This fight turned out to be everything that I predicted it would be, and more. JT is now a believer in ghosts. So much for the Poconos training camp, I guess both JT and the Poconos training camp lost their zero last night.
I watched the fight 3 times now and watched all the good parts over and over. JT had his left hand near his waist most of the fight, and that ended up being his demise.
Pavlik also committed to delivering that left hand jab all night long, and JT’s right side of his face at the end of the fight can bear witness to the fact that it was getting through and doing damage.
The second round was Pavlik’s only mistake. He got caught being a little too carefree and got popped. JT was clearly the quicker puncher. But, you must also give Pavlik credit for instinctively doing what was needed to survive round 2. That round is a textbook example of how champions survive. Pavlik was hurt, but he had the presence of mind to still protect himself as best he could, and hold JT to weight for his legs to return. Call it luck if you will, but he did what you are taught to do in that circumstance and succeeded.
Rounds 3 through 6 were edge of your seat boxing. It really felt like after round 2 that JT had thrown himself out a bit in trying to finish Pavlik in the 2nd. Watching the fight again and rewinding over and over, JT threw a bunch of huge punches and missed with most of them.
In rounds 3 through 6, it seemed like JT’s strategy was to counterpunch Pavlik. He was clearly waiting for Pavlik to come forward behind his jab and then use his speed to quickly counterpunch. That was a pretty good strategy as Pavlik was not going unscathed on all those counter punches. But, JT seemed to be using his left hand as his bait, by dangling it by his waist – begging Pavlik to shoot a right that he would be able to counter punch. Turns out, Pavlik took the bait and was a bigger fish than JT thought he was fishing for.
In watching the 7th round about 10 times, I think JT was actually in danger of getting hurt really badly had the fight not been stopped. As he began slumping — and out cold in my opinion – he got hit with an uppercut that was absolutely lethal given that JT was clearly out cold. As he began to drop more, but still up against the corner, Pavlik would have been able to get in several more big shots… So the ref could have gambled with JT’s health, but in my opinion he made the right decision. Pavlik was not throwing powder puffs at JT in that corner, had he connected with 2-3 more, JT might be dealing with long term brain injuries.
In my opinion this was the fight of the year. It was electric and I don’t think there was a moment in the fight that was boring. This was JT’s most exciting fight, and Pavlik made it that fight with his pressure. He knew he was going to get hit some, but he was banking on being able to hit JT more and harder. That he did.
Now we all must deal with believing in ghosts. JT is a believer now.