Edison Miranda-Kelly Pavlik or “No Need for the Judges”

edison miranda18.05.07 - By Anthony Coleman: Ok let’s get one thing out of the way before we begin: nobody gives a damn about the so-called main event to tomorrow’s HBO showcase. The Taylor-Spinks showdown is programmed for the sole reason of pissing off boxing fans so that they won’t care about the sport ever again (or at least that is my reasoning for HBO’s decision to green-light this shit fight). This fight is going to be bad, real bad. Hell, it might surpass the infamous John Ruiz-Fres Oquendo “fight” in sheer unwatchability. In my personal opinion this fight isn’t worth mentioning let alone watching. However, the co-feature to Taylor-Spinks; Edison Miranda versus Kelly Pavlik is a fight truly worthy of discussion and viewing.

It is perhaps the most intriguing of boxing’s great matchups: puncher versus puncher. It is the one matchup that is almost universally beloved among boxing fans, both casual and hardcore. Sure there are those who are turned off by seeing two scientific boxers going toe-to-toe, but the idea of seeing two men with the ability turn the lights out with one punch will always capture the imaginations of fight fans. It really is that simple. And man let me tell you; you’ll be hard press to find two fighters who are as good at the art of punching as Miranda and Pavlik.

Both men come into there showdown with a combined KO percentage of 87.9 percent, a tremendous figure for two top ranked fighters. Furthermore both men showed that they can make good fights and have pleasing offensive styles. Yet the question is huge in boxing circles: who will this fight. It is almost agreed that this fight is an even money match and near impossible to accurately predict. With that being said, I’m going to do my best to try and accurately predict a winner for this fight.

Let’s begin by looking at both fighters’ offense. In terms of power and physical strength, I’ll give the slight edge to Edison “Pantera” Miranda. Miranda’s power has been tested by a better quality of opposition than Pavlik’s (though I give more Pavlik more credit for knocking out the steel jawed Zertuche than I give Miranda for KOing the glass-chinned Willie Gibbs). In the past year, Miranda KO’d the battle-tested veteran Howard Eastman and came very close to taking out Arthur Abraham. However, with that being said, I still think that Pavlik is the better offensive fighter because of his superior technical skills. Miranda is a very raw fighter and relies mostly on his right hand to get the job done. Meanwhile Pavlik is a very adept combination puncher who has power in both hands and in every punch. Pavlik can also work behind a very long jab.

When it comes to the sturdiness of their chins I’m not sold on either fighter. From what I’ve seen both men aren’t exactly Jake Lamotta in the chin department. In his fight with Howard Eastman, Pantera was rocked quite a few times. Not just buzzed but rocked and ready to go. Pavlik was also knocked down by Fulgencio Zuniga who, as noted by Maxboxing’s Doug Fischer, is a poor man’s Edison Miranda. Looking at both men’s history I think their beards are equally suspect. That is one of the main reasons why this fight is so damn exciting: at anytime this fight can be over.

Defensively I think the advantage goes to Pavlik. Both men are not Pernell Whitaker, yet Pavlik has shown the ability to slip and parry punches off of his gloves. Pavlik’s problem is that at times the man can be caught sleeping and that can be a huge no-no against Miranda. Meanwhile, Miranda’s defense is very questionable. He leaves himself wide open because he throws wild wide looping shots and as Arthur Abraham showed, he is constantly open to a basic one-two. While he isn’t Daniel Ponce De Leon bad with his defense, he is pretty bad.

My Prediction:

I like Pavlik by seventh round KO. I think that he has a clear advantage on technical skills and defense and I think it will be his time to prove that he is the number one contender to Taylor’s middleweight title. But please don’t interpret this as me counting Miranda out. I still think this fight is a toss up and I’m picking just as much with my heart as I am with my head (afterall, I’m a fan of Pavlik). Arthur Abraham is a vastly superior technical boxer to Miranda and he was taking him to school in their fight last September…until Miranda lowered the boom with his vaunted right hand and broke Abraham’s jaw. From that point on Abraham was looking to run out the clock, and he was lucky to leave the arena with his title. Miranda will always be a threat to the very end because of his pure punching power and fire. Yet at the same time, Pantera has yet to face a boxer like Pavlik; a man who has nearly the punching power he has and the straight punches to exploit his looping punches and shaky defense. This will be the difference in the fight.

Whatever the outcome of this fight I think that it is fair to say that this fight has the potential to usurping Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez’s March showdown as the American fight of the year. We have two explosive offensive fighters who are hungry for the title shot this victory will guarantee and this alone should be enough to deliver a competitive go-for-broke fight. I personally think that this fight will be looked upon as one of the highlights of the year and it is the true main event of this card.

Article posted on 18.05.2007

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