Kelly Pavlik's staph infection on his left hand still has not healed, and Top Rank announced that his Dec. 5 title defense against Paul Williams has again been postponed.

“It's the same finger giving him problems. They told me he can't make a fist,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said to ESPN's Dan Rafael. “It's getting better and better but it's going a little slow. So, we'll see.”

The middleweight tilist Pavlik (35-1, 30 KOs; age 27) and Williams (37-1, 27 KOs; age 28) were supposed to clash in October, but in August, that date was pushed to December because of Pavlik's hand.

“He's trying. He's been running, he's been trying to train in the gym,” Pavlik trainer Jack Loew told the Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator. “He's trying to shadow box with one hand, hit the speed bag with one hand. I've been trying to keep it a secret but it's not going great and I'm not going to fool anybody any longer. I'm sure we're going to get a very bad reaction from their people and I don't blame them. But we've got to do what we've got to do.”

It is likely that Williams will still glove up on Dec. 5, against opponent TBD. George Kimball tells us that Lou Dibella thinks his Sergio Martinez will get the date, and will put his WBC 154-pound title on the line.

Here is Top Rank's statement on the matter.
LAS VEGAS, NEV. (October 21, 2009) — “This morning we were advised that Kelly Pavlik's recovery of his left hand has not progressed as projected by Dr. Peter J. Evans, Director of the Cleveland Clinic Upper Extremity Center,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Tank, Pavlik’s promoter.  “As a result of this Kelly is unable to close his left hand which prohibits him from being prepared for a December 5 middleweight championship defense against Paul Williams

“We at Top Rank are disappointed by this unexpected development in his recovery.  Once Pavlik is cleared medically by Dr. Evans we will pursue all avenues with regards to a future bout.

“We appreciate the understanding of Paul Williams, Goossen Tutor Promotions, HBO and Caesars Atlantic City with regards to this unforeseen occurrence.”