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Here's why I liked 'Pavlik-Taylor II' better than 'I'

By Todd Franko (Contact)


Published February 17, 2008

It's the morning after the fight, Pavlik-Taylor II, and, as a sports fan, I feel pretty good about it.

It's been interesting reading some of the stuff online.

I think as humans, and especially as sports fans, we long to witness those moments that will linger for a generation (or at least linger to make a Fox Sports Network "50 Best Moments in _____" show that airs at 2 a.m.)

Pavlik-Taylor I had that. Pavlik-Taylor II did not.

In PTII, there was no historic second-round rise from the canvas. That was PTI.

In PTII, there was no crushing seventh-round barrage that prompted the ref to stop the fight without event a 10-count. That was PTI.  

While I'll remember those rounds of PTI forever, I liked PTII better. Why?

You had two elite athletes who knew each other completely and thus employed a good defense as much as they employed a good offense. Taylor wasn't naive enough this time around to get backed into corners; Pavlik wasn't edgy enough to stick his chin out after a barrage.  

It was absent of any lucky shot that cost either athlete. It was absent of any cockiness or flash that can taint a good athlete.

It was strategic. It was classy.

I equate my appreciation for PTII to my love of my favorite sport -- hockey.

Lots of folks like hockey for the fighting, the hooliganism and the bar-fight atmosphere that can erupt on the ice. Many fans are disappointed when it doesn't happen. I like hockey for the speed, the grace and the teamwork. A 6-5 game with no fights is more appealing to me than a 7-3 game with four fights.

Craft over crush; intelligence over idiocy.

You cannot help but have more appreciation for the skill, instincts and sportsmanship of Pavlik and Taylor after PTII. While Pavlik walked away with the win, I don’t think either fighter lost.

PTII won’t make 2008 boxing highlight films. It won’t make a late-night Fox highlights show.

But it made for a good night for true sports fans.

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