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Pavlik heading back to Boardwalk to defend titles

NEW YORK (AP) — Kelly Pavlik is headed back to the Boardwalk.

The middleweight champion will defend his WBO and WBC belts against junior middleweight champion Sergio Martinez at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on April 17.

Pavlik's promoter Top Rank made the announcement Saturday.

Pavlik (36-1, 32 KOs) has fought several times in Atlantic City, including his stunning victory over Jermain Taylor to win the title nearly three years ago. He's coming off an easy win over Miguel Espino in December.

Martinez (44-2-2) earned the shot after losing a highly competitive decision to Paul Williams in the smaller ballroom at Boardwalk Hall.

Pavlik was supposed to fight Williams last year before injuries intervened.