The Boxing Don's Ward Miranda Post Fight commentary and opinion
By Waldon "The Boxing Don" White: The Oakland Arena was the sight of the "Beat Down in Oak Town" as I witnessed Andre "SOG" Ward (19-0,12 KO) breakdown Edison "Pantera" Miranda (32-4, 28 KO) over the course of twelve exciting rounds Saturday May 16th.
The way in which Andre Ward dispatched Edison Miranda from the immediate Super Middleweight Title picture was uniquely different than Miranda's past losses to two current belt holders. In those fights we saw a desperate and hurt Arthur Abraham swing for the top seats stopping Miranda with a dramatic knockout, and a worn Kelly Pavlik's Heavy hands put the Panther down with a combination of perfectly placed shots. Andre Ward however took another route to victory against Miranda, as he was out prove the critics who question his chin, heart and choice of opponents wrong and prove to himself that he could stand in the trenches with a dangerous opponent. He moved to control the tempo with his jab and just as Miranda was about to get into rhythm Ward began to step directly in front, and side to side with Miranda.. While slipping many of Edisons wide and looping shots Ward was able to do significant damage standing on the inside, a place which was previously called off limits for a fighter many looked upon as untested and having a questionable chin.
When I first called Andre Ward out in regards to his toughness during the open workout before the fight he told me to get back at him immediately after the fight which I did. Ward delivered upon the promise to show everyone that he was actually the bigger man in the ring on this night and that he could win the war of attrition on the inside, which he did! Ward never allowed Miranda the room to breathe on the inside and smothered most of his attempts as he effectively counter shot Edison seemingly at will during some exchanges. The dancing, running and cautious Andre Ward the Edison Miranda camp was looking for was not in the building last night and it showed.
Instead of looking for a big knockout Ward was patient and looked for his spots and by overpowering and never allowing Miranda to properly get his shots off he broke down his opponents will and strength. I say this because many will begin to speak the usual post fight commentary about how Miranda was a shot fighter and how he is on the decline. I beg to differ. I beg to disagree. I offer an alternative view. I was quite impressed watching both fighters in the week leading up to their bout. Both Ward and Miranda were in incredible shape and neither showed any slacking in skills before during or after the fight in my view. I watched as Andre Ward was hit with bombs and shots that have KO'd other opponents. I watched as Miranda took shots from a combination of angles with varying degree's of power, most of which were very hard shots. What many will say is that even though the both of these warriors traded shots back and forth most of the night that Ward is lacking in the power that others who defeated Miranda possessed. Again I beg to differ as Kelly Pavlik, Arthur Abraham and Edison Miranda are all the same type of fighters.
They all hit just about as hard with Pavlik in my opinion being the hardest hitter of the three and attempt to land knockout shots while pushing their opponents backwards and after weathering alot of shots from their opponents. Kelly Pavlik was down and almost out against Jermain Taylor in the second round and sustained a continual leather drubbing by Taylor before catching the punched out former champ at the end of the fight. Arthur Abraham sustained a broken jaw in his first fight against Miranda in a bout many thought should have been stopped, then caught Miranda late in the second fight after sustaining alot of damage himself. What The Boxing Don wants to express is that just because Ward didn't knockout Miranda it doesn't mean that he is not just as dangerous as or more dangerous than the aforementioned fighters which now stand at the top of the division.
As for Carl Froch who looks like he'll be next in line for Ward whom many never heard of, he too is a tough chined champ who showed lots of heart but still limited over all skill in his last outing. Bute who is also at the top of the division has shown he has heart getting up from the canvas to hold on to the championship, yet also showed a lack of stamina as he was barely able to finish that very same fight. The point I'm making is that last night we saw the arrival of the man, the Olympic Gold Medalist, the fighter with all the potential in the world to the Division's elite territory. Using a style that was fluid and ever adapting he showed the grit, determination, stamina and ablity to hurt, control and declaw the Panther from Columbia. Still questions will persist, some will have there opinions but as for The Boxing Don...I saw another ray of light and hope for a sport that has badly been in need of a saviour and representative worthy of representing this Sweet Science that we all love called Boxing.