Kelly Pavlik Prepares For The Future

30.09.07 - Matthew Hurley: In the immediate aftermath of Kelly Pavlik’s thrilling victory over defending middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, Taylor commented that he would love to fight an immediate rematch as stipulated by the contract both fighters signed before the bout. Speaking in humble tones at the post fight press conference Taylor lamented his wildness in the second round when he had Pavlik hurt and on the canvas..

kelly pavlik “I should have come up through the middle with some uppercuts instead of swinging for the fences,” he said. “But I give all the credit to Kelly Pavlik. He’s a great fighter." Taylor’s trainer Emanuel Steward, who had been uncharacteristically disdainful of his fighter’s opponent, praised Pavlik but also alluded to that apparent lost opportunity in the second round.

He didn’t, however, comment on the prospects of a rematch. It would seem prudent that the trainer will sit Taylor down and watch the tape of the fight and perhaps opt for a rest period and a comeback bout against a lesser opponent.

Pavlik, as gregarious as ever, only seemed to get annoyed when the rematch clause was brought up. “I don’t think it’s fair to me. I’m the middleweight champion. Why should I have to fight him at 166 or 164? (alluding to the stipulation that the rematch can be fought above 160) I’ll give him the two pounds but…” The new champion shrugged his shoulders at the notion, perhaps because he simply wanted to celebrate his victory, but the questions as to who his next challenger will be will be coming at him fast and furious. Not because he doesn’t deserve to relax and celebrate but because he has the look and style of a potential break out star in boxing. On top of that his title winning victory, coupled with his previous bout with Edison Miranda were so exciting and will be repeated on HBO for those who missed them the first time around so even more fans will be made.

For years Taylor was the fighter groomed by HBO to be the next big star but now it looks as though Pavlik will take his place. He’s also in a position to challenge the winner of the Joe Calzaghe – Mikkel Kessler super middleweight unification bout. Pavlik seemed, after his victory, to seriously be contemplating staying at middleweight because he did so much to accomplish his goal but money talks and the super middleweight division might be where the money lies.

Still, Pavlik shrugs his shoulder in that charming manner when asked what his plans will be. “Look,” he said, sniffing heavily through a possibly broken nose, “I’ll fight anyone. I’ve never backed down all the way up to this fight and I didn’t back off when I got knocked down. I came back and knocked him out. I got the belts now. If the money’s right I’ll fight Taylor again or will go another way.”

Whatever he decides to do we now have a new star on the boxing scene. And with his valiant losing effort Jermain Taylor probably regained the respect of boxing fans he lost in the wake of his string of close decision victories. In the end a middleweight title bout brought much needed excitement back to the sport of boxing.

Article posted on 01.10.2007

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