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Abraham-Miranda II: A Rematch Worth Waiting For
By Ryan Songalia




Controversy breeds rematches.

Five point deductions, one broken jaw, two lengthy reprieves and many low blows later, we're still trying to pick apart and analyze what happened nearly two years ago in Arthur Abraham's IBF middleweight title defense against Edison Miranda in Wetzler, Germany.

On June 21 both men will hopefully resolve their unfinished business, this time in Miranda's promoter Warrior Boxing's house arena, Hollywood, FL's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Hopefully being the operative word.

The target of most debates in the first fight came with a minute left in the fifth round. As the champion lunged into an exchange, he walked way complaining of a head clash, earning an injury timeout.

Though video replays clearly prove the butt to be intentional, evidence of a dislocated jaw was apparent well before the infraction occurred. For nearly five minutes Abraham was allowed to rest and recover as his corner argued for a disqualification or technical decision.

Referee Randy Neumann, from New Jersey, ruled that although the butt was deliberate, the injury sustained was not sufficient enough to head to the scorecards. Either Abraham had to continue or he would forfeit his belt by TKO.

"We're gonna fight, wanna fight?" Neumann asked Abraham.

"No," Abraham replied.

Almost as soon as the word left Abraham's swollen mouth, a loud "yeah" sprung forth from the Abraham corner.

"I was standing there and the ref yelled out TKO win," said Miranda, 30-2 (26 KO), explaining his recollection of the incident. "I knew I won and then I hear this arguing from Abraham's promoter in the stands. He was demanding that the ref make the fight go on. It was the strangest thing ever, especially with his promoter telling the ref what to do and with him getting all of this medical treatment from his corner."

Eyes glaring out from his own corner towards his opponent, Abraham appeared galvanized by his corner's support and energized by the extended respite.

Before resuming the action, Neumann deducted two points from Miranda for an intentional foul. Three more points, for low blows to the groin and hip, would be extracted from the challenger later in the fight.

Abraham, 26-0 (21 KO), won the rest of the round and even appeared momentarily to have Miranda in dire straits. Periodically Abraham would give as good as he got, but the specter of his hanging, broken jaw with blood streaming from his lips brought out the bull in Miranda. From then on out Miranda was the aggressor while Abraham picked when to fight and when to move.

Despite many pundits declaring this fight distance-proof, this jigsaw puzzle of an algebra problem would be left in the judges' hands. The decision was unanimous; Abraham escaped with his belt.

Abraham remained hospitalized for a week following the fight, having two titanium plates implanted into his jaw that have since been removed. Yet it's Miranda who has a bad taste lingering in his mouth from the first fight.

"In normal circumstances I would have knocked him out. However, I was not fighting one fighter that night, I was fighting Arthur Abraham and Randy Neumann. It's almost impossible to knock a man out when he has the help of the ref. Things will be different this time, I promise."

Appointed as third man this time around is Tellis Assimenios, a Florida-based referee who officiated Miranda's last fight with David Banks. Assimenios' most noteworthy assignment came ten years ago when David Tua, who was far behind against Hasim Rahman, was allowed to nail "The Rock" with a damaging left hook after the bell without drawing a penalty.

Rahman was stopped in the next round.

According to Warrior's Boxing, the ring's dimensions will be a sizable 22x22 inside, and 24x24 around. The extra room will benefit Abraham, who is the more likely of the two to use the ring to create punching room.

Ring size appears to be the only concession made to Abraham. The weight limit for this bout will be 166 pounds, 6 pounds north of where Abraham holds a title belt. Miranda, who had moved up to super middleweight following a stoppage loss to now-middleweight kingpin Kelly Pavlik, would not be able to make 160.

Steve Benbasat, co-manager of Miranda, clarifies: "We were trying to put together a fight with Kessler at 168 and then Abraham's people came to us with interest in fighting Miranda in the US at a catch weight between 160 and 168. We told them it could not be any less than 166 and they agreed."

Though most feel the weight limit will be more beneficial to Miranda, Abraham is also relishing the extra breathing room. "I feel even stronger. Making weight can be a real torture but I do not have to do that this time."

Miranda believes that having the fight in America as opposed to Germany will even out the playing field and significantly affect the outcome.

"Now that we are having this fight in America, I feel confident that we will get fair officiating. When it's me against Arthur Abraham, and only Arthur Abraham, he will stand no chance to beat me."

Abraham's team headed over to America a week and a half in advance in an effort to reduce the effects of jet lag and to adjust to the tropical South Florida climate. Along with passports and gloves, Team Abraham also boarded with a great deal of confidence.

"Everything has gone well during the preparation,” Uli Wegner, trainer of Abraham, expressed in a press release. “I expect a very interesting fight. I am very optimistic because Arthur has trained extremely well. He showed in the first fight how big his heart is and I am sure he will prove it again in America.”

