Miranda-Pavlik heats up

By Alex Stone


Miranda-Pavlik heats up

Miranda: "My grandfather would KO Pavlik"

On Saturday, May 19, 2007, Jermain Taylor will put his world middleweight champonships on the line against master boxer Cory Spinks, who also happens to be the reigning IBF junior middleweight champion. That bout will be preceded by a superb middleweight contest between murderous punchers in Edison Miranda and Kelly Pavlik. The bout is billed “The Right to Fight” and the winner will become the clear number one contender for the Taylor–Spinks winner. Once again Boxingtalk was on hand for a conference call with the two sluggers to get their thoughts on the upcoming bout.

Miranda, 28-1 with 24 KOs, seems to get better every time he fights. He is arguably the most exciting and dangerous middleweight in the world, and is rated number one by both the IBF and WBO, number two by the WBC, and number four by the WBA. Miranda’s sole loss was a highly controversial one in a 12 round decision loss to Arthur Abraham for Abraham's IBF title last year. Miranda broke Abraham's jaw but lost a decision due to point deductions. Miranda has fought tough competition in his past four fights and a win against Pavlik would put him a very ideal situation, pretty much a shot at the champion and title of his choosing.

Miranda, known for being very cocky and utilizing various methods of trash talking, went right at it from the start of the call. “Is Kelly Pavlik on this call?” asked Miranda. “This call is for adults, Pavlik shouldn’t be on this call. I will knockout Kelly Pavlik! Even my grandfather can knockout Kelly Pavlik,” Miranda added.

Pavilk, 33-0 with 30 KOs also is a very hard hitter as well a good boxer. Though he is undefeated and knocks out almost anyone who gets in the ring with him, he is still relatively unknown. Pavlik’s most highly regarded opposition to date was against a past-his-prime Bronco McKart. Pavlik has made an effort to be exciting and stay active, fighting 33 times since his pro debut in 2000.

When asked by Boxingtalk if he plans to stay as busy now that he is stepping up in opposition, Pavilk said “Absolutely. I haven’t been in many wars, I haven’t taken any beatings and I love to fight. I want to fight and I’m going to take every opportunity that I get.”
Though his opposition has not yet been against any marquee names, Pavlik will certainly not back down from the demeaning words of Miranda. “You know, for someone who talks and runs his mouth so much, you’d think this guy [Miranda] could take a punch, but he has been hurt by Howard Eastman and even down against Alan Green,” said Pavlik.

However, Pavlik does not plan on taking Miranda lightly. “Miranda is not overrated,” states Pavlik. “He is a great fighter but he has a lot of flaws. He can punch but he’s got no chin, he’s been hurt by guys who can’t even punch. I’ve shown that I can certainly punch.”
When questioned about his strategy against Miranda, Pavlik stated that “Alan Green kept looking at his feet that night, and he wasn’t doing much fighting. Green let Miranda come to him and do the fighting, setting the pace. I know my power and my ability and I won’t let him do that. I know what I have to do to win.”

Miranda, on the other hand, didn’t really seem to care what Pavlik had to say about the fight. “Every guy that Pavlik has knocked out, my grandfather could knock out, and my grandfather is 100 years old. I am the best and I will beat the best,” shouted Miranda, who did not produce grandpa's birth certificate.

The grand prize in this fight is a hoped-for shot at the winner of Taylor–Spinks, who will be universally recognized as the undisputed middleweight champion. However, if the rumor mill holds true, if Taylor wins the fight with Spinks, he will most likely be moving up in weight for a fall clash with former pound-for-pound king Roy Jones Jr. This could put the winner of Miranda-Pavlik in a slot to fight for the vacant titles, or in Miranda’s case (because he is already ranked number 1 by the IBF), a win would give him a shot at revenge against Abraham, the IBF middleweight champion.

Miranda doesn’t seem to care who is next on the chopping block, he just wants to knock somebody out. “I am the best, I don’t care who it is I have to fight. I will knock out Taylor or Abraham or whoever they put in front of me.”

No matter what happens after May 19, one thing is clear, the winner of this potential all-out brawl will certainly gain some serious bargaining power. Any way you slice it, “The Right to Fight” holds the future of the middleweight division and should indeed be a very exciting night of boxing. Taylor–Spinks and Miranda–Pavlik will be broadcast live on HBO Championship Boxing.