Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Glad to be wrong

I have never been so happy to be wrong.

During the second round, I looked so right. A lesser referee would have stopped the fight during that round. Kelly Pavlik was knocked silly. His survial was Rocky-like. He went to the canvas after a barrage from Jermain Taylor and even after he got up, it looked doubtful he would survive the round. The fight looked to be over as exactly as I expected.

Credit being from Youngstown. Honestly it is something of a lost city. A city built on steel mills. A city that took its identity from steel mills. And it is now a city that has no working steel mills. Leaving it a bit broken. Yet it survives.

And so did Pavlik.

He doesn't look like a fighter. He appears skinny. He even looks a little like the fictional Cleveland fighter Terry Conklin from the movie The Great White Hype.

Pavlik turned out to be the real deal. I was wrong.

He survived his beatdown. He got up from the mat and keep moving forward.

If I got to keep a card. Pavilk won round one. His knockdown made round two a 10-8 round for Taylor. He rebounded to win round three. He lost four, won five and lost six. Before knocking out Taylor with a barrage in the seventh.

His knockout punch was as brutal as they come. Taylor was hurt by a right and then finished by a left uppercut. Pavlik threw several more punches but for all intents and purposes Taylor was finished.

Youngstown go crazy.

Pavlik showed ultimate guts and brought praise and pride to his hometown.

But I stand by my belief, it has nothing to do with Cleveland. We can appriecate what he did. We can enjoy what he did. But we can take no credit.

Pavlik's knockout turned out to be bigger than first thought. From the perspective of some, Taylor stole two decisons from Bernard Hopkins and one from Winky Wright. Despite what I saw, the three judges at ringside had Taylor way ahead on the scorecard.