Miranda/Ward: The Forgotten Battle
By Coach Tim Walker – It’s less than three weeks away but the 12 round super middleweight bout, broadcast on Showbox: The Next Generation, between Andre Ward (18-0-0 12 KOs) and Edison Miranda (32-3-0 28 KOs) might as well be three months away because it seems to be caught in the midst of super fights and is being seriously overlooked. Andre Ward, the speedy handed 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, steps up against extra hard hitting Edison Miranda. If you doubt Miranda’s power ask David Banks or go to youtube.com and keyword Miranda Banks. If you doubt Ward’s speed ask any one of the 18 fighters he has dismantled since turning pro over 4 years ago.
Article posted on 05.05.2009
Hands down Miranda is one of the hardest hitting fighters in boxing. His three loses come at the hands of only two fighters, Arthur Abraham, current IBF middleweight champion, and Kelly Pavlik, the reigning WBC and WBO middleweight champion. But Miranda is stepping up to super middleweight for this bout. Speed transitions up weight classes. Power, on the other hand, doesn’t always follow you up divisions. Still, Miranda wins four out of every five fights by knockout and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who talks trash on the level that Miranda has proven he can. He doesn't only talk trash he does everything he possibly can to back it up. With his most notable wins over Howard Eastman, Willie Gibbs and Allan Green, and losses at the hands of his recognized divisional champions Miranda will need to fluff his resume if he wants to get another shot at a title any time soon.
Ward’s progression into the boxing ranks has been methodical and meticulous. Once he worked through soft cast of beginning bouts he faced prospect Andy Kolle (9-0-0 at the time) in his ninth bout forcing the prodigy into quitting. In his thirteenth bout he took on Francisco Diaz (16-1-0). That ended in a third round knockout victory. In his next bout he battled Roger Cantrell (12-0-0). Cantrell is an accomplished amateur with a 57-4 record and is the 2004 and 2005 Tacoma Golden Gloves champion. He dispatched Cantrell in 5 rounds. Immediately after that he took on veteran boxer Rubin Williams (29-3-1). The same Williams that distanced banger Allan Green over 10 rounds. Ward got a seventh round knockout in that one. Three bouts later he faced Henry Buchanan (17-1-0) whose only loss at the time came at the hands of the sensational Jean Paul Mendy. Ward won every round easily. His development has not been fast in the number of fights he’s had but he seems to be years ahead in maturity.
This fight will speak volumes for both fighters in different ways. For Miranda winning this fight means he is legitimately one of the best non-title holding 160-168 pound fighters in the world and is worthy of fighting Abraham, Pavlik, Froch, Bute or Sturm. A loss would be devastating and delay his chances at a title shot significantly. For Ward, who has truly flown under the radar, this fight is important in a different way. Ward, even with a decisive win, is probably two or three bouts away from challenging for a title. This fight will gauge Ward. It will allow his team to see him work against a powerful seasoned veteran fighter who has faced the pressure of fighting in title eliminator bouts and challenged for a world title. This fight represents his biggest test thus far.
Speed: Ward (Speed highlights his boxing game, cumulative puncher, not a one punch knockout artist)
Power: Miranda (Heavy handed, one punch knockout power)
Defense: Ward (always in position to punch and guard, seldom leaves himself open)
Ring Generalship: Ward (Never crosses his feet, always in position, moves purposefully, great faints)
Experience: Miranda (Ward over 90 amateur 18 pro bouts, Miranda over 130 amateur 35 pro bouts)
The fight is well worth watching and now that the mega-fight between Pacquiao and Hatton is out of the way this bout should begin receiving a lot more notice.
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