Kelly Pavlik (R) hits Jermain Taylor during their middlleweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, on February 16, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pavlik used a strong finish to defeat Taylor for the second time in less than six months, registering a 12-round unanimous decision in a non-title super middleweight fight. Pavlik landed sharper punches, winning on scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 116-112." width="409" height="279" align="left" />Without any major problems, current middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik of Youngstown, Ohio easily defeated former champion Jermain Taylor of Fayetteville, Arkansas in their rematch.
On the surface, for most fans it didn’t come as a great surprise.
Taylor as champion has been less than spectacular. Having only defended the title twice, there wasn't much there to lead one to believe that he’d be a great and lasting champion within the division. He's something of a one-dimensional fighter that lacks real punching power, despite his record.
Pavlik, on the other hand, has been seen as a more determined fighter who’s eager to please the crowds and fans alike. It’s something that seems to be ingrained into his fighting style.
He's more of a warrior who’s willing to take risks when necessary.
Through much of the fight it was Pavlik who dictated the pace, leaving Taylor to battle back into the bout.
Though it was a unanimous verdict in favor of the Ohioan, many felt that the fight was a lot closer.
As a boxing purist I’d tend to disagree with that.
At no time during the fight did Taylor really do anything of merit to suggest that he was capable of winning the fight at all.
Taylor now stands at a boxing crossroads as he has now lost two fights to his successor as champion.
It would appear that if he remains within the division, things aren’t liable to get any better for him.
The other titleholders within the division Arthur Abraham and Felix Sturm, though not highly touted, are more than capable of being a test for the former champion.
At this juncture it's highly unlikely that Taylor would want to face either of the two.
So it may well be that he decides to move up a weight settle within the super middleweight division. That may well be his best option at this juncture.
Pavlik, on the other hand, the world would seem to be his oyster. His purse from this bout alone was his biggest of his professional career by far.
The purse of $2.5 million plus a percentage of the gross gate receipts has left him considering what one would consider to be a bright future for the 25 year old.
Pavlik's long-term goals are to unify the middleweight division much as in the same way former champion Bernard Hopkins was able to do.
If Pavlik can garner the same sort of success as Hopkins, then it can be said that he's proven himself to be a noteworthy champion.
On the horizon, it can be said that match-ups against either Abraham or Strum aren't beyond the realm of possibility. The thought is that both fighters, in order to raise their profiles, would be to face Pavlik here in the US.
The financial rewards by far would be greater here than facing Pavlik in Europe. That's something that, no doubt, would find persuasive and to their mutual benefit.
But for the time being we'll just have to wait and see what materializes at this juncture.