Boxing


Pavlik-Taylor 2: Does Jermain Taylor Control the Fate of the Rematch?

jermain taylor12.02.08 - Nathan King: As Saturday looms up ahead, and Jermain Taylor (27-1-1, 17 KO) tries to distance himself from the memory of August 29, 2007, one question springs into mind: Does the result of the rematch ultimately lie in Taylorís hands? Itís safe to say that we are all well aware of what happened in the previous clash between the two (at the time) unbeaten fighters.

In an exciting match, Kelly Pavlik (32-0, 29 KO) rose off the canvas from a 2nd round knockdown and took out Taylor in the 7th in impressive fashion. All credit is given to Pavlik, and his win was impressive, but two questions constantly spring into my mind as the rematch approaches: If Taylor makes the proper adjustments and is 100% physically and mentally prepared, does he beat Pavlik? Or does it come down to the fact that Pavlik has Taylorís number?

From the time between the Winky Wright fight and the Pavlik fight, Taylor was shrouded in an inescapable cloud of criticism. Several lackluster performances questioned whether or not he was the fighter we all thought he was going to be and, perhaps most importantly, had his heart and dedication into question and to take the brunt of the mediaís onslaught.

The time finally came for quite possibly the most important fight of his career. The fight to erase all doubt, to answer the many questions laid upon him, and to prove once and for all just what this young champion was made of: the Pavlik fight. After defeat, several issues arose. Taylor had seemed to be gassed after his assault in the 2nd round. He didnít make smart decisions in his approach to finishing Pavlik. In all honesty, the reason the fight didnít end in the 2nd round was Taylorís fault. He had several mechanical flaws (constantly keeping his left hand down) and seemed to fight nervous and overanxious. Taylor has great physical tools, the kind needed to defeat this exciting, young slugger from Youngstown, OH, but adjustments need to be made. If Taylor makes the right the adjustments, fights under control, and comes in completely physically and mentally prepared, he has what it takes to take back what he lost, but will he make the proper changes?

On the other hand it is quite possible that Pavlik is just one of those guys who has Taylorís number. How will Taylor respond once a big right hand hits him? Can Taylor put the last defeat behind him? Taylor has the ability to win, but whether he will or not is a different story. Taylor has gotten another chance to prove himself. The time is approaching for all of these questions to be answered, and I for one canít wait.

Article posted on 13.02.2008



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