BASN’s Weekend Boxing Preview

By Francis Walker
Updated: June 19, 2008

NEW YORK — The rematch between undefeated IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (26-0, 21 KOs) and Edison Miranda (30-2, 26 KOs) will commence on Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, Florida.

Abraham-Miranda II will be the main event of a Showtime Boxing doubleheader beginning at 9 pm ET. Abraham-Miranda I was a brutal fight. Abraham’s jaw was broken in two places, as Miranda applied relentless pressure.

Abraham’s hanging jawbone was a bloody mess and was very weary of Miranda’s power and aggressiveness. “In the first meeting the broken jaw kept me from showing my true potential,” Abraham said in a recent statement. “I will make up for that on June 21.”

Abraham added: “I know that I have to be more active from the first bell on. 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.”

There were a lot of interesting developments in the first fight that gave Abraham large momentum toward launching a remarkable comeback. Miranda was docked five points – two for a head butt and three for repeated low blows.

Abraham didn’t exchange punches with Miranda following the injury, but rather carefully picked his shots and unloaded with counterpunches that stunned Miranda.

Abraham actually had Miranda in trouble against the ropes on a few occasions. Miranda proved his aggression and strength, but Abraham too showed power and resiliency through boxing technique and appears more than confident of a repeat victory heading into the rematch.

“It is an advantage for me that I already know Miranda” the 28 year-old Armenian added. “I know how I will fight against him and that is why I know how to prepare.”

The rematch, Miranda, 27, Columbia, promises, will be different from the first.

“The last fight was the worst night of my career because I had the title stolen from me,” Miranda said. “Now we’re on a level playing field and the only thing determining the outcome of this fight will be my fists. And I will get my redemption on Saturday.”

One of the immediate differences is the fact that Abraham-Miranda II is a non-title fight to be contested at a catch-weight of 166 pounds. Abraham has had zero difficulty making the 160-pound middleweight limit, but Miranda, now a 168-pounder has struggled to make 160 pounds which is why he’s competing as a super middleweight.

“Abraham is making the biggest mistake of his life,” Miranda added. “The last time, I broke his jaw when I was weak and struggling to make 160 pounds. At super middleweight I’m so strong it’s scary. I’d be surprised if he makes it five rounds.”

Miranda simply couldn’t resist the rematch with Abraham. While Miranda has built his credentials as a devastating puncher, Abraham has had a strong of dominant and impressive displays since the initial 2005 encounter. Abraham’s knockouts of Khoren Gevor (KO 11) and Elvin Ayala (KO 12) can be considered highlight material.

Although the first fight wasn’t aired in the United States when it initially transpired, it has been mentioned in many discussions about the middleweight division headed by WBC/WBO champion Kelly Pavlik.

Abraham-Miranda I has caused such a stir, not only did Showtime agree to purchase the broadcast rights to the rematch, but also bought the rights to air the first fight on their network in English this week.

Lorenzo eyes title shot

Prior to Abraham-Miranda 2, the co-featured Showtime attraction will have unbeaten middleweight prospect Giovanni Lorenzo (26-0, 18 KOs) battle former 154-pound champion Raul Marquez (40-3-1, 29 KOs) in an IBF middleweight title eliminator.

The winner will become the No. 1-ranked challenger for Abraham’s championship.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to showcase my skills on Showtime,” said Lorenzo. “The exposure that both Abraham and I will get from June 21 will make our upcoming championship showdown that much more appealing to fight fans worldwide.”

Lorenzo, 27, New York City, NY, is known for his punching power. Lorenzo has 6 first round knockouts in his career and has stopped his last eight opponents inside seven rounds.

Marquez is, by far, the most polished fighter that Lorenzo would have fought. Marquez, a former IBF junior middleweight champion, has fought Fernando Vargas, Jermain Taylor, Sugar Shane Mosley, and Ramon Campus.

It has been more than 10 years since Marquez held a world title and at age 36, Marquez, who cuts and swells easily, is expected to have difficulty with the much younger and faster puncher.