The lead-up to Pavlik-Taylor II
Kieran Mulvaney takes you through the build up of Kelly Pavlik-Jermain Taylor II in Las Vegas.
Wednesday, 6:15 p.m. ET -- Kelly Pavlik holds courtLAS VEGAS -- Jermain Taylor managed to give me the slip after the press conference, but a few of us did manage to sit down for 10 minutes with Kelly Pavlik.
Wednesday, 6 p.m. ET -- Mr. Hearns speaksI have to admit, it was a nice press conference. Nobody bad-mouthed anybody, there was genuine mutual respect in the house and I think there's real excitement for this fight.
Wednesday, 4:50 p.m. ET -- Quick news conference quotesLou DiBella: "I wasn't surprised that [Taylor] wanted a rematch. It takes a real man to get back in the ring against someone who took the title from you and Jermain is a man's man. There's been a lot of talk about the change in trainers, and I think it's been one of the best camps he's ever had. He has the hunger again and sometimes it takes something like what happened in September to wake you up. Ozell Nelson [Taylor trainer]: "We are in great shape for this fight. Jermain is in excellent shape, and he's looking forward to this fight. He's been looking forward to it since September." Ray Mancini [former world champion, and the last great fighter from Pavlik's hometown of Youngstown, Ohio]: "Vegas is always a special place for me. That's where I won my world title. The people of Youngstown were here for me then and they'll be here for Kelly on Saturday night. I go a long way with [Pavlik trainer] Jack Loew. Jack was the angriest young man I knew. He wanted to fight everyone. Now he's up here, he's all Shecky Greene with the one-liners. Shows what success can do. Makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. People don't realize, Jermain is a wonderful fighter. He was one punch away from winning that fight. And he was boxing real well, he was ahead in the fight. But it's a small enough ring as it is, and when someone brings pressure on you, it gets smaller real fast, and Kelly did what he had to do. I expect a continuation of the previous fight. Kelly to me is the hardest puncher in the middleweight division since Carlos Monzon and Tommy Hearns. Jermain, as strong as he is, is going to have to fight a lot of people that night. He's fighting Kelly and the people of Youngstown." Jack Loew [Pavlik trainer]: "We're hungrier than ever. Kelly called me to start camp early. I never thought I'd see a kid work harder than we did for the first Jermain Taylor fight, but I have. We're expecting the best from Jermain, because we took something very important from him. But I believe we're going to see the same outcome Saturday night. I believe Kelly's an irresistible force." -- Kieran Mulvaney
Wednesday, 4:15 p.m. ET -- News conference ritualsThe press conference is underway and as with all boxing press conferences, there's ritual involved. MGM Mirage executive Robert Halloran, who attends all these press conferences and emcees all the weigh-ins, welcomes us all, and hands over to Bob Arum, who in turn introduces Richard Sturm of MGM Mirage, the man who is ultimately responsible for buying and overseeing sports and entertainment events at all MGM properties in Las Vegas. Sturm hands back to Arum, who introduces Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Kizer says a few words, hands back to Arum, who tosses it to Mark Taffett of HBO pay-per-view. Taffett says some nice things about Pavlik and Taylor, and reminds us all that the card will air at 9 p.m. ET for a suggested retail of $49.95. Then Arum, who apparently only has love (today, anyway) for Taylor promoter Lou DiBella, hands over the podium for DiBella (who returns the love in spoonfuls) to introduce the televised undercard. And then it's time for the fighters to say a few words. I can almost guarantee that their comments will be along the lines of "I'm prepared for this fight, I'm in the best shape of my life; I respect my opponent, but on Saturday I will win." The more interesting quotes will come immediately after the presser, and I'll have some of them right here when the press conference is over. -- Kieran Mulvaney
Wednesday, 3:40 p.m. ET -- Hey, remember me?
Wednesday, 3:30 p.m. ET -- Fight people can be fans, tooNo question that things are a lot different for Kelly Pavlik these days. He, trainer Jack Loew and team members just ambled into the media room and were immediately deluged by video cameras, photographers and autograph hunters.
Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET -- Fight week kicks off!Fight week is underway here in Las Vegas. Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik arrived at the MGM Grand and held workouts for the media yesterday, and the final pre-fight press conference will be later today, at around 1 p.m. PT.
MORE BOXING HEADLINES
- Mayweather, Pacquiao talk at Heat's halftime
- Mental evaluation ordered for Jermain Taylor
- Rios dominates Alvarado, gets 3rd-round KO
- Ramirez wins unanimous decision over Vlasov
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
PAVLIK VS. TAYLOR II
vs. JERMAIN TAYLOR
Saturday, Feb. 16, Las Vegas
• Mulvaney: The lead-up to the big fight (Thursday)
• Mulvaney: The lead-up to the big fight (Wednesday)
• Rafael: Pavlik still an ordinary guy
• Rafael: Taylor hoping to get back on track
• Houston: There's always a catch
• Willis: Five things to look out for in the rematch
• Dettloff: Pavlik-Taylor II preview
• Raskin: Pavlik looking to shine
• Smith: Now or never for Navarro
• Houston: Memorable fights at catchweights
• Dan Rafael
• Bert Sugar
• Jermain Taylor 2/12
• Jermain Taylor 1/30
• Kelly Pavlik 2/13
• Kelly Pavlik 2/1
• A few words with Pavlik