Pavlik waited seven years for his first title shot against Jermain Taylor last year, and didn't waste it. In the rematch Saturday night, Pavlik persisted until the late rounds, when he finally landed the big punches that kept him perfect.
With a strong finish to a bout with more tactics than theatrics, the pride of Youngstown, Ohio, beat Taylor on Saturday night for the second time in 4½ months, winning a unanimous decision.
Pavlik (33-0, 29 KOs) failed to knock out his opponent for the first time in his last 10 fights, but he threw far more punches and landed more memorable exchanges. Taylor (27-2-1) came up just short on all three judges' scorecards despite a markedly improved performance after getting his first career loss in their initial bout.
The fight could have gone either way until the 10th round, with both fighters using canny strategy to minimize their opponents' strengths. Pavlik finished tremendously, staggering Taylor in the 11th with the power that makes him a knockout artist -- but also the skill that could keep him on top for years to come.