On a light weekend of boxing action, Andre Ward overcame some big odds to score a win over the dangerous, more experienced Edison Miranda.
[c] WBF Heavyweight Champion Francois Botha SD Timo Hoffmann
Andre Ward UD Edison Miranda (Super Middleweight) [Showtime]
--As I said above, Ward, the last U.S. Olympic gold medalist, defeated Miranda in his biggest step-up in competition by far in his career. This, however, proved to be more anomaly than message to the top of the division. Ward fought well enough and looked reasonably good in beating him, even displaying some nice versatility in switching up strategies in the second half and becoming the aggressor, but he also didn't show enough to suggest that he could successfully take on the title holders.
Part of that goes to Miranda fighting the wrong fight, focusing more on a one-punch KO than combo work. It would have been an ideal plan for someone with his power and against a fighter that had rarely been pressed, but he was too stubborn to do anything else besides a move that fails more often than not. Another part, which led in from this, was from Ward's in-grown habit of fighting to the level of his competition and doing just enough to win a decision and not exerting the effort to finish someone off when they could. He could have taken Miranda down halfway through the second half, but relented from capitalizing.
Ward has a great deal of skill and potential and I was very high on him when he first started off, but for the past few years, all of that has been diluted. The way he is now--lessened guard, physique, and tenacity, on top of the previously mentioned problems--he won't have as easy a time against the likes of Carl Froch, Lucian Bute, or Jermain Taylor, and he would most certainly get picked apart by Arthur Abraham and Kelly Pavlik below at middleweight--all of whom are better fighters than Miranda with either equivalent or better experience and power. Maybe the Ward of a few years past might have had a better chance, but the one of today and his performance Saturday night won't cut it. As for Edison Miranda, he has the right tools physically, but in a tactical light, he's a waste of talent. If he wants to get anywhere back near the top and actually back up his talk, he'll need a smarter boxing mind, and a smarter corner.
Not Previously Mentioned
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