Beauty Beats the Beast: Ward Beats “Pantera” Handily

miranda vs wardBy Ted Sares - Everybody, Miranda included, may be surprised how much I am going to be front of him. I think everybody thinks I am going to box and move. But I am not going to fight passively. --Andre Ward

Move over, there is a new kid on the block and his name is Andre “S.O.G. “Ward and he is now 19-0 as he easily took the measure of Edison ‘Pantera” Miranda in Oakland tonight. And in so doing, he answered a lot of questions about whether he has been moved too slowly and against relatively poor competition.

Ward fought smart all night long mixing great body work with nice stuff upstairs, though he did not throw all that many combinations. He even bullied the bully in the late rounds as he reduced Pantera to a macho chest pounding foe and not much more, though to his credit, the Panther did push forward to the end.. Yet, he lacked fluidity and was totally one-dimensional unless you count head butts and hitting behind the head as being extra dimensional. He might as well have used Western Union as he telegraphed his rights in an almost amateurish manner. And on those rare occasions when he did land his vaunted right, they did nothing to Ward who showed he has a solid chin.

At the end of the eighth, Miranda appeared emotionally depleted and a very old 28 as Ward had out-mugged and out-roughhoused him in a neutral corner using his elbow effectively to keep him pinned against the buckle. In the ninth, it appeared that if S.O.G stepped up the action, he might be able to stop Miranda, but it was not to be as Ward was savvy enough to avoid an unnecessarily risky firefight with Miranda.

If Miranda was less than compelling, Ward showed he is the total package with great foot movement and solid technical skills, though he is not a one-punch banger. He was also blessed with a truly remarkable corner that provided sound and calm instructions and superb cut work, and reflected great team work and cooridnation. The way they worked could be used as a training video.

The final scores were 119-109 twice and a somewhat curious 116-112. I had it 119-109, as I gave the second round to Miranda, but I had to stretch to do it. In the ESB rankings, I had Ward number 7 (it’s erroneously listed as six) and Miranda number 11. Look for that to change next month as I see Ward vaulting past Mundine and Bika to number five behind Andrade, Froch, Bute, and Kessler (who needs to be more active).

Andre Ward holds the NABF super middleweight title and the WBO NABO super middleweight title. Look for him to battle for a world title in the not-too-distant future.

Article posted on 17.05.2009

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