth over the relations.