29.09.06 – Most respected sports writers that have had the opportunity to view the fight have Miranda winning, even after the ridiculous 5 points deducted from him. This will clearly be seen as they independently write their columns over the next few days. Initially, the only reports coming out of Germany were in fact from German reporters. However, now that many reporters are finally viewing the fight for themselves, they believe a crime was committed in Germany. They are all amazed at the poor job performed by the referee as well as the judges. Even more so, they are amazed that Sauerland forced Abraham to continue to fight even though his life was in danger.
Apparently, the IBF agrees with these respected journalists because, on 9/29, they have ruled to leave Edison Miranda at the #1 spot in the world. He remains the mandatory challenger for Abraham’s belt, should Abraham ever make a full recovery. It is suspected that he will remain at the number one spot in the WBO as well. Many independent rankings have actually moved Miranda up in their rankings as opposed to down after the so-called loss.
The overall consensus is that the referee did a miserable job in controlling the fight. He had no command in the ring and was constantly looking for help from the scorer’s table as to which decision to make. Specifically in round 5, he stopped the action due to an intentional head butt by Miranda. The head butt did occur and many feel it was accidental in that Miranda was trying to avoid a rabbit punch by Abraham. Some do feel it was an intentional head butt. After breaking the action for the head butt, Abraham started to receive medical attention for not his head, but his broken jaw and blood- gushing lip. These injuries all came from clean punches that Miranda landed earlier in the fight. The ringside physician did not only inspect his lip, but tried effortlessly to stop the bleeding. In fact, another person from the stands believed to be a doctor came up to the ring to assist him as well. This treatment continued for almost 5 minutes. Additionally, the doctor was never called to the ring by the referee to attend to Abraham which is an infraction of IBF rules since it was in the middle of a round. The doctor was receiving all types of medical supplies from people in the stands as well as from Sauerland employees as well as from Abraham’s actual cut man. It was apparent that this doctor was not inspecting the injury, but trying to prevent the bleeding so Abraham could continue.
Finally, Lindsey Tucker, the supervisor from the IBF, is heard telling the referee (Randy Neuman) that ‘the corner is trying to convince the doctor to stop the fight’. Neuman quickly decided to go to the scorecards suggesting that he thought the cut on the lip came from the head butt. However, anyone watching the fight, including, Neuman, could clearly see that blood was flowing from Abraham since round 4. Also, after the head butt, Abraham, held his glove to his ear, far away from the jaw and lip injury signifying that the head butt had nothing to do with his lip injury.
Then, the doctor signals to the referee to stop the fight due to the injured lip! Neuman responds by saying ‘that’s the fight, right?”. Then, not having a clue as to what to do, Neuman, asks the someone at ringside “oh, he can’t fight so what do you want to do?”. He then says ‘it’s an intentional foul, we go to the cards’. After deducting 2 points from Miranda and for some reason anxious to go to the cards, Neuman then says, ‘he butted him in the head, that didn’t cut the lip….it’s an intentional foul…let’s go to the cards….we’ll go to the cards.’ This further illustrates Neuman’s lack of experience. A seasoned referee should know that a fight that can not continue due to an intentional foul results in a disqualification, not a score card situation. Still, while all of this is going on, Abraham is receiving top notch medical treatment to his lip, not his head.
Then, Leon Margules, Miranda’s manager gets Neuman’s attention and explains to him that if the fight can not continue due to the lip it’s a TKO. The next words coming from Neuman are ‘that’s true, that’s true, TKO…the head butt was up here, TKO, TKO….he can’t continue because of the lip…he loses 2 points but he wins the TKO…the head butt was up here.’. After hearing Neuman call the fight a TKO, Wilfred Sauerland, Abraham’s promoter, has security quickly and forcefully escort both Leon Margules as well as Steve Benbasat, Miranda’s manager out of the area and back to their seats on the opposite side of the ring. Now, without any disturbances, Sauerland gets the attention of Neuman to which Neuman responds, ‘you want to go on? …ok’. Neuman then tells Abraham ‘you gonna fight, do you want to fight?’. Abraham clearly shakes his head and says ‘NO’. Then, someone yells to Abraham from his corner telling Abraham in German ‘you have to go on, be a man’. The ref let a brief consultation occur between Abraham and his corner after this comment. Then, the ref says yet again, ‘ok, you ready to fight?’. Abraham shrugs his shoulder reluctantly suggesting yes. Then the fight continues.
