Miranda, Pavlik, Guzman and Katsidis: Shades of the Past

edison miranda24.04.07 - By Ted Sares: Back in the day, Carmen Basilio would fight Sugar Ray Robinson, Kid Gavilan would fight Chuck Davey, Davey would fight Chico Vejar, Jake LaMotta would fight Robinson, and Gene Fullmer would fight anyone at any time as would Emile Griffith and Johnny Saxton. These guys would fight each other and if they lost, they would quickly regroup and get back into the unofficial round robin. Guys like Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott, Tony DeMarco, Teddy 'Redtop' Davis, Art Aragon, Joe Miceli, Milo Savage, Spider Webb, Harold Jones, Jimmy Carter, Lauro Salas, and Paddy DeMarco would fight each other at important times in their careers. Great match-ups were the rule rather than the exception.

Some recent fights have been reminiscent. As fellow ESB writer Mike Indri says, "No one had to tell Kendall Holt the importance of his WBO Jr. Welterweight title fight eliminator bout against the rugged and dangerous "Mighty" Mike Arnaoutis.”

On May 26, 2007, the only fighter from the Dominican Republic to win world titles in two weight classes will try to win his third when current WBO lightweight champion Joan Guzman, 27-0, 17 KOs, moves up in weight to battle fellow unbeaten and interim WBO lightweight titleholder Michael Katsidis, 22-0, 20 KOs. Australian Katsidis' last fight with Graham Earl was a Fight of the Year type, and it is to both fighters’ credit that they are willing to fight each other at this point in their respective careers. As the saying goes, "someone's '0' must go."

Then on May 19 in Memphis, charismatic middleweight Edison ‘Pantera’ Miranda, 28-1 with 24 KOs, takes on the "Ghost," undefeated Kelly Pavlik who has been compared to Thomas Hearns because of his height (6-foot-3) and sledgehammer power. He's 30-0, with 27 knockouts. The affable Pavlik is so soft-spoken, he has trouble doing interviews. As for the cocky Miranda, he says, “This is a fight between a man and a boy, but if the fans want to see it, I’m glad to knock Pavlik out.” Old school props are in order for Miranda’s willingness to fight tough opponents at critical times. Howard Eastman, Arthur Abraham, Willie Gibbs, Alan Green and now Pavlik represent an impressive lineup of successive opponents.

Kudos are also in order for the unofficial heavyweight tournament being held across the pound between Danny Williams, Audley Harrison, Scott Gammer, Matt Skelton, and Michael Sprott all of whom seem willing to fight each other at any given time. The American heavies should take note, though Minto and Maddalone seem to be doing the same, albeit on a somewhat lower level.

These developments contrast with the inexplicable inability to get Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe together. If Mayweather and De La Hoya are willing, what's wrong with the Welshman? If Judah and Cotto are prepared to go to war, why can't Joe's camp make this fight? Calzaghe is a great fighter with great skills and a great record, but fighting the likes of Peter Manfredo Jr., Sakio Bika, and Evans Ashira at this stage in his career is far from "old school."

Article posted on 24.04.2007

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