Boxing gets decent traffic on social media despite falling from the prominent position it once held in American Sports. Recently, while doom scrolling a boxing social media site page recently posted highlights from Pavlik and Taylor’s middleweight contest from the 2000s. This was one of the great fights of HBO in the 21st century and a classic from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Jermaine Taylor was The Undefeated Olympic medalist who became famous for dethroning Bernard Hopkins and taking on other champions like Ronald Wright, Cory Spinks and Kassim Ouma. Pavlik had emerged as a top contender like a boulder rolling downhill, picking up momentum, crushing everything in his path with brutal punching in a torrid pace.
This was a great fight to feature especially for young and new fans looking to appreciate the sport. I could not help but notice the arguing in the comment section and wanted to weigh in here on my opinion. Some of the comment posters were honing in on the fact that Kelly Pavlik was rocked badly and staggering for a lot of the second round following a knockdown and was not stopped by referee Steve Smoger. The same people argued that Jermaine Taylor was not given sufficient opportunity to come back to his feet and continue fighting. I did think that at the time when I first watched the fight in my teenage years but this was a fight that I had on VHS when I still recorded fights and one that I’ve watched many times. While Smoger would be well within his right to have stopped the fight, and it would have been a great victory for Taylor, I don’t think Pavlik showed any sign that he could not continue. He rose to his feet, defended himself, and appeared to have his legs back under him at the conclusion of the round
Jermaine Taylor, on the other hand, had taken four or five rounds of heavy artillery from Kelly Pavlik. Though Taylor had gone down for the first time in the fight and was not allowed to continue, he was finished. He took numerous hard blows and did not pop back up just like Kelly did and did not appear to complain about the stoppage and the decision by Smoger. Watching the two men fight over the years, Kelly Pavlik was not the type of fighter to let somebody off the hook, and when he had somebody finished, he ended the matter. Taylor, throughout his career, has dropped several notable opponents but struggled to close the show, and he had ample time to close the show against Pavlik and could not.