Boxing


Lucian Bute-Edison Miranda Set For April 17th - Expect Fireworks!

by James Slater - Power-punching Colombian Edison Miranda was all set to challenge Germany's Robert Stieglitz for the WBO super-middleweight title back in January, only to have to pull out of the fight due to a bout of flu. But "Pantera," as the exciting Miranda is known, has walked right into an even bigger world title fight.

It has been confirmed on ESPN.com that the 29-year-old with the impressive 33-4(29) record will challenge Lucian Bute for the undefeated Canadian's IBF 168-pound title. The fight will take place in Montreal, Canada, on April 17th and HBO will televise live. As exciting as this fight is, there are even more exciting plans afoot for that same night, though..

The plan, according to ESPN.com, is for HBO to add Kelly Pavlik's next fight to the Bute-Miranda fight by way of a huge doubleheader. "The Ghost" may well face the tough Sergio Martinez in April, but that fight is still not a done deal (Pavlik is set to fight on April 17th, in Atlantic City, and Martinez is the favourite to land the fight at the moment). But what a night it will be if this middleweight match-up is made. Indeed, it's tough to say which of the two fights would be the most eagerly anticipated - the 168-pound clash that is signed, or the 160-pound battle that is still being worked on!

Bute, 25-0(20) is a fighter who is rapidly becoming accepted as the best super-middleweight in the world. A fierce body puncher with a great chin and good overall skills, the 29-year-old southpaw has looked sensational in his last two fights. Stopping the dangerous Fulgencio Zuniga in the 4th-round back in March of last year, in what was the third defence of his IBF belt, Bute showed what a hard hitter he is; to the body especially. Then, in a rematch of his highly controversial points win over the teak-tough Librado Andrade, "Le Tombeur" won again via 4th-round stoppage.

Miranda may be the bigger banger of the two men, but going by Bute's recent form, the slightly older man (both men are 29, Miranda is a couple of months older) is up against it. Not only will Miranda be going to Bute's homeland to fight (Miranda's first fight in Canada), but he will be facing a southpaw who is just about at his very peak.

Travelling abroad to fight is nothing that has fazed Miranda in the past, however, and it's unlikely even a hugely pro-Bute crowd will affect the Colombian warrior who has boxed in Germany, the UK and Panama in his time. What might affect the man who has been stopped twice are Bute's fast and accurate punches. This fight has all the makings of a great rumble while it lasts, but to my mind it also has all the makings of a hugely difficult night for Miranda.

This is not to suggest Miranda is not world class - with wins over Allan Green and Howard Eastman to his name, the slugger most certainly is to be respected by all fighters, including Bute. But Miranda's chin has let him down before and he has also been outboxed. Bute, as good a he is, could well win in April by either approach - boxing or slugging.

The first fight with Andrade aside, Bute has won each of his 25 fights in impressive fashion. As dangerous as Miranda is, I think the IBF champ will win in style again in April. Miranda is certainly stronger up at 168 compared to down at 160, a weight he had to struggle to get down to; but there is not enough in his arsenal for him to dethrone the man who was born in Romania.

As he always has done, Miranda will make the fight exciting, maybe even hurting Bute early on in the fight; but eventually Bute will either catch him with sharp and accurate shots and take him out, or he will get into his groove and begin to outclass his man.

Whereas Miranda had an excellent shot at taking Stieglitz' belt in January, "Pantera's" chances do not look half as good in the fight he wound up getting instead.

Article posted on 06.02.2010



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