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Boxing: Edison Miranda vs. Arthur Abraham II On June 21st

Arthur Abraham Edison MirandaBy Jim Dower: On June 21st, Edison Miranda (30-2, 26 KOs) and undefeated Arthur Abraham (26-0, 21 KOs) meet to settle some unfinished business in a 12-round bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Hollywood, Florida. Their first fight, fought two years ago on September 23, 2006, ended up with Abraham winning in a highly controversial manner, due to Miranda being docked five points by Randy Neumann. However, removing the point deduction from the equation, Miranda appeared to win the vast majority of the fight, excluding rounds 5, 7 and 9. Abraham, the IBF middleweight champion, fought only sporadically for most of the fight after having his jaw broken in the 4th round by Miranda.

After appearing to have lost the first four rounds of the fight, Abraham lucked out in the 5th round when Miranda lost his cool and heat-butted Abraham. The bout was stopped at that time, giving Abraham an extended period of time to have his jaw worked, even though the head butt hadn’t occurred in the area of the jaw. To make matter matters worse for Miranda, he was then penalized two points by the referee Neumann. What was astonishing, however, was that Abraham was permitted to keep on fighting despite being unable to close his mouth. For the remainder of the fight, Abraham’s mouth remained up, making him looking similar to a large big mouth bass. Blood leaked out constantly, dribbling over everything.

After the 5th round, Abraham had little interest in mixing it up with Miranda, instead mostly circling the ring, clinching at every opportunity and frequently turning his back on Miranda and walking away from him – an effort, it seemed, to try and waste as much time as possible in each round. Abraham rarely put forth any effort until the last 30 seconds of every round, which was when he would attempt to steal the round with a flurry of shots.

It didn’t help Miranda’s case any that the German crowd was screaming like mad every time Abraham would throw a shot. Most of Abraham’s punches were wild-looking flurries, not looking entirely professional in any way. He somehow reminded me of fellow German-based fighter Cruiserweight Marco Huck, who often attacks wildly with the same running style, although in Abraham’s case, he often raises his knee while coming in, a product from his days as a kick boxer.

IN the 7th round, the referee Neumann suddenly without warning deducted a point from Miranda after he landed a left hand on the belt line. Moments later, Neumann once again deducted another point from Miranda for a similar left hand that strayed a little low. At this point, it seemed as if Miranda was fighting two people in the ring, because with the earlier deductions for the head butt, one would assume that Miranda would get a little more leeway from the referee than that. As it was, it seemed almost unfair what was happening to Miranda from my vantage point.

I was no fan of his coming into the fight, but my sense of fairness was raised while watching the referee, who seemed to be going a bit beyond the norm, deducting one point after another from Miranda. It would be one thing if the punches were clearly low, and he had been previously warned, but these were beltline shots. I could see Miranda being given a warning for such a thing, but not all the point deductions, that seemed way out of line to me.

Abraham, for his part, was doing almost nothing to win any of these rounds, other than running around the ring, covering up most of the time. His flurries at the end of the round were far short of what was needed to make up for all the shots he was absorbing during the first two and half minutes of the round. Even then, Abraham ended up missing with most of his flurries in the last seconds of the round.

In the 9th round, Abraham, as usual, was losing yet another round – one that he wasn’t having handed to him by point deductions, that is – but in the last 30 seconds of the round he connected with a flurry of shots and appeared to hurt Miranda. The round was a departure from the previous rounds, because some of Abraham’s shots actually landed in the 30 seconds, instead of missing badly like they usually were. Still, Abraham looked terrible for most of the round, his mouth wide open, blood pouring out, with little action from him until the last part of the round. Miranda, for his part, began to swell up under his left eye. It was nothing serious compared to the broken jaw of Abraham, but it did show that some of Abraham’s right hands were having an effect on Miranda.

In both the 10th and 11th rounds, Miranda stalked Abraham continuously, landing huge shots to the head and body. Abraham mostly covered up, moved around and stayed with his back to the ropes, trying to block as many shots as he could. In the 10th round, twice Abraham turned his back on Miranda and walked away from him, and both times Miranda went after him to try and take advantage of his amateurish move. At one point, the referee Neumann asked Abraham if he was alright, perhaps because he was confused as much as I was why Abraham kept doing this.

In the 11th, once again, Miranda had a point deducted from him for a low blow. Abraham used the low blow – in this case, another belt line shot – to milk it for as long as possible, taking a couple of minutes off to recoup. He might as well have started fighting immediately, because he was taking major punishment before and after the action was resumed, and it was clear that he didn’t have the offensive fire power to match up with Miranda at this point in the fight. Indeed, it seemed as if Abraham was mostly trying to run out the clock in the 11th, as was the case in the 12th.

In the 12th round, Abraham mostly ran around the ring, clinching constantly, covering up and taking big shots from Miranda. It was horrible to watch, not because of his broken jaw, but because of his lack of the will to fight. He was doing nothing during most of the fight, even before having his jaw broken in the 4th, other than covering up on the ropes, throwing occasional flurries and running around the ring trying to waste time.

In the end, I agreed Abraham had won the fight, only because of the point deductions taken away from Miranda. If you take those away, Miranda won quite handily and the fight wasn’t close. With the fight being in Florida this time around, and with a different referee, I have serious doubts that Abraham can win the fight unless he fights a lot different than last time out. Of course, Abraham has said recently that the reason he didn’t fight better, the reason he fought so defensively, was because of his broken jaw.

Okay, I’ll give him that, but that doesn’t explain why he fought in the exact identical way in rounds one through four, does it? In each of those rounds, Abraham ran, covered up and only fought in the last 30 seconds of the rounds. It seemed to me that he was afraid to meet Miranda in the center of the ring and try to trade shots with him. It’s too bad, because I think Abraham has the skills to beat Miranda if he would just stand up to him, to let his hands go.

Miranda’s chin is questionable, especially after the Pavlik bout, and if Abraham can put heavy pressure on him for several consecutive rounds, I’d be willing to bet that Miranda would fold. I don’t see Abraham doing this, however, as he’ll likely fight just like last time out, picking his spots but mostly just trying to cover up and steal rounds in the final half minute of the round.

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