Abraham snatches victory from the “jaws” of Defeat!

23.09.06 - By Izyaslav “Slava” Koza: It was the fifth round and the IBF champ Arthur Abraham was on the verge of being TKOed. To that point, in the bout he was winning 3 rounds to 1, with Miranda taking the second round. However, Miranda came on in the fifth, causing severe internal bleeding, and a possible broken jaw to the Abraham's mouth. In the fifth during a clinch Miranda landed a blatant and illegal headbutt to the area behind Abraham’s left ear. The blow prompted referee Randy Neumann to take a two point deduction from Miranda and give Arthur his rest, during which point his corner was furiously using the opportunity to quell the savage bleeding coming out of the champion’s mouth.

The verdict was clear, if Arthur Abraham quit, Edison Miranda would win via technical knockout, regardless of the headbutt. The cameras were pointed on Arthur his cornermen were in doubt and it seemed as if the fight would end. It seemed as if Abraham was doubting his ability to finish as well and after the first two times Neumann asked him if he would continue there came a look of resignation on his face.

However, the third time was the charm as suddenly on the spur of the moment Abraham decided to keep fighting. Finishing the round obviously weaker then Miranda, it was clear that Abraham’s coach, Ulli Wegner, was in part responsible for the hail mary victory. It was clear that he was yelling at Abraham to stay away knowing they had earned at the very least five points and could attempt to steal two rounds later on in the fight.

The situation was still dire and Abraham was still in a heap of trouble as he barely had the energy to fight with any sort of aggression. Miranda came on strong as Abraham covered up, ala Winky, gasping on the ropes for air. Had Miranda been guided properly perhaps Abraham’s determination would not be enough, however, Miranda was unable to keep it clean. Warned earlier in the bout for a low blow, he fouled two times more in the seventh prompting another dual point deduction, one for each of the shots. The first while seemingly accidental was still low and Miranda had already committed two fouls before it. The second was blatant and really coming as the fourth low blow should have warranted a DQ, but the referee decided to let it keep going.

Winning another two points but still extremely tired Abraham was clearly on his way to taking it on points if he could just hold out. Suddenly in the 9th and 10th Abraham rallied trapping Miranda on the ropes and landing an uppercut that pushed Miranda’s head towards the lights. However the blood coming from his mouth was not letting him breath properly and attempt any sort of finishing combination. Miranda showing character of his own kept coming and pressing Abraham on the ropes could not figure out a way to solve the high and tight defense of Abraham. Most of his punches landed on the gloves and the aggression could said to be effective only because Abraham was not able to fire back due to the huge spurts of blood coming out of his mouth.

In the 11th round Miranda landed another low blow on a fleeing Abraham and the champ wisely used the allotted five minutes to recover. Again whatever the intentions of Miranda were going to be this was another foul and enough to DQ him for dirty fighting. Instead Neuman decided to take another point as Abraham barely stumbled on fighting. The amount of clinches was obsessive on Abraham’s part and could have merited a point deduction as well, considering that on almost all the late round clinches, he held on to Miranda until Neuman warned him the second time to let go.

Surviving the round it was clear that ahead by at least 5 deducted points as well as winning three of the early rounds Abraham would win if he could stand up till the end. His gameplan in the twelfth was of complete retreat and Miranda knowing he was too far behind on points kept going for broke. Still it was not enough as Abraham retreated to the ropes and sharply turned away, or clinched Miranda if he got too close, covering up whenever he could do neither of the above. The fight had ENDED!

The decision took a few minutes to be announced but the result was not in doubt, 114:109, 115:109, and 116-109 for the winner and still champion Arthur Abraham. The camera panned to Arthur’s brother Alex weeping in the corner as Arthur was too out of it to raise his arms or celebrate. The scores seemed fair considering the point deductions and the early rounds that Abraham took. The champion visibly shaken and extremely fatigued due to loss of blood and energy did not stay around to celebrate leaving the arena quickly and most likely heading to the hospital.

Abraham showed tremendous heart and came away from a TKO loss in the 5th to survive and win on points. The situation was almost certainly similar to that of Diego Corrales and Casamayor in the first fight where Corrales also suffered internal bleeding in his mouth and the fight was stopped due to a danger of him inhaling too much blood. Furthermore as the Russian commentators noted Abraham’s jaw was also probably hanging and broken. You can be sure Arthur’s health is the biggest concern right now since he fought on for 7 rounds in the condition of Corrales who was taken to the hospital right after his bout.

Congratulations To Arthur Abraham from all of ESB for a tremendous display of championship caliber, and hopefully he will heal up quickly.

Article posted on 24.09.2006

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