Equally assured is the Miranda faction, who have been winding down training camp in Puerto Rico.

"I cannot remember a training camp that has been better than this one," Miranda says. "I am in the best shape of my life. I have been working very closely with a nutritionist and I feel great. The fans will see a perfectly conditioned Edison Miranda on June 21."

Dyah Davis, a Florida-based light-heavyweight with a 12-1 record, spent considerable time in Miranda's camp as a sparring partner. Davis says he notices a change in Miranda as a fighter over the past year since moving up in weight.

"There's a big difference in his focus. He's a lot stronger now. He's growing as a fighter.

"He's keeping on a lot more pressure. He's a lot smarter as a fighter. That's all a credit to his trainer Jose Bonilla. He really wants this fight. His right hand is a lot harder than it was a year ago. Whenever I found myself exchanging with him, I realized he was an all around better puncher now.

"Abraham is going to be shocked in his American debut. He won't make it past six."

Perhaps more significant than weight and other tangible variants is the mental aspect of the fight. How much will the trauma of the first fight affect Abraham?

Abraham's ability to survive seven rounds with the lower half of his head dangling in the breeze is a serious moral victory for "King Arthur" heading into Saturday's fight. If in such a compromised state Abraham could hold his own, what more could be done with a mended mandible?

"He couldn't defeat me when I was seriously injured," Abraham told Germany's Boxnews.com. "Next time I'll climb into the ring unhurt and Miranda won't survive the sixth round. Even with a fractured jaw I almost knocked him out."

Since that fateful night in Germany, Abraham has knocked out four consecutive title applicants, though none of those challengers rise to the level of danger Miranda presents. That hasn't been lost on Miranda.

"Although he knocked out four people since our last fight," Miranda states, "no one has tested him like I have. I feel that he knows this. When the bell rings and he is staring at me, I think it will be very difficult for him to forget about how I dismantled his jaw and sent him to the hospital. Psychologically, this must affect him in some way or form.

"But I'm not counting on that. I have to give him credit for lasting 7 rounds in that condition. He is a tough guy, and I will go into this fight not worrying if his jaw is bothering him. Instead, I will stick to my game plan as I do with every fight."

Historically, fighters who have had their jaws broken have faired well in rematches. The only two circumstances this writer can immediately recall have ended with the previously injured pug turning the tables. Muhammad Ali was able to overcome his infirmity to best Ken Norton in two consecutive bouts, while Antonio Tarver heaped a definitive whipping on his former conqueror Eric Harding.

Though nobody is expecting a rerun of Leonard-Benitez, personal animosity usually translates into something captivating. There is no need for a title belt in this fight; They are fighting for the world championship of each other.

Abraham and Miranda, whether willingly or unwillingly, have become entwined in a classic boxing rivalry.

"Usually I respect each of my opponents," said Abraham, "but Miranda isn't a good sportsman. He's strong and fast but something really important is missing: fairness. From the beginning on he was punching low again and again. He was butting me with his head and he was punching after the round has been finished – Miranda's way to fight is unfair, inhuman and dishonorable."

Says Miranda, "I respect Abraham's accomplishments, but I know deep down inside that he was handed a victory in our previous fight. I think he knows this as well and this is why he chose me as his first opponent in America. He needs to prove to his fans that he can 'really' beat me since he did not before. For me, I get my chance at revenge for the robbery that took place in Germany.

"This fight is personal."

Any questions or comments? Send them to me at mc_rson@yahoo.com.
FenderDG3
Didn't read the article so I'm sure it mentioned this. But all I know is that "King" Arthur won't have the luxury of a German referee (and judges for that mater) to deduct 5 points from Miranda. I see Miranda winning this rematch with a late round TKO or a unanimous decision.
hardhead
QUOTE(FenderDG3 @ Jun 16 2008, 09:33 PM) [snapback]392735[/snapback]
Didn't read the article so I'm sure it mentioned this. But all I know is that "King" Arthur won't have the luxury of a German referee (and judges for that mater) to deduct 5 points from Miranda. I see Miranda winning this rematch with a late round TKO or a unanimous decision.


Only one problem, the referee wasn't German, he was an American, and Miranda was fighting very dirty because he was frustrated with the "Winky" defensive tactics of Abraham. Nobody can deny the intentional headbutt(which was 2 points), it was clear as day.
JD
Ref was American...Randy Nuemann.

