Doghouse Boxing Decides Kelly Pavlik vs Jermain Taylor II
Compiled by Gabriel Montoya (Feb 16, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © HBO-PPV)         
Saturday night, the rematch we’ve all been waiting for (no not Oscar vs. Floyd 2) is upon us. Kelly Pavlik vs. Jermain Taylor fight for pride and their futures in a 166 lb. special attraction at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas live on HBO PPV.’s writers weigh in on the above the middleweight limit bout.

Gabriel Montoya: What the first fight came down to and this fight will define, is the identity of these two fighters. Pavlik, a barebones, two-fisted power puncher who relies on fundamentals, tenacity, and iron will to beat his opponents. Taylor is
a fighter in search of his style as well as the right things to do in the ring. Coming off a tough 5-fight stretch leading into the first bout, Taylor’s identity and confidence were showing signs of strain and confusion.

Now, coming off his “best training camp,” and with new/old trainer Ozell Nelson at his side, Taylor looks to rediscover himself and take back what Pavlik took from him.

Problem is, a boxing ring in front of a hostile crowd against a fighter who has answered every question asked of him with positive results is the wrong place for rediscovery.

Pavlik in 8. Taylor will box enough to last a little longer. But not much.

John Novaselic: After waiting to see the developments made by Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward in Jermain Taylor, we're left with possibly less than what was started with.  Taylor was impressive, if not dominant, in his campaign as the world middleweight champion, facing top-level competition in back to back to back to back fights.

Kelly Pavlik brought that non-losing streak to a veritable halt with his KO win over Taylor in September of last year with his high work rate, big heart, sturdy beard, and big punch.

Many pundits feel that the same outcome is inevitable in the rematch.  However, if Taylor can make the adjustments, mainly staying in the center of the ring and keeping his hands up, he should be able to box Kelly to a decision win.

Former trainer Ozell Nelson has returned, and Taylor maintains that we will see the previously dominant version of himself this Saturday night at the MGM in Las Vegas.

At the higher weight Pavlik is said to be even stronger, so I'm anticipating another action packed evening similar to what we saw last September.

It will come down to who can impose their will most effectively, and I see Jermain boxing wisely to a close UD win.

Anthony Cocks: Call me a cynic, but I’m still not fully sold on Kelly Pavlik. Sure, he brought the heat against Taylor in their first bout, showing championship heart to climb off the canvas and deliver an emphatic come-from-behind KO win. But it’s these very two points that worry me: Pavlik’s leaky defence and his reliance on his power. The additional six pounds will benefit both fighters but I like Taylor to rediscover his jab and control the fight from the outside en route to a unanimous decision win.

Benny Henderson: I remember hearing about Pavlik and wondering, who the hell is this guy? I mean the kid had a few solid wins leading up to the Miranda fight but at that time I was certain this skinny bald headed white boy was going to get creamed by the hard hitting crazy talking Edison Miranda. But what do I know? When Pavlik took on the then undefeated Jermain Taylor I really don't feel a lot of boxing fans/media was expecting what we were offered up.
It was a tremendous throw down that took a lot of us by surprise. Taylor who had not won a fight via knock out in about two years dropped Pavlik, and just when you thought it was over, five rounds later Pavlik puts Taylor down and out for the night.
The rematch? Well, the way I see it Pavlik is a slugger, and Taylor catered to his needs in the first shindig by going out and throwing bombs. Don't fight his fight this time around, use what has gotten you this far, defense. Taylor has been criticized before for his lack of entertainment which usually comes with a tactical defense, but boring or not, a win is a win.
I think Pavlik is going to try to lure Taylor into another free for all, but if Taylor holds true to his style he should be able to fend off the aggression that Pavlik posses. Set back and box, counter when needed, but do not get into a war. Carry Pavlik into deep waters (he has never been passed nine) and drown him. Box don't bang!
Taylor by decision or late round TKO.

Julian Kasdin: Kelly Pavlik vs. Jermain Taylor two could be a barnburner of a fight or a blowout depending on who you think benefits from the weight increase, and who is the better fighter.  The first was fun to watch, with great back and forth action early on, and a resounding KO victory for Pavlik at the end.
I tend to think the second fight will be a little different than the first, but that the end result will be the same.  Pavlik (32-0 29 KO's), is a tremendous puncher and a competent boxer.  He is also the bigger man, standing at 6'2.5" and being possessed of the broader back and shoulders of the two.  Everything I have heard from people who have seen him north of 160 indicates to me that he is an absolute beast at super middleweight.  I have not heard the same things about Taylor (27-1-1 17 KO's), to the contrary I have heard that he indeed has no trouble make the middleweight limit.
I see the fight playing out much like the first one, differences being that Kelly will not foolishly stick his chin out there to be hit while taunting Taylor, and that Kelly will end things sooner.  His punch and mobility should get better at 166, and with the added snap I expect him to batter the smaller man and end things somewhere between rounds five and seven.

Ian Keogh: When Jermain Taylor steps through the ropes Saturday night for his rematch with middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik he's the one with questions surrounding him. He's the one whose body was slumped in the corner with Steve Smoger standing over him last time out. He's the one who couldn't finish the job in the second round when he had Pavlik down and hurt badly. He's the one who fired legendary trainer Manny Steward in favor of his old coach and mentor Ozell Nelson. He's the one who still leans forward on the front foot too much and telegraphs his right hand. He's the one who won't be winning on Saturday. Kelly Pavlik by knockout in the middle rounds.

Vikram Birring: Their last fight had all the elements of an epic drama: Kelly Pavlik was nearly knocked out, then somehow ended up knocking reigning middleweight champion
Jermain Taylor while being desperately behind on all cards.

Now, the rematch awaits. After the first fight, Taylor fired legendary trainer Emanuel Steward and now trains with longtime cohort Ozell Nelson. To those that say this could be a disadvantage, Jack Leow was an unknown in boxing until Pavlik's rapid rise to supremacy.

The story is the same. Should Taylor choose to box and stay in the center of the ring, he can win. If he falls into the corner, Pavlik will hammer him. What will happen? We shall all find out February 16, 2008.

Icheehuahua (Chee): Jermain Taylor wins by UD 12 or late round Ko

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