Six Questions With Edison Miranda; Ward's Oakland Homecoming
NEW YORK (May 13, 2009) — Edison Miranda has not been shy about how he feels about Andre Ward, his opponent in Saturday’s colossal super middleweight battle in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, Calif. “I can’t wait to get in the ring and to get into his face because I have no respect for Ward,” said Miranda (32-3, 28 KOs). “No, I wasn’t surprised when he called and wanted to fight me. I’ll fight anybody. I can’t wait for Saturday night to show the world who Edison Miranda is and that I’m going to be the champion..”
Article posted on 14.05.2009
The 12-round fight at the Oracle Arena for Ward’s North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super middleweight titles will be the featured bout on a special Saturday primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
Miranda, who’s promoted by Seminole Warriors Boxing, answered six questions posed by SHOWTIME earlier this week about his thoughts on the unbeaten Ward (18-0, 12 KOs).
SHOWTIME: What is your prediction for Saturday night?
MIRANDA: “I have said it before: I have no respect for Andre Ward. Andre Ward has zero chance to win this fight. I will knock him out in the 10th round. In the 10th round, he will go down.”
SHOWTIME: You say you have no respect for Andre Ward? Do you respect any of your opponents?
MIRANDA: “I respect Ward as a person and as a man but the second we enter that ring that’s all gone. I respect no one in the ring. That’s how I feel for whoever I fight. Actually, the second they tell me I’m going to fight someone I lose all respect for them. Ward hasn’t accomplished anything besides a gold medal, and I’m very surprised he even got that. When you look at my career you see that in my first 21 fights I knocked every one of them out. So I don’t think Andre has what it takes to win. On Saturday he’s going to see what it’s like to be in the ring with a real man and what it’s like to get hit by a real man.”
SHOWTIME: Does constant questions about your early childhood—how you were raised on the streets of Colombia—bother you?
MIRANDA: “No, it doesn’t bother me at all. They can talk about it all they want but for me I don’t want to think about that. I want to think about the present and the future. The only thing I’m thinking about right now is Andre Ward.”
SHOWTIME: Is there anything that people would be shocked to know or do not know about you?
MIRANDA: “No, there is nothing that the public doesn’t know about me. I’ve never hidden anything and I don’t have any secrets. There are no surprises with me.”
SHOWTIME: You invited to fly Carl Froch from England to Oakland to watch Saturday’s fight. Has he responded to that?
MIRANDA: “I haven’t really thought about that. I’ve been so focused on training. Although I put the invitation out there I haven’t really followed up on it. I was serious to invite him and I really wanted him there but looking back maybe it was a mistake to invite him. Let’s just say he took me up on the invitation. Once he sees what I’m going to do to Ward he would never think of getting into the ring with me.”
SHOWTIME: Is there a sense of urgency with this fight? Do you feel like you have to win this fight to be recognized as one of the best in the 168-pound division?
MIRANDA: “I have no anticipation for this fight or urgency because if I did feel that I had something to prove then I would think I was going to lose. I’m not in that mentality. The fact is that I’m going to win.”
Ward's Oakland Homecoming Saturday On SHOWTME Is About Respect And A Lot More
It’s about respect and more for Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KOs), who faces his sternest challenge as a professional when he meets ultra-confident Colombian knockout artist Edison Miranda (32-3, 28 KOs) in the main event this Saturday, May 16, on a special primetime edition of ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
“To me, this fight is totally about respect,’’ the unbeaten, No. 2-ranked Ward said. “It’s about respect from the media, respect from the entire 168-pound division and just respect in general. There’s always something to prove with each fight. The stakes are higher, absolutely.”
A 2004 Olympic Games gold medalist, Ward doesn’t need MapQuest to get to where he wants to go and he aims to drive home his point against Miranda, a tough-talking hard hitter who’s predicted a knockout victory.
“On paper, this is definitely my toughest fight,’’ Ward said. “Miranda is a tough, experienced fighter with good power. But fights aren’t won on paper.’’
The classy, soft-spoken Ward feels his career is right on schedule and that the time is perfect for him to take what unquestionably will be a major step up in class in his most significant assignment to date.
“I’m exactly where I want to be and my upcoming fight will take me where I want to go,’’ he said. “My goal is to ultimately be the best in my division and after this fight I will be in the position to fight the elite at 168 pounds and prove to them and everybody else that this is my time.
“The super middleweight division is one of the deepest in boxing and is fast becoming a marquee division that is very top-heavy at the highest level. The fighters in my division haven’t received the recognition they deserve – me, included – but that has all changed in the last half year or so because the cream of the 168-pound crop are all fighting each other.
“I want to show I’m the best, but the only way to do it is to prove it fight after fight. I want the biggest fights.’’
Ward will be defending his North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super middleweight titles in an eagerly anticipated 12-rounder that will fulfill Ward’s long-desired dream of staging a pro fight in his hometown of Oakland.
In the ShoBox co-feature, unbeaten, up-and-coming junior lightweight John Molina Jr. (16-0, 12 KOs) of Covina, Calif., meets veteran Frankie Archuleta (25-6-1, 14 KOs) of Bernalillo, N.M. in an eight-round match.
Highlights of a bout between 2008 U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada (5-0, 5 KOs), of East Los Angeles, Calif., and Brooklyn’s Cory Jones (5-5, 1 KO) will be shown during the telecast. Estrada will also be interviewed between fights.
The event will be promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions in association with Leonard Productions. The Ward-Miranda bout will be presented in association with Seminole Warriors Boxing.
Tickets, starting at $25 are on sale at the Oracle Box Office (Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturday starting at 10 a.m.), online through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or through Ticketmaster Outlets at the following outlet partners: select Macy’s stores and select Ritmo Latino stores. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. PT. The first non-televised fight is at 5 p.m. PT.
For Ward, despite his vast accomplishments, respect has never come easily. Not when he was an amateur en route to winning a gold medal or now as a professional on the verge of his first crack at a world title fight.
“I am on the same road to a world title as I was when I was fighting amateurs,’’ said the classy, well-spoken and well-grounded Ward, the last American to bring home an Olympic Games gold medal. “No one picked me to go all the way and win the gold in the Olympics, and no one has me on any of their top lists now.
“I’m not a Golden Child even though some may think I am. I have to earn people’s respect, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. So I am going to continue to sneak up on them, just like I did in 2004.’’
When asked if he felt some fans considered him “soft,’’ Ward didn’t disagree.
“I do think some may feel I don’t have what it takes, that I’ve been knocked down and that I am soft,’’ he said. “But that is a total misconception. I win my fights so easily that people don’t think I’ve been tested. But guys I fight come to win because they know what a win over me would do for their careers.
“People don’t see me every day; they have no idea of the sacrifices I make in the gym, working extremely hard and always trying to improve. It’s all that hard work and dedication that are a couple of the reasons why my fights can look so easy. I put in the time, so they will be that way.’’
Few expect an easy night’s work for either competitor this Saturday. Miranda’s only defeats came to world champions Arthur Abraham (twice) and Kelly Pavlik.
The always-dangerous, exciting Miranda, who’s promoted by Seminole Warriors Boxing, talks a great game, too, and already may be looking past Ward. The mouthy Miranda has been calling out the current world champions almost on a daily basis and the other day invited unbeaten World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight champion Carl Froch to the show.
“Miranda has been talking a lot, but talking is part of the game,’’ Ward acknowledged. “Ultimately, though, you have to fight and do it in the ring. I’m ready. Fans won’t get bored with Andre Ward.’’
Nick Charles and Steve Farhood will call the ShoBox action from ringside. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://sports.sho.com.
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