Bert Sugar is known for three things: His hat, his cigar and his no-nonsense approach to calling fights. For every Pay-Per-View fight, there is a Sugar breakdown. Check it out.
STRENGTHS OF BOTH FIGHTERS
KELLY PAVLIK -(32-0, 29 KOs)
- Has one-punch knockout power in both hands, which he throws with leverage.
- Uses his long left to set up his power right.
- Can effectively capitalize on his opponent's mistakes, as he did in the first fight against Taylor, countering Taylor's jab and blocking Taylor's wide, looping punches.
- Has extraordinary "chin whiskers" and amazing recuperative power, as he proved in getting up from a devastating knockdown in the second round of the first fight to come back to win the third round.
- Is dangerous both on the inside and on the outside.
JERMAIN TAYLOR - (27-1-1, 17 KOs)
- Possesses fast hand speed, faster than Pavlik's.
- Is bigger and stronger than Pavlik.
- Has an excellent jab, much sharper and stiffer than Pavlik's.
- The fight is scheduled at a catchweight of 166 pounds--six pounds over the middleweight limit of 160--which benefits Taylor, who has had problems making weight before.
WEAKNESSES OF BOTH FIGHTERS
- Pavlik walks straight in on his opponent, confident he can take anything they throw--which almost did him "in" in the first fight.
- Allows opponents to tie him up on the inside.
- Pavlik is a one-gear fighter with little or no head movement and is "there" for Taylor.
- Pavlik suffered cuts to his arm putting in a window pane after the first Taylor fight and there's no telling how it may affect him or his punching power.
- Even at this stage of his career Taylor still makes too many mistakes--like dropping his right hand when he throws a jab and bringing his jab back too low after throwing it, bad habits which leave him vulnerable to counters.
- Taylor tends to throw wide, looping punches, even wild uppercuts which seem to come from the third row, leaving himself open to counterpunches.
- Taylor can be outworked, often failing to let his hands "go."
WHAT EACH MUST DO TO WIN
- Pavlik must do what he did last time. Only more. He must pressure Taylor from the git-go to see how Jermain reacts and what his mind-set is after his knockout loss five months ago by Pavlik.
- Pavlik shouldn't give Taylor a chance to breathe, staying right on top of him and forcing him into the ropes and into corners where he's most vulnerable.
- He must capitalize on Taylor's mistakes, countering him every time he throws a jab and fails to bring it back or drops his right.
- Pavlik must do a better job of fighting on the inside and not let Taylor tie him up as he did in the first fight.
- Taylor must take advantage of his strengths--his faster hand and foot speed and his sharper jab to keep Pavlik at long range and set up his right hand.
- Jermain cannot afford to go back into the ropes but must step away either to the right or to the left and make Pavlik turn, not letting Pavlik push him straight back.
- Taylor must defend better against Pavlik's howitzer of a right than he did in the first fight by keeping his left hand up and bringing it back after he jabs. He should also give Pavlik less of a target by moving his head more.
- Taylor must fight more on the inside, not just hold, because Pavlik stands straight up and holds his hands high, his body is there for Jermain on the inside.
HBO PPV - Feb. 16, 2008