Pavlik VS Taylor II is a fight that will let boxing know if they actually have a face they can market. A non heavyweight face, at that. A white face, to boot. Coincidence? No, not really. Pavlik is a white, blue-collar guy from Youngstown, Ohio that will cement his place at the top of boxing with another victory over Taylor. Sure, this fight is not for a belt, which only makes me wonder how hungry Taylor truly is if he doesn’t want to take something tangible out of the ring with him. If I got my ass slumped in the corner like that you better believe I am taking my shit back next time.
While a loss for Taylor would be devastating, there is nothing really at stake for Pavlik in this fight. Even if he loses, people will still be hungry to watch him. However, with a win he can pass go, collect two hundred dollars and be the new white face of boxing. Boxing fans have been dying for it: a non-European white champ.
Race in boxing has recently become a very hot issue. This isn’t just some shit where white America is hating on Barry Bonds because he’s black but trusting every word that comes out of Roger Clemens’ mouth. Race has gone from the back of people’s minds to right out of the fighter’s mouths. When Bernard Hopkins recently told Calzaghe that he would “never a let a white boy” beat him, it wasn’t a shock that it flew under the radar. (Funny, since it used to be white fighters that said it right before they got knocked out. Will the same happen to BHop?) Don’t underestimate white America’s sensitivity, but also don’t underestimate their apathy towards events that don’t affect Americans. Had Hopkins made those same statements to an American white fighter with the same profile as Calzaghe, there would have been a huge backlash.
Anyway, race plays no part in my decision about who I believe will win the fight. I am going to go with Pavlik, as I feel he has the strength and conditioning to repeat what he did in the first match up. He will not pull any macho theatrics and leave his chin out for Taylor to smash. Taylor will appear sharp in the early rounds, but will become worn down as the fight goes on.
Winner- Pavlik by stoppage Round 9