A Perfect Hollywood Ending

By Francis Walker
Updated: June 23, 2008

GlovesNEW YORK — When Edison Miranda fought IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham in September 2006, he broke the champion’s jaw in two places with a crushing right hand. Miranda, however, was docked five points for intentional fouls and lost a 12-round unanimous decision.

Nearly two years afterwards, Abraham and Miranda agreed to resolve some unfinished business in long-awaited rematch.

Making his U.S. professional boxing debut at the Hard Rock Live Arena, Hollywood, Florida, Abraham (27-0, 22 KOs) dropped Miranda (30-3, 26 KOs) three times en route to a TKO stoppage at 1:13 into the fourth round.

The bout was televised live on Showtime.

“In this fight, I was more cautious. The last time, I didn’t pay as much attention to that. Tonight, I tired him out then knocked him down.”

Abraham, in the days leading up to the rematch, said that this time would be different from the first fight. Miranda broke Abraham’s jaw following a crushing right hand, but was docked five points for intentional fouls. Abraham won a 12-round unanimous decision: 116-109, 115-109, and 114-109.

“I know that I have to be more active from the first bell on,” Abraham said. “It is also important to stay concentrated. Miranda is a guy who makes you pay for mistakes. But I will not give him a chance to do so. I will win.”

“In the first meeting the broken jaw kept me from showing my true potential,” the 28-year-old Armenian added. “I will make up for that on June 21.”

Miranda, 27 of Columbia, appeared to be ahead on the judges’ scorecards, as he unloaded with booming left and right hooks to Abraham’s guard. Abraham covered up, allowing Miranda to tire himself out. Once Abraham unleashed his power in the fourth round, the fight was stopped.

“He came very well prepared,” Miranda said. “I have no quarrels tonight. He felt very strong. I don’t know what happened. I was 100 percent coming into this fight. The last fight, I was 50 percent. I don’t know. He was too strong today. He’s a great champion.”

Abraham vs. Raul Marquez next

Next up for Abraham will be a return to the middleweight division. Abraham will make the eighth defense of the IBF 160-pound title against No. 1-ranked, Raul Marquez.

In the Showtime televised co-feature, Marquez (41-3-1, 29 KOs) shocked the boxing community by outworking previously undefeated Giovanni Lorenzo (26-1, 18 KOs) through twelve rounds.

It was a tough fight that had plenty of back and forth action, but it was Marquez who pulled away with the victory arguably during the middle rounds. All three judges scored the bout 114-113 for the 36 year-old and former IBF junior middleweight champion.

Andre Ward comes into his own on ShoBox

2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward is finally coming into his own as a professional fighter. Ward’s progress since his professional debut in December 2004 was slow, but it appears as though the pace has picked up.

Within the last year, Ward has stopped his last six opponents within eight rounds. On a special edition of “ShoBox: The New Generation,” from the beautiful Cayman Islands, Ward (16-0, 11 KOs) outclassed former 2000 Sydney Olympian Jerson Ravelo (18-3, 12 KOs) of the Dominican Republic.

Ward simply outworked the older 30 year-old and injury prone Ravelo. Ward’s jabs and combinations found their mark, as Ravelo was rocked off-balance. Ravelo even slipped several times during the fight.

In the eighth, Ward pummeled Ravelo with a barrage of punches and nearly sent him through the ropes. A sharp right hook to Ravelo’s chin dropped him on the mat. The end came at the 2:37 mark after couldn’t recover form the knockdown.

Ronald Hearns victorious again

The son of the legendary Thomas Hearns, Ronald Hearns remains undefeated as a junior middleweight prospect. Hearns (19-0, 15 KOs) stopped Jose Gonzalez (12-3-1, 10 KOs) in the seventh round of an action fight.

In other boxing news

Andre Berto is a world champion. Berto captured the WBC welterweight championship that was vacated following the sudden and questionable retirement of unbeaten five-division champion Floyd Mayweather.

The 24 year-old Berto (22-0, 19 KOs) won the WBC 147-pound crown with a seventh round TKO of hard-hitting Miguel Rodriguez (29-3, 23 KOs) at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN on Saturday.

Also on that card: hard-hitting Chris Arreola (24-0, 21 KOs) was on the verge of knocking out Chazz Witherspoon (23-1, 15 KOs) in a battle of unbeaten heavyweight prospects.

Following a second knockdown of Witherspoon in round three, his cornermen were on the ring apron before the bell sounded to end the round. As a result, Witherspoon was disqualified.