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Taylor To Exercise His Contractual Option For a Rematch With Pavlik

Former World Boxing Council middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (27-1-1, 17 KOs)m has decided to exercise his contractual option to fight an immediately rematch against now WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (32-0, 29 KOs), who brutally stopped him in the 7th round on September 29th, at the Boardwalk Hall, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Though Taylor, 29, was able to drop Pavlik in the 2nd round, he was unable to finish him off due to Taylor punching himself out in the round. Pavlik rallied in the fight and was coming on at the time that he knocked Taylor out in the 7th round.

However, Taylor still had a slim lead at the time of the stoppage, and if he’d boxed more, who knows? He might have been able to defeat Pavlik by unanimous decision. Whatever the case, taylor seemed to make a calculated mistake by trying to slug with a slugger, as if he was trying to prove his naysayers wrong, many of which were saying that he didn’t have the power to stay with someone with the punching arsenal as Pavlik. In the end, Taylor’s critics were correct. However, Taylor probably should have ignored them and used his handspeed, long jab and superior boxing skills to pound out a safe, unanimous decision. No doubt, that’s likely exactly what Taylor will set out to do in their rematch, scheduled for January 26, 2008.

Unlike some other people, I can see Taylor winning the fight if he sticks to his game plan for the entire fight. His hand speed and jab are extraordinary, and when he was using them properly in his bout with Pavlik, he was quite effective, making Pavlik look limited and slow. The problem for Taylor, however, will be trying to stay focused for the entire fight and not let Pavlik draw him into a tit-for-tat slugging way like he did the first time, because that’s a battle Taylor might not win. That’s not to say that he can’t, since he came close to stopping Pavlik in the 2nd round, however, it would be much safer for Taylor to utilize his boxing skills, and to stay out of the way of the slow, plodding Pavlik as much as possible.




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