The judges consisted of an American, a Brit and an Italian.
hardhead
I happen to think Abraham is going to take this and by decision or stoppage around 9 or 10, even with the broken jaw and him virtually quitting in the 4th(a round he was catching Miranda with some great shots before that) he did continue on and land some big shots on Miranda(hurting him too) up until the final bell. Miranda to me is a strong, tough fighter with very good power but little skill and virtually no defense. He also doesn't know how to throw a straight punch if his life depended on it. To me he seemed to be getting very frustrated(in the early rounds) that Abraham was standing in front of him covering up and he really couldn't land like he thought he would. At that point he started fouling. Even in the later rounds when Abraham was backing away he was still catching the hell out of Miranda, hurting/wobbling him with counter shots. This time around though there will be no broken jaw and he will be a little more aware of what to expect from Miranda and his style, as it is a bit awkward. He should be able to find Miranda's head(and body) more with the straighter right hands and left hooks this time around. I don't have any problems with Miranda as he is exciting and a good type of fighter to have around in the mix but bottom line I just think Abraham is a higher class of fighter that should win clearly this time around. Should be a good one though..
FenderDG3
I stand corrected. I should have done my research before I posted... I just assumed all that since it was in Germany.
D-MARV
QUOTE(FenderDG3 @ Jun 16 2008, 08:55 PM) [snapback]392747[/snapback]
I stand corrected. I should have done my research before I posted... I just assumed all that since it was in Germany.

I tend to do that too...

I watched the first fight last night and I thought it was a close fight but Arthur pulled it off. Miranda was fighting dirty because he was getting beat. Arthur got into his head. BUt one thing about Arthur, he showed some real balls in that fight. The guy has heart. As long as he doesn't make any more gay entrances, lol, then he is alright with me!
JD
QUOTE(FenderDG3 @ Jun 16 2008, 08:55 PM) [snapback]392747[/snapback]
I stand corrected. I should have done my research before I posted... I just assumed all that since it was in Germany.


All good...I was just trying to clarify.
salvador
I was just about to start a thread to advertise the fact that one of the Showtime channels is doing the replay of Abraham-Miranda 1 at 10:00 EST tonight.
Douchebag
QUOTE(salvador @ Jun 16 2008, 09:31 PM) [snapback]392751[/snapback]
I was just about to start a thread to advertise the fact that one of the Showtime channels is doing the replay of Abraham-Miranda 1 at 10:00 EST tonight.



I'll be rooting for "La Pantera" he has gotten better since the last time he fought Abraham, so we will see......,
BigG
I think it's gonna be war...I'll go with Abraham by close decision...
D-MARV
Arthur Abraham by Brutal Stoppage somewhere between the 10th and 12th!
Blayde
Im picking Abraham.

Of course Miranda is always dangerous with his punching power, but he should have big problems with Arthurs tight D whereas Abraham should be able to land some big shots when he throws his combinations.

I say Abraham by UD or by stoppage.

But its not guaranteed, its a fight Im hyped up for smile.gif
salvador
After watching their first fight for the first time last night, I gotta say that I'm a lot more impressed with Abraham than I thought I would be. First of all, I love that he's Armenian (like Darchinyan) and not German. Secondly, he showed all kinds of courage fighting with the broken jaw for 7 rounds without really running from Miranda's right hand. Abraham's got shorter, straighter, and quicker punches than Miranda and yet Abraham still has a ton of power. Their first fight was great and I'm sure the rematch will be as well.

On a side note, the referee, Randy Neuman, was just about about the worst ref I've ever seen. The deduction of 5 points was criminal.

Tha Docta
i will never root for a man that comes into the ring with a bunch of smurfs. i know he doesnt do it anymore, but he did it in the past and thats all it takes.

i hope miranda knocks his jaw off of his face this time.
hardhead
QUOTE(salvador @ Jun 17 2008, 05:45 PM) [snapback]392838[/snapback]
After watching their first fight for the first time last night, I gotta say that I'm a lot more impressed with Abraham than I thought I would be. First of all, I love that he's Armenian (like Darchinyan) and not German. Secondly, he showed all kinds of courage fighting with the broken jaw for 7 rounds without really running from Miranda's right hand. Abraham's got shorter, straighter, and quicker punches than Miranda and yet Abraham still has a ton of power. Their first fight was great and I'm sure the rematch will be as well.

On a side note, the referee, Randy Neuman, was just about about the worst ref I've ever seen. The deduction of 5 points was criminal.



I also watched the fight recently(about a month ago) and I have NO problem taking two points off for the head butt as that was as intentional as it gets. I also remember a couple of the low blows being definitely low but don't remember if he gave a warning or not. I do remember he gave Abraham time after that one in the 7th. Certainly 5 points is a lot and I think at least 2 or 3 were justified though.
kidbazooka1
I hope Miranda KO's Abraham in brutal f*cking fashion.
salvador
QUOTE(hardhead @ Jun 17 2008, 08:08 PM) [snapback]392869[/snapback]
I also watched the fight recently(about a month ago) and I have NO problem taking two points off for the head butt as that was as intentional as it gets. I also remember a couple of the low blows being definitely low but don't remember if he gave a warning or not. I do remember he gave Abraham time after that one in the 7th. Certainly 5 points is a lot and I think at least 2 or 3 were justified though.


