Pavlik to face Taylor for his middleweight title on Sept. 29

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik have closed a
deal to put their undefeated records on the line in a fight for
Taylor's middleweight championship.

Lou DiBella, Taylor's promoter, said the fight will happen Sept.
29 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., the Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette reported Wednesday.

"I'm very happy," Taylor said. "I feel like this is what
boxing needs. The fans wanted to see this fight, so we made it

Pavlik also is pleased the fight is on.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time," Pavlik said.
"We'll prepare for the three Taylors. We'll prepare for the one
that runs, the one that throws wild right hands and the one that
might come to slug."

If Pavlik (31-0) wins, a rematch would take place at the super
middleweight level. Taylor's team has become increasingly concerned
lately about the champion's ability to slim down to the 160-pound
middleweight limit.

Taylor, of Little Rock, beat Bernard Hopkins in 2005 to win the
middleweight title. He then beat Hopkins in a rematch and escaped
with a draw against Winky Wright. He then outpointed Kassim Ouma
and Cory Spinks, two fighters up from the junior middleweight

Taylor (27-0-1) drew criticism for fighting the two smaller
opponents, but there should be fewer complaints about his next foe.
Pavlik, of Youngstown, Ohio, fought on the Taylor-Spinks undercard
in May in Memphis, Tenn. He stopped Edison Miranda in an
action-packed seven-round bout that in many ways upstaged Taylor's
split decision over Spinks.

Pavlik and Miranda combined to throw 191 punches in the first
round. Pavlik's promoter, Bob Arum, compared the fight to great
middleweight bouts of the 1980s.