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Abraham vs. Miranda II – Arthur and Edison To Settle Unfinished Business

Arthur Abraham Edison MirandaBy Aaron Klein: Last time the two met two years ago, Edison Miranda (30-2, 26 KOs) appeared to be the better fighter offensively, stalking and pounding away on IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (26-0, 21 KOs), breaking his jaw in the 4th round. However, due to a string of point deductions made against Miranda by referee Randy Neumann, totaling an incredible 5 points, Abraham was able to win the fight by a unanimous decision by the ridiculous scores of 114-109, 115-109 and 115-109. The scores, though, looked nothing like the actual fight that took place that night in which it was Miranda who did most of the punching, landing the high number of shots (mostly power punches) and pressing the action constantly during the fight.

For his part, Abraham generally moved around, covering up constantly on the ropes and trying to wade out Miranda’s attacks. When Abraham would punch, it would be in short flurries of shots near the end of the round as he tried to pull out the round. Obviously, Abraham has been trained to know that he can win rounds by fighting hard in the last half minute, while coasting during the first two and a half minutes of every round. This is what Abraham seemed to be doing against Miranda, which made it almost impossible for Abraham to win any of the rounds, even with his last second flurries.

During the first three rounds of the fight, Abraham had mostly covered up and stayed against the ropes. As is his custom, when he would attack, he’d get a running start and charge after Miranda throwing punches as he’d run forward. His success up until the 4th was largely minimal, for Miranda would step back during these attacks and tag Abraham a couple of times as he would come running forward. In the 4th round, around the midpoint of the round, Abraham once again came running forward, wildly throwing punches like a unskilled schoolboy attacking a bully, at which time Miranda tagged Abraham with a big right hand that caught Abraham square in the mouth (which was open at the time), and appeared to break his jaw.

Frankly, I was surprised that Abraham suffered the injury, because I’d seen some of his earlier bouts and noted that with his wild charging style of attacking, he’d eventually get clocked as he ran forward. Against the mostly easy European fodder that Abraham had faced during his career, he could afford to get away with his amateurish style of fighting, but against a seasoned professional like Miranda, who has incredible power to boot, Abraham paid for his lack of god boxing fundamentals.

With all the time that has gone by since the first fight, now two years later, it will be interesting whether or not Abraham will try and make adjustments to his style of fighting or whether he’ll stick to what he has always done in the past. One thing is for sure, if he uses that style of attacking Miranda like last time out, Abraham will most surely take another beating. This time, of course, there won’t be a large German crowd or a referee docking Miranda over and over again for belt line shots.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Miranda should have had points deducted for the head butt in the 5th round, but that’s where it should have ended. All the other stuff, countless point deductions for belt line shots, seemed obsessive to me, like things were being piled on for nothing. It ruined the fight, making the referee the reason why Abraham, who showed that he didn’t have the power to contend with Miranda on even terms, eventually won the fight.

The 5th round will go down in boxing history as one of the most controversial rounds ever, in which after action was stopped due to a head butt (pretty harmless looking, I’d say) initiated by Miranda, instead of the area where Abraham had been butted – the side of his head – being looked at, his jaw was examined for an extended amount of time. This gave Abraham, who was taking a battering at the time, a needed break in the action and giving him to collect himself.

Never mind that the fight should have been stopped then and there, with Miranda being given a 5th round TKO win due to Abraham suffering the broken jaw. Instead of this being on aberration in the fight, something that could be forgotten if things had moved forward in a smooth manner, things got much worse with the multiple point deductions taken from Miranda for belt line shots.

What made it all the worse, however, was that Miranda was dominating the fight, pounding Abraham at will with heavy shots and stalking him continuously. It made it seem bad, as if Abraham really needed help for fear without it, he might lose. Instead of fighting well, attacking back, Abraham spent the remaining rounds 6-12, running around the ring, covering up, turning his back on Miranda and walking away, and looking as if he were just trying to survive rather than actually win the fight. I don’t blame him for doing this, because he did, after all, have a broken jaw, yet I don’t see how he could have been awarded the decision under those circumstances.

This time around, there won’t be any excuses because both the location and the referee will be different. Instead of being fought in front of what would be a hostile German crowd for Miranda, he’ll be fighting in Florida, where he will have a good – but not great compared to Abraham’s huge fan base in Germany – amount of boxing fans that will be coming out to see him fight. Abraham , for the first time, will have to deal with fighting in front of a hostile audience, though as I mentioned, nothing like what Miranda had to deal with by fighting in Germany.

American fans are more casual than the typical German fan, a lot less boisterous and more into just watching good boxing rather than rooting for just one fighter. I see the crowd as being a neutral factor in the fight, which is a good thing because last time out, the German crowd screamed constantly, no matter how many punches Abraham missed. The screaming seemed to have the effect of making the judges think that Abraham’s wild punches were landing, when in fact, they were missing by a mile almost every time.

The referee, obviously, will be the most important factor in the fight, because last time, the referee seemed to pick up momentum after the first point deduction and quickly build up steam from there, deducting points at the drop of hat. This seemed to knock Miranda off his game each time, messing up his progress and letting Abraham to rally in the rounds. It shouldn’t have been that way and it was terrible to watch how the fight was taken over and eventually totally ruined by these constant deductions.

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