I would say a maximum of 2 points were justified - one point on the headbut and one for low blows. Most of those shots were on the beltline.

The whole fiasco around the broken jaw, with the ref consulting with Abraham's corner, was also rediculous.

rusty_trombone
i hope miranda breaks his jaw again. i love watching the beast come out in miranda
Nasty
The headbutt was dirty, but you have to be kidding me about the "low blows". Every single low blow that he was deducted a point for were upper-cuts that hit just on/above the belt line.

They really ripped Miranda off man, American ref or not he was clearly against Miranda in that fight. He was so ready to call the fight over and DQ Miranda for the headbutt, till someone explained to him that Miranda would get the win because the headbutt didn't cause the busted jaw. So, his tune quickly changes and he wants to continue the fight, despite the doctor saying not to and Abraham initially saying that he didn't want to continue, plus the corner urged the doctor to stop the fight.

I have great respect for Abraham's courage displayed in that fight, but you can't deny that the entire fight was complete BS.
Jack 1000
Even though I expect a more level playing field in this fight than the first time, I believe mileage and slowness has shown on Miranda. I pick King Arthur Abraham by UD.

Jack
Imperius3
Abraham by UD.
FenderDG3
I'm watching Abraham/Miranda I for the first time right now. I know Abraham was able to fight back and showed great heart, but do you all think that if this fight was in the US that the ringside physician would have stopped the fight?? I gotta think it would have been. I was unclear, but it sounded as if somebody wanted the fight to be stopped, but wasn't.
Method
I just got done watching Miranda/Abraham I too, and all I can say is JOBBED. Miranda got Royally fucked. 2 point deduction? EVERYONE of those low blows was borderline, and I saw Miranda landing all the meaningful shots.

To hear Randy Newman in between rounds telling ringside "Hey, this guy is hurt, and nothing is done, man, it just felt like the fix was in.

But forget bitching about the fight not being stopped, I have a BIG problem with all those deuctions, and an even bigger problem with the fact that, add those 5 points back, and Miranda STILL lost on the judges scorecards. IT was just NOT the fight I saw. I didn't see Abraham landing anything of note from the mid rounds on (ESPECIALLY in the championship rounds.

I had originally picked Miranda to win a close decision in the rematch, but you know what, if this guy gets a fair shake, and there's not too much tread on those tires, I think he might win it wider than most think, if not by stoppage.

Miranda looks freakish coming into this fight. Which is surprising because he looks a lot leaner/ripped at this higher weight than he did at 160.

Definitely not sleeping on Abraham's abilities, but I think he definitely got some major help from both the judges AND Randy Newman.

QUOTE
"I can tell when a punch is low or not," Neumann continues. "I warned Miranda and then he goes right back out and does it two or three more times...he hits Abraham right in the balls. A referee has a very important job because decisions have to be made in nanoseconds and it’s not easy. The referee can be the difference between life and death and sometimes there are million dollar deals on the line."
Funny that this guy STILL thinks Abraham was getting hit under the cup (as evidenced by other parts of Tom Gerbasi of Maxboxing's article. The replays clearly show every "low" blow on the beltline...sure as shit not under the cup.

QUOTE
Which brings us to the broken jaw. It was the result of a punch landed by Miranda in the fourth round and it caused a gruesome injury. The confused German doctors ended up ceasing the action for several minutes while they examined Abraham's twisted face in an attempt to make up their minds as to whether or not they were going to let the fight continue.

"It was a very interesting technicality," said a bemused Neumann. "I discussed it with Lindsay Tucker of the IBF. The injury that Abraham sustained was the result of a legitimate punch and he would lose by TKO if I had stopped the fight."


...and people wonder about the skepticality of american fighters going to Europe.

QUOTE
But nearly two years after the fight, Neumann makes no effort whatsoever to hide his disdain for Miranda, who had designs on winning the fight - no matter the method. He blames the craziness that ensued on that night in Germany mostly on the broad shoulders of Miranda.

"Miranda fights like an idiot," Neumann barks.


I mean, how many ways can you say, "Personal Vendetta"? The guy is supposed to be in there calling it down the middle. His comments CLEARLY illustrate Neuman hates Miranda's raw style, and Im not a big fan of that type of shit either, but jesus christ, man, a ref is supposed to call it straight, and it clearly wasn't.

WAR Pantera!
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