Prediction: Kelly Pavlik Vs. Jermain Taylor

The Franchise says...

It's funny that most analysis of this fight is approaching it from the viewpoint that all the pressure is on Taylor, that he's the one with everything to prove. Since he lost the first fight, I guess that's only natural. But as someone who was present in the crowd at Boardwalk Hall the first time these two men went at it, allow me to present the opposing school of thought.

I think Pavlik has as much, if not more, pressure on him this time around. He's the champ now, even though his title is not on the line. He carries a whole city on his shoulders, and it's possible - though not likely, given his blue collar approach to the sport - that he's not quite as hungry as he was going into the first fight. He's also the favorite this time, no longer the plucky underdog.

Pavlik's got power on his side, obviously, a ton of heart and a relentless attacking style. He was also in better shape for the first fight, though Taylor has vowed that won't be an issue this time. One thing I know for sure: Pavlik is not a better boxer.

Taylor was ahead on all cards when he was knocked out, and rightfully so. Though he had some initial problems with Pavlik's offense - and who wouldn't? - he made some very subtle adjustments to his timing that were serving him well. In the middle rounds, he was allowing Pavlik to back him toward the ropes, then coming forward at the very last minute and beating his opponent to the punch. It was winning him rounds until he ran out of gas and got caught.

If he gets caught again, he'll get knocked out again. And that's very possible, but I don't think it will happen. My guess is that if no one gets knocked out early, the rounds will start to pile up in Taylor's favor. Late in the fight, Pavlik will have to look for the knockout, and it will open him up to be the one who gets caught this time.

Uatu told me that going back to an old trainer never works, and it does seem slightly crazy to me that a boxer's fortunes could actually improve after leaving the services of Emanuel Steward. Despite all that, and despite the fact that Ohio will be in full force to cheer on its champ, I'm picking Taylor by late KO.

Uatu says...
First, Cory Spinks was on FNF last night, sorry there's no write up. Uatu loves his ring entrances. Cory talked a little about Pavlik Taylor II, he picked Pavlik, and a little about his father Leon's fight with Ali. Spinks looked a little heavy in the face, but not too bloated, and his voice was much deeper than expected and that we've heard in the ring. He was very laid back.

On to the big fight. As soon as the fight was announced, Pavlik by KO again seemed like the obvious call. As the fight grows closer, Taylor seems more and more confident. Is it false bluster? Will he be cautious and stay away and just try to pile up the points? Or will he take it straight to Pavlik and eat the right hands? What to make of the extra pounds?

Uatu does not believe the extra weight is going to make any difference, and Uatu does not think that Taylor going back to his old trainer will matter at all either. The call is Pavlik by the points. He takes it to Taylor again, Taylor survives, but gets the worst of it.
Pavlik UD 12


Anonymous said...

Good call, The Franchise... looks like you nailed this one!

I didn't really expect it to go for 12 rounds, but I wasn't sure who would score the KO, either, since Taylor had so much riding on this fight.

Bob J

Nick Tylwalk said...

Ha, well, I don't get them all right, that's for sure!

I will say that my brother Uatu picked it correctly even though I thought Pavlik by decision was the least likely outcome. I bow to his superior predictive powers...

Anonymous said...

Oops... sorry, I misread Uatu's fight prediction as your own.

Bob J