Kelly Pavlik Vs. Paul Williams - Who Wins?

Kelly Pavlikby James Slater - A done deal, the hugely exciting Kelly Pavlik-Paul Williams middleweight title fight gets officially announced at a New York press conference tomorrow. Certain to be one of the highlights of the last third of 2009, if not the highlight, the pick 'em fight that will take place at The Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City has already got the fans debating the outcome.

A potential super-fight that has a chance to take us back to the glorious middleweight days of Marvellous Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard, fans simply can't wait for this one! But who will emerge victorious? And will we see a KO?

Both men are proud of that fact that they are capable of throwing lots of punches per round, and for the full 12-rounds.. Both "The Punisher" and "The Ghost" can let go with approx 80 to 100 punches a round, and due to this it's safe to assume we will see an action packed and extremely lively-paced affair on October 3rd. Some fans have predicted a short, explosive fight, akin to the famous three round war Hearns and Hagler treated us to back in 1985. This is indeed a possibility.

I certainly think both the champion and the challenger will get straight down to business, with very little time spent feeling one another out when the opening bell goes in October. Both men have been somewhat desperate for a fight of this magnitude for some time now, and now that they've got it both warriors will let it all hang out in the middle of the ring - for a while at least. But there also figures to be a good deal of classy boxing going on - from the challenger in particular I feel. Fairly even in height (with Pavlik being roughly an inch the taller man), Williams' amazing reach is around seven inches longer than the world middleweight champion's. How will Kelly cope with this advantage on his rival's part?

After an explosive start, the two men will settle down and an intense battle of skill and smarts will take over. Williams will look to outwork Pavlik, while Pavlik will look to make his greater physical strength and power tell. It's been some time since the Youngstown man has been in with a southpaw (Bronco McKart in July of 2006) and he may have some trouble with Williams' stance. Of course, the far more proven fighter at 160 is the defending champion and he will surely feel his punching power will get to Williams at some point in the fight - and maybe it will.

But Williams has so far shown a very good chin, even though he's mostly been hit by welterweights and light-middleweights (just two recent fights fought up at middleweight). Not at all a fighter you could call "chinny," Williams was able to take some good shots from Mexican tough guy Antonio Margarito (dare we say, perhaps shots that were thrown by unpadded gloves?) and Paul also took a few good punches from his sole conqueror, Carlos Quintana, again without being hurt. Make no mistake though, Pavlik will be the hardest hitter Williams will have ever met as a pro.

If Williams can take Pavlik's bombs, or if he can box effectively enough to avoid them, Kelly will be in deep. And we have yet to see how greatly the clear points loss he suffered at the hands of Bernard Hopkins has affected Pavlik long-term. The February return win over Marco Antonio Rubio told us little on that score, and going by Pavlik and Williams' recent performances "The Punisher" must be looked at as a good bet to win in October.

Also, Williams seems to at or about his absolute peak; is there a chance Pavlik may be just a little bit past his? Both men really want to win this fight, and both men have to - Pavlik especially (Williams could always drop back down to 154 or maybe even 147 if he lost) - if they want top remain star attractions. I just feel the slightly busier Williams will want it more and that he will pull this one out with a points victory.

This fight could well be one that is that special it elevates both men, however - the winner and the loser.

Article posted on 18.08.2009

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