Pavlick Wins Taylorâ€™s Crown
But his failure to finish Pavlik when he had him down in round two would haunt him.
[Black Star Sports]
Jermaine Taylor said his fight with Kelly Pavlik was a long-awaited chance for him to both display his boxing skills and a chance to finally fight a fighter that would come to fight him.
He had to chase Corey Spinks for 12 rounds in one fight and dodge Winky Wright in another. He had also gone 24 hold-grab-and-push rounds with Bernard Hopkins.
Kelly Pavlik was going to be a very welcomed change. And according to Taylor's trainer, the one and only Manny Steward, a dangerous fight. He, Taylor had claimed to have learned vastly from both his bouts with the longest reigning middleweight champion in boxing history, Bernard Hopkins. He saw his fight with Pavlick as not only a chance to excise some demons but also to demonstrate his hidden boxing skills and punching power.
For six rounds Taylor displayed his boxing skills as he was leading on all the judges’ scorecards. He showed his punching power, to a degree, when he sent Pavlick to the canvas in round two. He showed heart and courage as he mixed it up with the pride of Youngstown, Ohio. But his failure to finish Pavlik when he had him down in round two would haunt him. The, "ghost", wasn't dead--he was very much alive.
Kelly Pavlik wasn't an old 40-year old champion with no punch like Hopkins. Pavlik wasn't a non punching track star running to survive, nor a renowned counter puncher without a punch. Pavlik kept coming forward. Keep coming, “down hill," as Lennox Lewis’s long time friend and former trainer Courney Shand described Pavlik's constant forward movement.
Forward movement that was constant, forward movement that didn't stop despite the second round knockdown. In fact Pavlik came back and won the very next round on every single judges’ score card. And on two of the judges’ scorecards he won the very next two rounds. Pavlik just kept coming. Pavlik was on a mission.
"He controlled the fight," remarked the legendary trainer of Jermaine Taylor, Manny Steward. Steward added that he too was impressed with Pavlik's defense and hand speed. Problems he saw for Taylor as the fight wore on.
Then suddenly, Pavlik struck. “I see why they call him the ghost," remarked Vieques Times Sports Editor, Julio Rodriguez. With Taylor against the ropes, in Pavlik's corner, he landed the most devastating of righthands—and handed himself the undisputed middleweight champion of the world.
Taylor hit the floor and when he did he was the undisputed middleweight champion no more. With 2:14 of round seven gone so was Jermaine Taylor as Pavlik knocked him out to win the undisputed middleweight championship of the world.
"I first and foremost want to thank God," were the opening remarks Pavlik made at the media session later. His promoter Bob Arum who introduced the new champion first remarked in glee. "In my 41 years of boxing this is one of my greatest nights."
It was a fine night for boxing. The much publicized undercard clash between Andre Berto,19-0 against David Estrada, 21-3-0, proved to not only be all that it was claimed to be but also the perfect appetizer for the main event. Berto whose birthday, September 7th is the same as legendary Disco Diva Gloria Gaynor’s (“I Will Survive") surely did, survive. He won a crowd-pleasing and boxing fueled bout. It was thought that this fight could steal the luster and thunder from the main event. The only loss was for those who didn't catch the fight live or on HBO.
Ring Rosin: Tim Witherspoon, Ray “Boom Boom" Mancini, Larry Holmes, Tommie Hearns, Iran "The Blade" Barkley, Lennox Lewis and Paulie Malignaggi among the current and past champions in attendance. HBO had fight live and free. There is a rematch clause so look for a Pavlik-Taylor II. Hearns son was on the undercard and in Hearns-like fashion won by first round knockout.
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It was sexy to be against the war back then. He was probably in it to get laid.
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