28.11.07 – by James Slater: 26-year-old Edison “Pantera” Miranda, is now a fully fledged super-middleweight. No longer having to “kill himself” to make 160 pounds, the exciting Columbian feels his destiny of becoming a world champion will still be realised. The first step back after his shock loss to Kelly Pavlik was a bout with the capable Henry Porras this past October.
After winning that fight in fine style ( a TKO in round 5) Edison is now looking ahead to bigger and better things in his new weight division. Scheduled to box again early next year, Edison very kindly gave this writer an exclusive interview yesterday. Speaking through an interpreter, here is what the 29-2(25) warrior had to say.
James Slater: You looked great last time out, Edison, against Henry Porras. Do you feel so much stronger now, fighting at 168 pounds?
Edison Miranda: I feel much better, yes. It was still not so easy making 168, but I did not have to kill myself like I did to make 160. Super-middleweight is a much more natural weight for me.
J.S: Is there any word yet on who you will be fighting next, on January 11th?
E.M: I have already started training, but so far there have been no contracts signed. I did hear the name Alex Bunema, and if I do fight him I will be very motivated to destroy him early. If a guy like [Jermain] Taylor, who has no power, can stop him in 7 rounds (back in a March, 2004 bout), then it should take me no less than 4 rounds. And I would have fun doing it!
J.S: Now that you are a fully fledged super-middleweight, which world champion at that weight would you love to face?
E.M: I will fight whoever is in my way. Either Joe Calzaghe, Mikkel Kessler, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins or Kelly Pavlik. At 168 pounds, people will get the Edison Miranda they wanted at middleweight.
J.S: Talking about Kelly Pavlik. If he moves up to 168, you’d absolutely love a rematch?
E.M: I know I will avenge my loss to Kelly Pavlik. He is a great fighter, but my fight with him at 160 pounds was a mistake. I had to lose 47 pounds in less than six weeks. That nearly killed me! The result at 168 will be much different, and Kelly knows he needs to prove himself against me when I am healthy. I have no doubt the fans will demand that rematch fight one day.
J.S: A fight with Joe Calzaghe would also interest you?
E.M: I would travel to his hometown and fight him next. He is an old man. No doubt, he’s a great fighter, but I would give him the fight of his life and put him into retirement!
J.S: There is no doubting your toughness and power. But aside from putting on weight, what other additions have you made to your game since losing to Pavlik?
E.M: I have been working hard on my movement and my defence in the ring. I am used to people running from me once they feel my power, but I simply did not have the power when I fought Pavlik, and he just kept coming. If I had been able to avoid his punches and make him miss, I’d have still been in the fight. So that’s what I’m working on now, my defence and my movement.
J.S: Do you feel 2008 will be your year?
E.M: 2008 will be the year of “The Panther!” I blew my chances of becoming a world champion this year because of weight problems. I got so close to my goal of destroying Jermain Taylor. But that dream [ along with the one of becoming a world champion] will come true one day also. It is meant to happen.
J.S: Do you feel you have reached your peak yet?
E.M: I am learning all the time. I love being in the gym. I have had a very busy schedule this past two years, but even when I have to fight I want to be in the gym learning. I am young and hungrier than ever. Edison Miranda is far from his peak.
J.S: For my final question. What would you say to anyone who says the loss to Pavlik wasn’t due to weight, and that is simply an excuse?
E.M: There is no doubt that was the problem. Pre-fight, I was able to get down to 167 pounds, and then the weight just stopped [coming off]. I killed myself to lose each extra pound, and then, on the night of the fight, when I told my legs to move they did not listen. I punched with everything, but my punches were not powerful. I was ill, but I did not want to disappoint my fans [ by pulling out of the fight]. I thought I would still have enough to beat Kelly Pavlik, but I was very wrong. Kelly is a great fighter and he surprised me.
J.S: Thank you very, very much for answering my questions, Edison.
Note: my sincere thanks go out to Team “Pantera” for their generosity in setting up this interview.