Feb 9, 2008

Jermain Taylor VS Kelly Pavlik II Don't miss it

Boxing fans rejoice; a rematch is upon us. Not just any rematch mind you. Not just any match. This is Pavlik VS Taylor II. Yeah, yeah, some people might go: "who the fuck are these two guys?", but from a die hard boxing fan to anyone reading, don't miss this fight. I said the same thing about the first one and I sure as hell wasn't disappointed.

About five months ago, Jermain Taylor was the reigning middleweight champion of the world. He had defeated Bernard Hopkins twice, and he cemented himself as the heir apparent to a weight class with deep roots in epic gladiators. How deep? Jack Dempsey, Carlos Monzon, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Robinson, that's the type of legacy this weight division has.

For all my love for this sport, boxing often produces ultra stars that are equal parts posers and athletes. It's a definite treat when you see guys who love the sport, who are hungry and who are in it for the same reason that I'm a fan: to demonstrate who has the more powerful will. Enter Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik. These are two thorough breeds make no mistake. People have ragged Jermain Taylor the last couple of years questioning his hunger, his will and even his skills. In comes Kelly Pavlik to demonstrate that you can almost get your head almost ripped off your head only to put a guy onto his ass and take away his beloved titles and that O in his loss column. When I saw Pavlik's fight before his outing with Taylor I was treated to him knocking out a guy who was touted as the most devastating puncher in the division, Edison Miranda. Pavlik not only beat him but completely annihilated Miranda to get his shot at Taylor and I went, wow I have to see this fight.

What ensued in their first bout in '07 were seven of the hardest fought rounds in the year in boxing. Jermain Taylor showed energy, skills and the ability to connect enough clean hard punches to make Kelly Pavlik taste the canvas twice. But Pavlilk got up and looked clear of mind though with slightly shaky legs. One minute passes in the corner and Pavlik comes out like he'd just lost any round, not like he'd almost been put to sleep by Dr. Taylor. Jermain looked gassed. Boom... boom.... boom...... boom... Those aren't war drums. Those are Pavlik right hands landing on Taylor. This is not to say Jermain wasn't answering. He was still tagging Kelly but Pavlik's punches looked like they sapped the strength out of Taylor. Boom.... boom. Thunder bolts crashed against the finely aged oak which is Jermain Taylor. A physical specimine and the owner of one of boxing's best jabs and best 1-2's. But even with that, a hell of a hook and the pride of Arkansas behind him, Kelly had that bit of extra will that cracked the wood and plowed through greatness to say firmly, here I am, don't dare overlook me ever again. Kelly Pavlik, winner by TKO on September 29, 2007, at 2:14 of the seventh round. The new recognized Linear Middleweight champion of the world.

This coming Saturday they meet again. How will Taylor react to being brought down from Olympus? How will Kelly Pavlik fight as a middleweight champion instead of a contender? Some people say Jermain can't rebound from such a devastating knockout. Others say Kelly was lucky he didn't get knocked out in the first fight. What will happen? I don't know, but I'm sure as hell going to find out.

Ps.: Who was the referree for the first match? Steve Smoger. Lets hope he hosts the repeat.


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