Taylor, Peter Facing Big Fights Ahead

By Tom Donelson
Updated: August 30, 2007

Gloves IOWA CITY, Ia. — At the end of the month, Jermain Taylor fights Kelly Pavlik for the Middleweight title, the real true Middleweight title. For those who haven’t seen Pavlik fight, he’s a windmill fighter who threw punches in bunches with power and this may be Taylor’s toughest fight yet.

Taylor has fought Bernard Hopkins (twice), Wright, Ouma and Cory Spinks — all former or present champions but Pavlik is a young killing machine entering his peak.

The problem with Taylor is that he hardly looked impressive in his last five fights, but what is often forgotten is that he won four of those fights and only set back was a draw against Winky Wright.

Hopkins is the present light heavyweight champion and was the Middleweight champ when Taylor squeezed past him in a close bout. Wright’s bout was a tight fight that could have gone either way and Cory Spinks spent most of the fight running and avoiding getting hit.

He rarely tried to counter, especially in the later rounds.

What is missing is that all of these fighters were either ex champs or present champs when Taylor fought them.

Yes, he never looked overwhelming against these fighters and showed flaw but he was fighting some of the world best in his division.

Kelly Pavlik will be the taller fighter and he may the one with the more power but Taylor has already been involved in big events and if he uses all his skills, he can triumph over Pavlik.

Pavlik will be the hardest puncher that Taylor fought but then Taylor may be the best boxer Pavilk ever fought and Taylor will have Emmanuel Stewart in his corner.

Stewart has trained many champions, so he knows what it takes to say on top.

The conventional wisdom is that Pavlik will prove too powerful for Taylor and that Taylor’s team had been avoiding big puncher. What is often missing in the conventional wisdom is that Taylor’s caliber of opponents had been higher than most other champions.

We are talking about a fighter whose idea of an “easy opponent” is Kassim Ouma or Cory Spinks. Taylor has not run from any opponent and now he is fighting Pavlik for Pavlik is considered a worthy opponent after his smashing of Edison Miranda.

He is the hard puncher that everyone says that Taylor is avoiding.

For Taylor, this is a big fight with much on the line. Win this fight and he could move up to Super Middleweight and challenge the winner of the Kessler-Calzaghe fight.

Lose and everyone will declare him over rated and his reputation suffers a setback.

Taylor needs this win more than Pavlik and has more to lose.

Samuel Peter is getting ready for his bout against Oleg Maskaev and this bout will go a long way to settle who’s the second best heavyweight behind Wladimir Klitschko.

Peter’s only lost was to Klitschko when the Ukrainian fighter outboxed Peter and survived three knockdowns.

Peter showed improvement in his second bout with James Toney and against Maskaev, he is fighting a tough Russian with power of his own.

This is not a fight that will feature defense but Peter showed a good chin against Klitschko and Maskaev has been stopped.

This is Peter’s big moment. If he wins, the Heavyweight division gets their big banger that will have most boxing fans salivating for more.

And Peter will have the clout to force a bout with Klitschko and maybe the Heavyweight will become important in boxing again.

And Peter has the personality to excite boxing fans along with power. We can even say that the Heavyweight division could use a Peter victory as a means to sell the division. So Peter-Maskaev is not just a big fight for Peter but for boxing.