Edison Miranda Can Still Be A Champion

edison miranda09.06.07 - By Nick Mathur: Last month, Edison Miranda was thoroughly beaten up by Kelly Pavlik and ultimately knocked out in the seventh round after being on the canvas twice in the preceding round. The two engaged in a competitive, crowd pleasing battle and exchanged numerous shots that probably would have been enough to wreck almost any other middleweight in the world.

Pavlik, universally regarded as one of boxing’s brightest prospects after such a fantastic showing, fought with a style that was the polar opposite of what his moniker, "The Ghost," would suggest. He did not attempt to be an elusive target for Miranda, and showed no apparent fear of Pantera's vaunted punching power as he willingly absorbed hard punches in order to land his own.

One can obviously make a case for why Miranda may never be a serious threat to the middleweight crown after being defeated in such a manner. Some may suggest that he is only capable of being effective when he is the aggressor, the "bully," and that he will always have problems when someone is able to withstand his best punches and forces him to fight going backwards. Others may speculate that he may never be the same after participating in such a brutal war of attrition that had to have taken a substantial toll on him physically. One that may have damaged his confidence as well.

I believe the opposite, that Edison Miranda demonstrated that he has all of the necessary attributes that it takes in order to be a great fighter. Even though his effort against Pavlik ultimately resulted in a knockout loss.

Miranda possesses a kind of raw punching power that very few fighters in his division are capable of handling. I also believe that he has a good chin, proven by the fact that he was able to stand up to Pavlik's constant assault for as long as he did. However, what impressed me about that fight is that he never thought of giving up, even after being battered during the sixth round and having virtually no chance to get back into the fight. He never quit.

While the lack of craft in his fight game is clearly evident, it is something that can be improved upon greatly if he were coached by one of the best trainers. He can be molded into a more polished boxer, but would still possess the will and physical traits that have allowed him to fight competitively with some of the best middleweights in the world.

It took an amazing, almost superhuman effort by both Arthur Abraham and Pavlik in order to beat Edison. Abraham had to finish the last seven rounds of their fight while dealing with the excruciating pain of a broken jaw. And although Kelly Pavlik’s head is somewhat stationary when he fights, he did not even wince when he was caught by some of Miranda's heaviest punches. He just took them, and fired back after being hit instead of retreating. I am usually good at judging a fighter's durability, and believe after watching that fight that Pavlik has a granite chin.

It may surprise some to know that I was rooting for Kelly Pavlik to win, and was not a fan of Miranda’s until afterwards. I watched the fight with my father and chastised him for saying that he was cheering for Edison. I tried to lecture him regarding all of the disrespectful things that Miranda has said about other fighters, and how he provoked Jermain Taylor at the press conference before the fight. My father simply smiled and said, “But look at all of the things he has had to overcome.”

I would suggest that boxing fans should not be too hard on Edison Miranda for any of his trash talk or brash behavior. He has clearly shown that he can back it up in the ring, win or lose, and that he has as much heart as anyone in the game today. The truth is that I don’t know whether or not he will eventually become a champion or even a world titlist. But I have no doubt that the product of such rough circumstances has the resolve to keep fighting even after incurring a setback like this one.

All fighters lose. Sometimes they get knocked out. It happens. Edison Miranda is an exciting fighter who is certainly willing to take on top challenges, in an era where most of the athletes in this sport are extremely protected. Regardless of what he is able to accomplish from this point on, that is what makes him a special fighter.

Article posted on 10.06.2007

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