As the fight continues, the ringside physician, who originally told Neuman to stop the fight only looks on from a distance at Abraham’s corner the remainder of the fight as opposed to giving him a thorough inspection after each round to see if he can continue. The only exception is after round 9, when the doctor sticks his finger in Abraham’s mouth for a brief second to which Abraham screamed back in pain. Three times between rounds Abraham strongly suggested he can not continue. After round 4, he said ‘I’m broken’. After round 5, Abraham said ‘I can’t do it’. After round 11, Abraham said, ‘I’m kaput (destroyed)’. This entire time, Uli Wegner, Abraham’s trainer, argues with Abraham in German telling him to ‘be an Indian…be a man…you can do it….you must continue or you lose…come on, it’s nothing (referring to the jaw and lip)….it doesn’t matter, you’re gonna be the champ.’ The most disturbing thing is that the actual ringside physician can be clearly heard in German telling Abraham after round 11 ‘you can not lose the game, keep going my friend, you keep the champ’. This is supposed to be the independent man watching after his health. Instead he has become one of his corner men and cheerleaders.
Because of the mishandling of Abraham’s health, he was rushed to the hospital immediately after the fight for a 3 hour emergency surgery. He was admitted into intensive care due to his loss of blood and life threatening injuries. He lost 1 liter of blood during the course of the fight, which equates to approximately 17% of his entire blood volume. He had 2 titanium rods inserted into his jaw along with 22 screws in order to hold his face together. He can only eat fluids for a period of 6 weeks while his jaw is also required to be wired shut. Almost one week after the fight, he is still in the hospital. It was quite a gruesome scene as one can see from visiting the photos on Saurland’s website (http://www.boxen.com/themen/aktuelles/news.php?pageid=4283).
Aside from horrific events in the 5th round, Neuman’s officiating was extremely questionable according to almost every professional in the business. He called 3 low blows on Miranda, which the replays clearly show were perfectly legal shots. Only one ended up landing low, but only after it grazed off of Abraham’s elbow forcing it to land low. In fact, one time he only called the low blow on Miranda after he saw Abraham hurt. Neumans actions clearly indicated he was going to let the fight continue until he saw Abraham clutch his stomach.
Neuman’s instructions before the fight were to ‘protect your self at all times’. However, when Miranda charged after a sleeping Abraham on two occasions, Neuman actually stopped Miranda in his tracks. During one of the stops, he actually asked Abraham if he was ‘okay’. During the course of the fight, Neuman instructed Abraham to stop holding Miranda approximately 15+ times. Abraham did not listen to Neuman’s instructions and Neuman had to actually pry them apart. No points or warnings were ever issued to Abraham for this. Neuman might have been correct in calling Miranda for an intentional headbutt, although many experts believe it was accidental. However, in the 10th round, Abraham charged forward with a deliberate head butt that was never called. One could clearly see the favorable protection Neuman was giving the ailing Abraham.
Many journalists believe that a crime was committed in Wetzlar that night. A young, talented fighter was forced to continue against his will. In fact, his promoter, Wilfred Sauerland, over ruled the decision of the fighter, the doctor, and even the referee. He may have won the fight, but many experts in boxing as well as doctors, believe that he will never fight again. If he does fight again, he will never be the same. As for Neuman, he almost had someone die in his ring that night. For a man whose job is to protect the safety of the fighters, he had complete disregard for the health of Abraham. He never once ordered the doctor to examine Abraham. In fact, when the doctor told Neuman that Abraham can not continue, he ignored him completely. Instead, he listened to Wilfred Sauerland.
As for Miranda, he feels bad for what happened. He knows a guy was forced to fight against his will and feels bad. “Abraham has the belt, but I know in my heart and my fans know that I won the fight and I am the true Champion’. ‘I saw Abraham say that he did not want to continue. Then, I heard the doctor and the referee say that the fight was stopped and ref said it’s a TKO. I knew he was in danger, when all of a sudden someone yelled from his corner that he better fight. He shrugged his shoulders and turned around to fight.’ ‘I thought the fight was over because they were talking and working on his face for at least five minutes. So I thought it was over”. ‘I know for a fact that he did not want to continue to fight. He was commanded by his corner.’.
Miranda said about Abraham ‘One thing is for certain that I respect him as a warrior and coming to fight that night. Especially after what happened with me breaking his jaw in the fourth round…I tried to visit him in the hospital before we left Germany but we were unable to find him…I was told by my doctors in Puerto Rico that his injuries are very difficult to recover from for a boxer. I hope that he takes the necessary time to recover. I feel somewhat responsible for the damage that was caused during the fight. AS a fellow human being, it was difficult for me to punish him with him being in the shape he was in. I hope one day he is able to fight again’
Miranda also said, ‘I am glad to be home with my friends swimming at the beach and enjoying the beautiful scenery of Puerto Rico, but through it all, I can’t help thinking about this poor guy because he did not want to continue…..I was surprised, I saw the condition that he was in losing a lot of blood and he couldn’t even close his mouth and they wanted him to keep going after the doctor and the ref said it was over. I was confused and couldn’t believe it….I asked my trainer what would he have done if this was me and he assured me that if I was taking that kind of punishment that he would stop the fight without a doubt….That made me feel good knowing that I have a trainer that really cares about me as a person and not just worried about the business…..I just want to thank all of my fans and my team for the constant support and I will continue to pray for the healing of Abraham and I ask them to do the same.’