Mar 9, 2008

2 out of 4 Joker's Boxing Corner

I said Taylor and pavlik I was one of the best fights I've ever seen and that you should see #2. Well I wasn't wrong. It was a hell of a fight and after having suffered a devastating KO at the hands of Kelly Pavlik, Jermain Taylor picked up his game, boxed wonderfully and still came up short. A phrase used in boxing states that a fighter's stock goes up. This pretty much means that because of their performance they become more marketable because regardless of if they win or lose, people want to see them. A perfect example of this in boxing would be Arturo Gatti. Gatti got his ass kicked more often than a fan like me would enjoy but because of his guts, his power (at 140 and below he was just outclassed in higher weight divisions) made you want to see the guy. This is because he could get his ass kicked for several rounds (trust me this happened a lot) and come back to KO the guy who'd been giving him a licking for about 5 rounds.

Even though he lost twice to Kelly Pavlik, Jermain Taylor's stock rose after the two fights because he showed guts, determination, heart, skill, and people like that a lot more than just winning a decision. He's probably more likeable and marketable now than he was when he was undefeated because people saw that Taylor has the heart of a champion even though the better man KO'd him once and got a unanimous decision as well.

Not taking the spotlight and offering it exclusively to Taylor, Kelly Pavlik also has the heart of a champion and the skills, the chin, the resolve and the tenacity of one too. Pavlik has become an icon in Ohio and he's helped bring a ray of hope to a state that's taken enough hits to be put down, but they see Kelly get off the canvas to win a championship and they get inspired. It seems silly for people who can't relate, but being from a place where we take boxing ultra seriously, I've seen the effect of a victory on a population and it's truly a phenomenon that you have to see to believe.

You could say Youngstown Ohio has taken its fair share of hits and that it's listening to the count as it looks up at the lights while bells rattle with an economic recession that has shaken a community to its core, but though I've only been to Cleveland, I have the belief that these people will get off the canvas and come out victorious.

In his first victory over Taylor when asked what was going through his mind after he'd gotten knocked down twice in the second round, Kelly Pavlik had one thing to say:

"Shit this is going to be a long night."

He bit the bullet and did the unthinkable. He got up off the canvas and he showed that will can help us prevail through anything.

Congratulations to Jermain for giving a hell of a fight, for being graceful in defeat and to Kelly, keep these three things up: your town's spirit, the great fights and your hands. :D



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