One sided fans view: Pavlik vs. Taylor, Calzaghe-Hopkins, Haye-Maccarinelli

By Andrew Walker: There are a few big fights coming up where on paper the protagonists are evenly matched but the “fan boys” on here and other respected boxing sites seem to think they will be walkovers or one-sided affairs? The fights in question are Jermain Taylor versus Kelly Pavlik, David Haye versus Enzo Maccarinelli and Joe Calzaghe versus Bernard Hopkins.

Let’s take the Taylor – Pavlik fight first. The opinion of most fight fans is that Kelly Pavlik will destroy Jermain Taylor in this catch weight rematch at 166lbs quicker then he did in the first fight last September for the Middleweight crown. Why Jermain Taylor is now seen as a bum with next to no chance against Kelly Pavlik is beyond me as he came close to winning that fight in the second round I seem to remember? Surely Jermain Taylor did not lose his boxing skills overnight? Yes Kelly Pavlik came back and knocked him out but that one loss does not mean that Jermain Taylor is no longer a creditable world class fighter anymore does it?

Next up we have David Haye and Enzo Maccarinelli for the undisputed world Cruiserweight title. Again most fight fans see only one conclusion to this fight and that is David Haye knocking out Enzo Maccarinelli in the first three rounds with ease? Now both of these fighters are big punchers and an early knock out is a distinct possibility but why not Enzo Maccarinelli sparking David Haye cold? Both fighters have a loss on their records but in both cases this came early in their careers and was more down to inexperience for Enzo and stepping up to quick for Haye. David Haye has fought the better opposition up to now but he does have serious question marks about his chin and more importantly his stamina to last twelve rounds which could well be answered by Enzo. Enzo Maccarinelli is capable of going the distance at a good pace, can box well and has a knockout punch so how come he is given little to no chance against the Hayemaker?

Finally we come to Bernard Hopkins versus Joe Calzaghe. Most fight fans see Joe Calzaghe taking a unanimous decision over Bernard Hopkins in a close but boring fight. Only the die hard Bernard Hopkins fans have given the “old man” any chance against fast punching Super middleweight King Joe Calzaghe but this fight will be no walkover for Calzaghe and importantly he knows it. Bernard Hopkins might be forty three years old and have four losses on his record but he still posses the skills and the desire to win at this level at least one more time? Joe Calzaghe has always struggled against fighters who come to spoil and no one spoils a fight like Hopkins. Bernard Hopkins is certainly no over hyped one dimensional fighter like Jeff Lacey and Joe will need to use all of his boxing skills and ring craft to neutralise the “old man” in this one. I still think that many American fight fans and journalists under rate Calzaghe but since the Lacey domination Joe has attracted a fair few blinkered “fan boys” who seem to think that all he has to do is turn up to win this one?

It would seem that any fighter who has a less then perfect record is seen as a “bum” all too quickly now days by the modern boxing fan but there is more to it then just that I think? Who a fighter is promoted by has an effect as does if the fans feel a fighter has been too protected or has “padded out” his resume with road sweepers and journey men. Casual boxing fans can be very tribal in who they support such as the local boy, the white guy, the black guy the Mexican and ignore the blind facts at times. Me, I just want to be entertained and see a good fight or a superb display of boxing skills. I’m picking Taylor, Maccarinelli and Calzaghe to win though.

Article posted on 16.02.2008

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