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.