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Miranda KOs Gibbs, Pushes For Another World Title Shot
By Francis Walker
Updated: December 18, 2006
NEW YORK — A week after Jermain Taylor’s successful defense of the WBC/WBO middleweight championship, 25-year-old Edison Miranda (27-1, 24 KOs) continued his push for another world title opportunity.
Miranda headlined an HBO Boxing After Dark doubleheader and he did not disappoint. Miranda’s much talked about power was displayed in impressive fashion when a booming right-hand led to a relentless first round knockout of Willie Gibbs (20-2, 16 KOs).
Miranda’s performance came one week after Taylor won a one-sided unanimous 12-round decision against former junior middleweight champion, Kassim Ouma. With the start of 2007 around the corner, a Taylor-Miranda could be on everyone’s wish list for next year.
Miranda, although he is an aggressive fighter, he didn’t waste energy throwing wild punches. Miranda boxed behind his left jabs. He also kept his eyes open for any punches Gibbs was looking to throw.
Late in the first round, Gibbs threw a left jab that was countered by Miranda with an overhand right to Gibbs’ head. “One I connected, he wouldn’t be able to withstand it,” Miranda said.
Gibbs turned around, wobbly into a corner. Miranda showed why he has the potential to become a world champion when he finished Gibbs to earn his 17th first round knockout of his career.
“I was preparing for him to throw his right and it turned out that I was the one who finished him with a right,”
Miranda is not only a tough fighter, but he is also a tough person. Miranda was abandoned by his mother (a 14-year-old) when he was just a month old.
He didn’t have much of a childhood, as he worked odd jobs such as a cattle butcher, construction worker, street sweeper, and farm laborer before he was 17 in his native Buenaventura, Columbia.
As a teenager, Miranda found comfort in boxing. After a filed attempt to join the 2000 Olympic team, Miranda began his professional career in March 2001.
While former world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins was securing his legacy as one of the greatest middleweight champions in boxing history with knockout victories against Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya, Miranda slowly kept improving and moved up the rankings.
Miranda’s most recognizable and most impressive victory was against Howard Eastman in March 2006. Eastman had 24 rounds of world championship experience against former middleweight champions Hopkins and William Joppy.
Eastman was more experienced, but Miranda dominated Eastman until he stopped the former world title challenger in the seventh round.
After beating Eastman, Miranda challenged Arthur Abraham for the IBF middleweight title in Abraham’s native Germany in June. Miranda basically had his hands tied behind his back after he was docked two points for an intentional head butt, one point for another head butt, and two additional points for low blows.
Many believed the decision was biased for the hometown favorite as the three judges at ringside scored the fight 116-109, 115-109, and 114-109 for Abraham.
Gibbs was Miranda’s first opponent since losing to Abraham. Miranda is a fighter to watch and will continue to pressure the other big-name fighters into fighting him.
One of the biggest fights in the middleweight division is a rematch between world middleweight champion, Jermain Taylor and Winky Wright who fought a 12-round draw in June.
However, people cannot ignore the fact that Miranda is coming up in the 160-pound weight division. Since Taylor’s last four fights included two world title victories against Hopkins, a draw with Wright, and a dominant showing against Ouma, a tough fight against Miranda is not in the immediate future of Taylor.
Especially since Taylor could move up to 168 next year. There’s also the possibility of Abraham-Miranda II.