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.
Many thought that all Kelly Pavlik (32-0, 29 KOs), had was a ghost of a chance when he entered the ring at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, packed with over 10,000 fans, last night to challenge defending middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (27-1-1, 17 KOs), in a fight that was broadcast live on HBO. Apparently that’s all Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik needed as he came back from the brink of defeat after suffering a second-round knockdown to knockout Taylor in the seventh round of their battle of undefeated gladiators..
ZOWIE! DOUBLE ZOWIE!!
Already the early favorite for “Fight of the Year,” Pavlik staked his claim as “Fighter of the Year” as the boxing spotlight shone bright on his hometown of Youngstown, OH for the first time since Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini’s heyday as WBA lightweight champion during the early ’80s. Mancini was at ringside rooting on his heir apparent.
WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (27-0-1, 17 KOs) has been heated all week long leading up to Saturday’s fight with #1 challenger Kelly Pavlik by the many fans and sports writers that have brushed off his career and given him slim chance at winning. Most of the criticism has been centered around Taylor’s lackluster performances against Cory Spinks, Bernard Hopkins, Winky Wright and Kassim Ouma, who Taylor struggled against. Though Taylor defeated Spinks, Ouma and Hopkins, he looked almost uncoordinated as if he didn’t know how to box properly despite his quick reflexes.
Most of the fans and sports writers were expecting the 29-year old Taylor to continue to knockout his opponents like he did earlier in his career, before he became a champion. Unfortunately, since winning the title in 2005, Taylor has been on a dry spell in which he’s been forced to earn tough fought decisions or – even worse – being held to a draw, such as the case against Wright in June 2006. However, Taylor blames his poor performances on the styles of his opponents, most of which are defensive-minded fighters, the type that are difficult to land effectively against. Taylor says that he fights better against fighters like Pavlik, the type that come directly at him and try to take him out.
With only two weeks to go before the showdown between unbeaten WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (27-0, 17 KOs) and his challenger Kelly Pavlik (31-0, 28 KOs), many of the fight predictions on various websites have been pointing the direction of the 25-year old Pavlik winning the fight against Taylor, mostly because of Pavlik’s high percentage of knockout wins. In his thirty-one bouts thus far, Pavlik has annihilated almost all of his opponents, even the good ones – Fulgencio Zuniga, Bronko McKart, Jose Luis Zertuche and Edison Miranda – have been easily dispatched almost as quick as the lesser opponents.
Indeed, of the four quality opponents (the rest, unfortunately, have been low B-level fighters) that Pavlik has faced in his career, none of made it beyond the 9th round. In contrast, the 29-year old Taylor often struggled against his top five opponents – William Joppy, Bernard Hopkins, Winky Wright, Kassim Ouma and Cory Spinks – winning four of them and fighting to a draw against Wright.
HBO Sports is presenting a thirty-minute special analyzing the upcoming middleweight title fight between reigning champion Jermain Taylor and fast-charging challenger Kelly Pavlik. The highly anticipated 160-pound bout is set for Saturday, September 29th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City and will be carried live on HBO in one of the network’s signature broadcasts of the year. The fight is an intriguing match-up between the division’s most acclaimed competitors.
The special “COUNTDOWN TO TAYLOR-PAVLIK,” which will feature fighter profiles, expert analysis and forecasts for the showdown in Atlantic City, will premiere on Saturday, September 22 at 11:00PM (ET/PT). Jermain Taylor (27-0-1, 17KO’s) of Little Rock, Arkansas, is one of the sport’s most accomplished stars. Two years ago he upset reigning middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins to take his place atop the 160-pound division. Kelly Pavlik (31-0, 28KO’s) of Youngstown, Ohio, is a fast -rising power puncher who is hoping to replace Taylor as the division’s top act.
Undefeated WBC/WBO middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (27-0-1, 17 KOs), will be meeting up with middleweight knockout artist Kelly Pavlik (31-0, 28 KOs) in September 29, 2007, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Pavlik, 25, is ranked # 1 in both the WBO and WBC, which made it almost impossible for Taylor, who at first wasn’t excited at the prospect of the fight, not to fight Pavlik. To get to this position, Pavlik destroyed Edison Miranda, perhaps the hardest puncher in the middleweight division, in the 7th round in May 2007. The destruction was so complete that it left no question that Pavllik was the top dog in the division, aside from champion Taylor.
Light heayweight Bernard Hopkins (48-4, 32 KOs) is seemingly sitting on top of the world right now of his recent 12-round unanimous decision victory over Ronald “Winky” Wright on July 21st at the Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The win was nothing short of spectacular, not the least of which because of his advanced age (42-years old), and with the added fact that he hadn’t fought in over a year.