LAS VEGAS – Kelly Pavlik and Jermain Taylor meet Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden in a rematch of their Sept. 29 classic. Here is what each man must do to win:
Keys to victory
1. Establish the jab: Pavlik's jab enabled him to close the distance and set up the right hand that ended the fight.
1. Create angles: Taylor came straight at Pavlik and didn't use angles, giving Pavlik too big of a target.
2. Cut the ring: Any time they're in a confined area trading punches, it favors Pavlik. The better job he does at cutting off the ring, the easier he'll make the fight. .
2. Double jab: Pavlik was able to land his right over Taylor's jab once he began to time it. Taylor needs to throw two, sometimes three, jabs at once to neutralize Pavlik's powerful right.
3. Avoid patterns: Pavlik should take care to vary his attack to keep Taylor on edge.
3. Stay in the center: The ropes are Taylor's enemy. He needs to keep the fight in the center of the ring and work off of Pavlik's shoulders.
4. Feint: Taylor is clearly wary of Pavlik's power and will react to feints. By using his feints effectively, Pavlik will create openings for himself.
4. Slow the pace: The last thing Taylor wants is a frenzied slugfest. He needs to fight at a measured pace and not let Pavlik pile up the punches.
Rating the fighters
Comparison of Kelly Pavlik and Jermain Taylor on a rating of 1 to 10 in several categories:
Pavlik has fight-changing power.
Pavlik's jab was critical to his Sept. 29 win.
It would be wise if Taylor went to the body more, but he rarely does.
Pavlik has a very quick right hand.
Both get hit because they throw many power punches.
Both were down in their first fight, but each man took hard shots well.
Taylor has a long history of fading.
Both have plenty of experience in big fights.
Having fired Emanuel Steward, the pressure is on Taylor trainer Ozell Nelson.
Pavlik is coming off a knockout win and will have a large fan base boosting him.
The first bout was a slugfest with plenty of toe-to-toe action. Both men, having been down the last time out, figure to be more cautious and not so willing to get into a shootout. Expect Pavlik to grind out a unanimous decision.