Boxing

Arthur Abraham vs. Edison Miranda: The Battle Of The Unbeatens

18.09.06 - By Matt Stein: IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (21-1, 17 KO's) will defend his title on Saturday night against the heavy-handed Columbian, Edison Miranda, (26-0, 23 KO's) on Saturday night at the Rittal Arena, in Wetzlar, Germany. This will be Abraham's 3rd title defense, after winning the vacant IBF title by stopping Kingsley Ikeke in the 5th round in December 2005. Both fighters are still relatively green, having fought mostly unknown opposition, other than Howard Eastman, a fighter that each of them defeated. From a boxing standpoint, this fight is probably the most exciting middleweight fight in the past two years, even more so that Winky Wright vs. Jermain Taylor, for the simple reason that each of these fighter are very hard punchers, and in Miranda's case, unquestionably the hardest puncher in the entire division.

Besides that, they both come to fight and aren't afraid to mix it up, no matter what the risk may be. Unfortunately, though, neither of them are well known in the U.S, which is something that will likely not change after this fight, being that the fight isn't being shown in the U.S.

Of the two, Abraham appears to be the more skilled fighter, with much more technique and a sense of craftiness about him. He makes the most of what skills that he has, considering that he doesn't possess devastating punching power like Miranda or someone like Jermain Taylor. Nor does Abraham have incredible handspeed, yet he is able to overcome by limitations with his slick inside fighting style, and his ability to get in and get out to land quick exchanges. It's somewhat like a cat and couse type style, although he is a fierce fighter on the inside, capable of landing elbows and an assortment of other punches when his opponent least suspects it. Mostly, he has a way of breaking his opponents down and wearing them out over the course of the bout.

Against Howard Eastman, probably Abraham's best opponent to date, he fought cautiously for most of the first half of the fight, before ripping into Eastman in the 2nd half and beating him with a slashing style of attack that had Eastman hurt on numerous occasions. Oddly enough, Abraham seemed to back off when he had Eastman hurt, like he was trying to prolong the agony for the British fighter. Nevertheless, Abraham easily won by 12-round unanimous decision and moved onto bigger and better things.

Edison Miranda, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of Abraham in fighting style. Miranda has crushing power in either hand, and is unquestionably the hardest punching middleweight in years, dating back to the fiersome Julian Jackson. When Miranda is attacking, it's sickening to listen to the sounds of his shots landing to the heads of his opponents, most of whom rarely make it out of the 2nd round. At 25-years-old, Miranda is still quite young and still learning the came, despite a long successful amateur career. For the most part, given his natural devastating punching power, he's not had to develop other parts of his boxing game, such as using the jab, clinching and other finesse moves. Instead, he's relied on his power to just walk right though his opppents and take them out with a murderous flurry of punches. However, in the last year, Miranda has made a concious effort to box more often and to slug less.

It's still a work in progress and it's painfully obvious when watching some of his fights, like his fight against Jose Varela and Howard Eastman. In both cases, Miranda seems to fight in a mechanical way, throwing numerous jabs, and seemingly holding back with his power punches. He looks completely out of his element, like he's only half trying. However, in each bout, when he would be hit hard, he would suddenly come alive, seeming to forget all about the concept of boxing, and unleashing huge punches thrown with devasting force.

In the Eastman bout, Miranda held back for 6 rounds, mostly snapping out jabs and an occasional left hook. However, Eastman hurt Miranda in the 6th round when he tagged him with a big right hand. At that point, I knew fight wasn't going to last long, as in the very next round, Miranda was a completely different fighter. He came out like a whirlwind, throwing punches with knockout intentions. Eastman, gamely tried to vend off the punches, but with so many huge shots coming at him, it was an impossible task. The end came quickly, when Miranda trapped a wounded Eastman against the ropes in the 7th round and then methodically beat him into the canvas.

In any case, the winner of this fight mostly depends on which Miranda shows up. If he tries to box with Abraham, then Miranda will lose the fight, since he's not as a good a boxer, not even close. Abraham is quite skilled at picking up points with the judges. However, if Miranda can just let his hands go, he'll eventually find his mark and stop Abraham, possibly early in the fight.

Article posted on 18.09.2006



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