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Andre Ward Decisions â€œPanteraâ€ Miranda
NEW YORK – 2004 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (19-0, 12 KOs) remained unbeaten, as survived a cut above his left eye to win a 12-round unanimous decision against hard-punching Edison Miranda (32-4, 28 KOs) last Saturday in Ward’s at the Oracle Arena in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, CA.
All three judges scored the bout that was the featured main event of a special Saturday night edition of Showtime’s popular ShoBox: The New Generation series: 119-109 and 116-112 (twice).“This is kind of a bittersweet victory,” Ward said. “I am excited and happy for the fans, and there were a lot of them here. But I was not 100 percent happy with my performance. There are things I know I could have done better. But I think I showed tonight what kind of fighter I am and can be.”
Known as S.O.G., the Son of God, Ward is one of boxing’s brightest rising stars. The 25 year-old can box, punch, and relies heavily on speed and ring generalship. Most boxing experts knew that Ward would face his most solid challenge in Miranda, a former world title challenger at 160 pounds. What wasn’t expected was Ward having such an easy time with a puncher as dangerous as Miranda.
It was a boxing clinic, even though Ward suffered a cut above his left eye following an accidental head butt in the first round. The collision wasn’t ruled as an intentional, but Mirada does have a history of fouling. Just review his action-packed, but foul infested first fight with IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham 2 Â½ years ago.
I wanted to stop him, but I did what I had to do and that is the mark of a good fighter” Ward continued. “He was an awkward guy with long arms but I knew I had to keep my cool, especially after the cut.”
Following the clash of heads, it was cruse control for Ward, as his hands were simply too fast for Miranda. Ward was accurate with his punches. He even frustrated Miranda by alternating from conventional (right-hand) to southpaw (left-hand). It was a dominant performance – perhaps the best of Ward’s four-year career.“Ward added: “My cutman did a great job. [The cut] was never really a factor.”
In addition, junior lightweight prospect John John Molina Jr. (17-0, 13 KOs) TKO’d veteran Frankie Archuleta (25-7-1, 14 KOs) on the televised co-featured attraction.
Ward earns No. 1 ranking, title shot
The victory enables Ward to comfortably ease into the WBC No. 1-ranked position. Ward is the official mandatory challenger to champion Card Froch, who knocked out Jermain Taylor in the final round to retain his 168-pound title in his first defense on April 25th.
According to the WBC rules, a fighter that wins a vacant title belt must make two consecutive mandatory defenses. Following the retirement of perhaps the greatest super middleweight champion in history Joe Calzaghe, Froch defeated Jean Pascal to cease the vacant WBC title. Following the spectacular KO finish against Taylor, ranked No. 1 by the WBC at the time, Froch will face Ward, another No. 1, later this year.
Mayweather vs. Lopez presser tour
Apparently, the return of unbeaten five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) is so huge, there will be a series of press conferences taking place to announce his highly anticipated return to boxing against Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs).
“Mayweather vs. Marquez: Number One/Numero Uno” will occur on July 18, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. The bout will be broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View. The suggested retail price for the summer blockbuster event is $49.95.
The press tour kicked off on Monday May 17th & Sunday the 18, in Los Angeles, CA followed by stops in New York City on Tuesday May 19, and across the Atlantic Ocean in London, England on both Thursday May 21, and Friday the 22nd.
“Now that Floyd is back, we need to let the world know it,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “The fight against Marquez will be one to remember and I am looking forward to getting on the road so the media and the fans can really get a sense of how great July 18th will be for the sport of boxing.”
Wladimir Klitschko vs. David Haye is fast approachingUnified IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (52-3, 46 KOs) faces a dangerous test in former cruiserweight champion David Haye (22-1, 21 KOs). The two will meet on Saturday, June 20, at a 60,000-seat soccer stadium called the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Haye, who has publicly harassed and challenged Klitschko for more than one year, sported t-shirts and web images of him standing over both Wladimir and older brother Vitali Klitschko’s bodies with their heads severed.
Wladimir has promised that Haye is going to get knocked out in the twelfth round, but both fighters hit too hard for this bout to even reach the seventh round. Someone is going to get knocked out – period! If Haye attacks Wladimir with the kind of “Hayemakers” he landed against Enzo Maccarinelli, Jeam Mark Moremeck, and Monte Barrett, it could be very difficult for Wladimir to punish Haye with a rangy left jab and occasional hammering of his right hand.