Controversial perhaps, but in the end Kelly Pavlik remained unbeaten if not tarnished.
The pride of Youngstown, Ohio and crowd favorite at the MGM Grand Garden Arena won a unanimous decision in a fight most experts thought would go under the prop total of 10Â½ rounds. Pavlik closed at MGM at -200 with the former middleweight champ Jermain Taylor at +170.
Taylor has lost just two fights in his career, both to Pavlik. The first was by knockout in the seventh round last year, but the rematch showed the challenger as the winner in punch accuracy (39 percent to 32), jabs landed (35 to 30) and power punches landed (46 to 34), according to Compubox.
The total punches swayed the fight to Pavlik in the eyes of the three judges. Pavlik, the busier fighter, threw almost 400 more punches (845 to 456) than Taylor. The judges cards were 115-113, 117-111 and 116-112 for Pavlik.
The three ESPN reporters’ cards were divided — one for Pavlik, one for Taylor and the third a 114-114 draw. Noted boxing writer Bert Randolph Sugar had the fight 115-113 for Taylor. The GamingToday scorecard also had Taylor the winner.