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Preview: Pavlik/Miranda & Taylor/Spinks
Preview: Pavlik/Miranda & Taylor/Spinks
As bad as the heavyweight division in boxing has been, the middleweight division has been that good. And tonight, there are two very good middleweight fights on HBO. And one of them involves local product Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik (pictured) ... who hails from Youngstown. Pavlik is 30-0 and fights Edison Miranda tonight, another top tier middleweight. They are the undercard bout for middleweight king Jermain Taylor's latest defense against Cory Spinks. Assuming Taylor wins, the winner of the Pavlik/Miranda fight is expected to fight Taylor in the fall.
One of the many questions surrounding the sport of boxing a big one. Is the sport dying? With the emergance of mixed martial arts, how can boxing be saved?
The "Super Fight" between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather was the first step in reviving one of the most storied sports in the world today.
Another huge move is having top notch fights on undercards of telecasts. Live on HBO, from the Fedex Forum, the true main event is not the title fight.
Middleweight champion Jermain Taylor takes on Cory Spinks for the undisputed title. But the match that has the fight world buzzing is Edison Miranda taking on Youngstown's Kelly Pavlik, with the winner becoming the number one contender for Taylor's belts.
Jermain Taylor (26-0-1) puts his undefeated record on the line tonight in what appears in my eyes to be a tune up fight. The champ is coming off of four straight hard fought battles. Two of those fights were wins over former champion Bernard Hopkins, and another was a draw with the very tough Winky Wright.
Taylor is one of the most athletic guys to come along in quite some time. His speed and defense are his two best attributes. He is a very strong and accurate puncher who seems to get better and better with every fight.
Cory Spinks really has done nothing to deserve a title shot. I look at the fights tonight as a four man tournament for the middleweight belt. Spinks was awarded the fourth seed and the challenge of taking on the champ and number one seeded Taylor. Spinks will be outclassed when he steps in with Jermain "Bad Intentions" Taylor and will more than likely get knocked out.
One of the most talked about fights in some time that isn't for a title belt will be the fight between Miranda and Pavlik. Both of these guys have earned a chance to become champion. They seem to be so evenly matched, it was hard for the promoters to decide who Jermain Taylor should fight for the championship. So instead of choosing, they did something that is very rare in boxing today, they made a fight that really makes sense.
Heavy hands. Speed. Excellent defense. Solid counter punching. Knockout power. These are the skills of both fighters and that's why this fight is going to be awesome. On paper, it has the makings of a classic.
Pavlik (30-0, 27 KO) comes in as a slight underdog and probably wants it that way. He is one of those guys that always has a chip on his shoulder and you can tell by watching him in the ring. Kelly Pavlik has something to prove every time he gets into the squared circle and wants his opponent to feel his wrath.
Edison Miranda (28-1, 24 KO) might be underestimating Pavlik tonight. He was running his mouth to Jermain Taylor this week saying he was going to be the next champion. If he takes Pavlik lightly, he will get his lights knocked out.
I expect both fighters to come out looking to set the tone early. Striking first is very important in a match of this magnitude. You want your opponent to feel your power early and often. If one of these guys can land thier power punches, it might make for an early night.
I honestly expect a fireworks display tonight. In the first fight between Pavlik and Miranda, both guys are going to want to impress the crowd and show they are for real. They are determined to get that title shot and what better what to do that than with a hard hitting knockout.
Taylor should be able to put on a clinic when he meets Spinks tonight. His power, speed, and the fact Spinks has suspect defense could make for a crowd pleasing beatdown.
The sport of boxing is taking a huge step in the right direction tonight. Overall, it should be a great night of fights. I would make sure to tune in and see for yourself.
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