Boxing


Is Kelly Pavlik Taylor-Made For Jermain?

20.05.07 - By Alden "The Kid" Chodash: Saturday night was sort of a crossroads night in the middleweight boxing division. We saw Kelly Pavlik, 31-0 (28), slingshot to the top as a result of his terrific knockout over a fighter regarded by many to be the most dangerous middleweight on the landscape, and we also saw Jermain Taylor, 27-0-1 (17), lower the expectations of himself with his second unimpressive struggle against a naturally smaller and weaker foe.

To his credit, Cory Spinks is an excellent boxer but after some of the shots that connected, Taylor never followed like a naturally bigger, stronger man should. At the end of the night there was an obvious star, and as many predicted, he emerged in the co-feature.

Since the desertion of Winky Wright from the middleweight title picture (who moved to light-heavy to challenge Hopkins), Jermain Taylor was waiting for another star to fill the void. And after a performance like the one Pavlik put on, how couldn't he. In other words, a Taylor-Pavlik bout appears like a natural. And besides the attraction the bout would bring if it were made, I believe they both need each other equally. Taylor especially, considering the fact that he hasn't registered a win that wasn't either marred by controversy or unimpressive since Daniel Eduard, which took place more than two years ago. And also, if you're getting the impression lately that Taylor fights to the level of his opposition, Pavlik is nonetheless equipped to dethrone Taylor.

About Kelly's chances in the fight - I believe he certainly can pull it off. If you think of all the vulnerabilities that Cory Spinks didn't expose, which is Taylor's consistent backpedaling, low left hand, and tendency to get off-balance, they don't stack up well against Pavlik's approach to fighting. First of all, Pavlik doesn't know how to take a step back, and the fact that he is bigger and probably stronger than Jermain definitely gives me the impression that Taylor's back will graze the ropes more than a few times. Pavlik best shot also happens to be his right hand, which demolished both Zertuche and Miranda, and the fact that Taylor has recently shown a tendency to drop his left hand gives Pavlik a great target with his Sunday punch.

And although I have no second thoughts on whether or not Pavlik would be coming forward against Taylor, I do believe he has a good jab and the tactical skills necessary to make Taylor miss at times, though probably not consistently. Also Taylor's advantages in size, which he has over many of his former victims, will not be in full effect on a night in which he's facing the taller Pavlik. I am leaning towards Pavlik to walk off with the middleweight title, but regardless, there's one thing to be sure of, it will definitely be no Taylor-Spinks.

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Alden "The Kid" Chodash is operator of AldenBoxing.com

Article posted on 20.05.2007



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