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Miranda vs. Bute?

By Tony Krebs: With former super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler backing out and opting not to fight the Colombian knockout artist Edison Miranda (30-2, 26 KOs), he has now set his sights on IBF super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (22-0, 18 KOs) in hopes of lining up a bout with him instead of Kessler. Bute, 28, reportedly is available with no fights ahead of him, making him the perfect candidate for the television friendly Miranda. Bute, whose style of fighting is rather similar to Kessler, only that he’s slower, less powerful and has less speedier movement around the ring.

Indeed, some people refer to the Bute, originally from Romania and now living in Canada, as a poor man’s version of Kessler. Still, even if Bute, 28, isn’t quite as good as Kessler, to be compared with a fighter as good as him is quite a compliment. This also brings us to Miranda, who seemed far too eager in his desire previously to take on Kessler, a fighter that appears to be a class above Miranda. Bute may not be as good as Kessler in overall skills, but he is close enough to give a fighter like Miranda big problems. Bute doesn’t stand and trade with his opponents, instead he customarily fights on the outside where he uses his jab to control the pace of the fight.

When attacked, Bute retreats backwards, making it difficult to land punches against him on a consistent basis. This would figure to be a problem for Miranda, who does best against opponents that stand directly in front of him where he can then pick and chose his power shots. Bute, though, makes his opponents miss, and the only way they can hit him is by taking power of their shots and focusing more on speedier shots that are thrown just to connect.

For Miranda, this would mean that he’d have to take off much of his power on his shots in order for them to land, which in a sense would make him a more average fighter. As things are, Miranda only has average boxing skills, depending largely on knocking out his foes. If the knockout doesn’t come, it can be anybodies fight as he doesn’t have the boxing skills of a fighter like Bute, Joe Calzaghe or Kessler. That is a major problem for Miranda, for it means that he either lives or dies by knockout and without it he would appear to have little chance at winning.

Normally, I would advise someone like Miranda to pick an easier option, another champion that has a style more suited to Miranda’s slugging style of fighting. However, there are no real options available for Miranda, in that Calzaghe holds the other belts and he isn’t about to fight Miranda because he’s not a marquee type fighter. Miranda seems to need more work against different fighters in the super middleweight division, so as to polish his raw skills. However, when I think about it, I doubt seriously that Miranda can improve much more than his is now.

At 27, Miranda is probably as good as he’s going to get and won’t improve much no matter whom he fights in the coming years. He’s a slugger, and those types of fighters are usually at their best before the age of 30. Once they reach that age, it’s usually down hill from there, meaning that Miranda has to go all out now while he’s still got youth on his side. If Miranda does fight Bute, it would recommend that he go right after him from the start, and chase him to the ropes where Miranda can possibly connect with something big.

If Miranda lets Bute keep the fight in the middle of the ring, Miranda has no chance, for Bute will retreat immediately at even a hint of offense from Miranda. In the center of the ring, Bute will be able to use his jab and his slicking fighting style to box circles around Miranda and make him look unskilled in comparison.

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