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Is Jermain Taylor Really a Blue Chip?

BY Zhenyu Li ON September 23, 2007
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When it comes to buying stocks, corporate name isn't everything.

"Kelly Pavlik" is a promising stock on the rise and will keep skyrocketing. "Jermain Taylor" is considered by some to be a blue chip. With WBC, WBO, and Ring Middleweight titles under his belt and the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Winky Wright and Cory Spinks on his resume, the name "Jermain Taylor" sure carries more weight than "Kelly Pavlik".

It was the year 2000 when the two gladiators first met in the ring in the Olympic Trials where the older, more experienced Taylor won by a small margin and secured a birth in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Time passes like a fleeting ray. The two old foes depart at a crossroad and reunite at another. Taylor, the current WBC/WBO middleweight king, is slated to make the fifth defense of his crown against the number one contender, Pavlik, on September 29. Seven years ago, Pavlik blundered in front of the gateway to the Olympics. Seven years later, will he take the revenge and dethrone the king? I am sure he will.

There's no doubt that Taylor was the winner when the two met in 2000. But I'd say it doesn't count for much with the upcoming match.

When Pavlik and Taylor were first pitted against each other seven years ago, Taylor was a young man of 22 with a lot of amateur experience whereas Pavlik was just a skinny 17-year-old kid coming from the fourth open tournament out of the Junior Olympics. Taylor had reached physical maturity and because of his experience, he knew the system better than Pavlik. But the kid stayed very close with Taylor that day.

By the time they rival for the world titles seven years later, the skinny kid has grown to a hard-hitting 25-year-old man with a perfect record of 31-0, 28 KOs. He even has more bouts than Taylor - 31 to Taylor's 28.

After a series of dubious decisions over one blown-up light middleweight after another--especially galling was his lacklustre main event performance with the little guy Cory Spinks where Pavlik, at the same day halted the durable big puncher Edison Miranda in an extraordinarily convincing fashion--Taylor's stock has taken a downturn.

I believe that Kelly Pavlik is one of the most underrated fighters out there.

Making a close scrutiny into Pavlik's past performances, you would find out that "The Ghost" possesses a thundering big right hand to which his 90% KO percentage contributes. He is a hungry fighter with a concrete head who always comes forward throwing big punches in a very high volume and doesn't know what "back up" means. Most of his opponents fell victim to his devastating right hand.

Taylor could well be the next one collapsing on the canvas. Two fights with Bernard Hopkins were won by a very small margin, the "gift draw" with Ronald Wright, the unimpressive decision over the little guy Kassim Ouma, and then a split decision over Cory Spinks who came close to beating him, it's time for the 29-year-old champion to pass the torch.

"Jermain Taylor" was a blue chip, but now can be compared to a valued stock which is now passing its prime.

Next time you buy stocks, don't forget to scrutinize the corporation which the stock represents.

Zhenyu Li is the columnist for People’s Daily online and a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO). He can be reached at zhenyuli_cn@sina.com

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