Punch Drunk Ramblings – All-Star Weekend Edition

Dwight Howard may have won this years NBA slam dunk contest but Pavlik-Taylor II was the real all-star event.  Let’s get Punch Drunk! Pavlik Wins Again Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik looked even more impressive in earning a hard fought 12 round unanimous decision over Jermain Taylor in their highly anticipated rematch. Photobucket While some were calling Taylor crazy for wanting to jump into a rematch with Pavlik so soon following his TKO loss, “Bad Intentions” looked impressive in this outing.  The bout was an exciting affair with sustained back and forth action that seemed close enough to encourage eager anticipation when the scorecards were read.  In my opinion this win solidifies Pavlik’s place as a legitimate champion and one with a ceiling that seems immeasurable right now.  After all, detractors could cry that Taylor was not prepared adequately for their first outing.  That boiling down to 160 took too much out of the former champ.  Well at 166 lbs. there are no excuses, the better man won and his name is Kelly Pavlik. So where do these two warriors go from here?  For Pavlik, it’s back down to 160 to defend his middleweight championship.  From what his promoter Bob Arum is telling the media, Pavlik’s next fight will be at Madison Square Garden on June 7th.  The two likely opponents in the running are John Duddy and Felix Trinidad.  Obviously Arum and company are looking to give Pavlik a “breather” as I can’t see Duddy or Trinidad lasting under the power of Youngstown’s finest.  Thought you would have to admit that the atmosphere in MSG would be amazing. So what about Taylor?  Well it has been documented that he will never fight at 160 again and will be looking to make some noise in the super middleweight division.  Taylor will be a welcome addition to an already exciting division filled with some legitimate stars, all who would match up nicely with Taylor.  Perhaps we can be treated to what was once an eagerly anticipated match-up between Taylor and Edison Miranda?  The Undercard Was Awesome Too!! It is so refreshing to see a PPV undercard that actually featured exciting match-ups.  Super flyweight Fernando Montiel continued to change his perception from a safety first unexciting boxer to a legitimate badass in his forth round knockout of always tough Martin Castillo.  Montiel looked impressive I will give him that as I gave Castillo a very good chance of beating him.  As long as Montiel continues to bring the fight his exposure will go up tremendously. In the other super flyweight match of the night, Christian Mijares squeezed out a 12 round split decision over former Olympian Jose Navarro.  You really have to feel for Navarro who yet again drops a decision in a title fight.  In fact all of his losses have come when challenging for a title.  While both Mijares and Navarro are promoted by Lou DiBella, you got the sense that Navarro was being brought in as the “opponent” in this match-up.  But let’s not discredit Mijares who is as pure a boxer as you will see and one with the tools to beat anyone in his division.  Still perhaps Navarro is doomed to be that fighter who never quite grabs that brass ring. In the opening televised event junior middleweight Ronald Hearns, son of the great Thomas Hearns, scored an eighth round KO over outmatch Juan Astorga.  This fight was clearly a showcase bout for Hearns who despite the impressive pedigree just may never be a great fighter.  Hearns does some things very well but I just don’t see him being more than what he is, a fighter with a name.  Valuev is Back The hairy giant that is Nikolai Valuev continues his quest to regain a heavyweight title after losing it to Ruslan Chagaev over a year ago.  Standing in his way in this WBA title eliminator was former WBO titlist Sergi Liakhovich who from all reports out of Russia, was battered and beating from pillar to post in route to Valuev earning a 12 round unanimous decision.  Reports also indicate that the lumbering Valuev is looking a lot more fluid in his technique which was an element that was sorely lacking.  As for Liakhovich, when he is in shape he is a formidable foe, it just seems that he lacks the necessary drive that will take him back to holding a piece of the heavyweight pie.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.