(Editor’s note: Pavlik/Taylor II gets under way at 9 p.m. Saturday night. You can see the bout on HBO pay-per-view for $49.95. If you’re cheap and would prefer to watch the fight a) for free and b) while getting alarmingly drunk, join C-Notes at Johnny Malloy’s, 15323 Pearl Road, 440-238-9555.)
It’s Pavlik/Taylor fight week II -- finally. The Ghost from Youngstown, Kelly Pavlik – gotta give him props for a cool ass nickname – faces Jermaine Taylor in Las Vegas in a nontitle bout. Pavlik remains undefeated after knocking out the former champ Taylor in an upset in their first go round, and looks like the clear favorite this weekend.
The best analysis we've found comes courtesty of the guys over at No Mas
. They recap the first fight round by round, and tell you why they think the Ghost will knock out Taylor in the fourth round this time around. ...
Notably, they delve into the moment in the second round when Pavlik got knocked out and almost lost the fight. It’s easy to see that Pavlik was getting a little cocky about then. Taylor was landing shots, but they weren’t effecting Pavlik at all, and this is when he stuck his chin out and basically dared Taylor to take his best shot, sure that he could take it. Of course, he couldn’t, and he and his briefly mistaken ego almost lost the fight.
Once he got up, he went back to blocking Taylor’s off-balanced attacks and carefully picked his spots to devastate Taylor with his workman-like blows.
The other thing pointed out by No Mas is that in the first round of blows, Taylor drew oos and ahs from the crowd with big, flailing, looping punches that looked good. The problem was, they weren’t doing any damage to Pavlik. And while Pavlik’s style isn’t going to get the crowd up and roaring every round -- his technician style jabs don’t have the braggadacio of roundhouses lunges – he was slyly, methodically taking Taylor down a notch with every connection. – Vince Grzegorek