Kelly Pavlik defeats Jermain Taylor in rematch, while other big names train for upcoming fights

By David Nasongkhla, Commentary Co-Editor

Middleweight Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik (33-0, 29 KOs) proved that his stunning knockout of former middleweight champ Jermaine Taylor (27-2-1) back in Septem?ber 2007 was no fluke.

Pavlik scored an exciting sev?enth round knockout of Taylor to win his WBC Middleweight championship. But that was back in September. Many critics and fans argued that Pavlik’s stunning win was just lucky. But boy, were they wrong.
On February 16 in Las Vegas, the two fighters met in the ring again, Taylor looking to avenge his loss and Pavlik hoping to silence the critics. It was an exciting fight throughout all 12 rounds.

Pavlik didn’t knock Tay?lor out, but he threw a lot more punches and landed more superb exchanges. The fight could have gone either way until the tenth round, both fighters using crafty handwork to keep each other’s opponents strengths at a mini?mum. However, it was Pavlik who finished strong, wobbling Taylor in the eleventh with the power shots.

Both fighters threw punches in bunches. Taylor threw 456 punches, while Pavlik threw a whopping 845. Pavlik was busy all night, breaking down Taylor until the pivotal eleventh and twelfth rounds.

Taylor came up just short of the decision on all three judges’ scorecards. Even though he lost by unanimous decision, he redeemed himself and proved why he’s con?sidered a great fighter. He kept Pavlik busy all fight and redefined himself as tough competition.

The two fighters probably won’t fight again at middleweight, as Taylor looks to move up in weight. However, Pavlik showed why he’s the champion and plans for things to stay that way.

As for upcoming fights, Ju?nior Lightweights Manny Pac?quiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are set for their well-awaited re?match on March 15. Their first fight, which was at Featherweight, was sensational and ended up in a draw. That decision angered many boxing fans and was coined con?troversial. Fans have wanted the rematch ever since, and now they are going to get it. It’s going to be another great fight.

Another fight fans should watch out for is the Miguel Cotto-Alfonso Gomez fight in April. Cotto, considered the only wel?terweight who can dethrone Floyd Maywaeather, is the heavy favorite to win the fight, but Gomez can flat out brawl. It’s going to be a slugfest however it turns out.

Predictions: Pacquiao by KO in the eighth. Cotto by KO in the sixth.