Tag Archives: Edison Miranda

Ward vs Green, The Prefight:

Undefeated Andre Ward defends his shiny new WBA belt against replacement Allan Green as part of the ongoing Super Six Tourney this coming Saturday.

Ward vs Green, simple, right? Just basic American single syllable names in a simple basic rockem-sockem American style fight, right?

Let’s take a look.

Green was the replacement for Jermaine Taylor who chose to withdraw from the tourney after being knocked out so devastatingly by Arthur Abraham. Hard to believe that Allan Green has kicked around as a pro now for some 8 yrs now without ever beating a top ten contender or receiving a single title shot, but there it is, the dilemma of the modern American fighter, nibbling around at the fringe, darting among the shadows.

Andre Ward

Andre Ward

The Ward challenge represents a quantum leap in class and opportunity against another American oddity, America’s last Olympic gold medalist in boxing from the 2004 team. Andre Ward was supposed to be another Golden Boy, a 20 yr old phenom turning pro in the golden hills of California with a sunny, smiling disposition borne of golden Olympic credentials, yet he too has seemingly had a modern American shadow cast on his career, nibbling at the fringe primarily in California.

In the biggest fights of his career, 3 of his last 4 will have taken place in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California, perhaps a testament of the residual weight Olympic Gold carries in these barren American boxing days. Currently the hometown is vastly favored in the Super Six Tourney, 5-0, so the hometown advantage is quite distinct. Green has also campaigned mostly in his home state of Oklahoma, but he has traveled to distant locales within the US and even made it Puerto Rico for his biggest fight, Edison Miranda, whom he dropped a 10 rd decision to.

Oddly enough, Andre Ward has never once fought in Las Vegas, much less Nevada, nor has he appeared in Madison Square Garden, very unusual for such a uniquely all American creation. In comparison, Green did make Las Vegas on a Friday night undercard as a 4 rd novice, but otherwise has stayed away from the glittering lights.

So, the oddsmakers will be making Ward the big favorite with him coming off his biggest win against the top ranked Mikkel Kessler combined with the glittering amateur credentials and hometown advantage.

Ward does have a strike against him though, he’s also coming off of reconstructive knee surgery after the Kessler bout. We saw an example of how devastating knee problems can be a few weeks back in the Yuri Foreman defense against Miguel Cotto, so until the knee is properly tested, there will be a concern to any players as to the odds they’re getting.

Allan Green

Allan Green

Allan Green has had far more serious medical problems though, having had most of his colon removed back in 2007, a major debilitating operation. He seems to have rebounded nicely with 5-0, 3 KO record against fringe contender types, but as mentioned, as yet still untested against top opposition.

So the bout has some intrigue born of both fighters needing a testing to see what they have left. Andre Ward represents the boxer in this bout with his unblemished 21-0, 13 KO record. He was rumored to have a soft chin that needed soft opposition coming up, but his chin was intact with solid performances against big punching Miranda and Kessler, so perhaps those rumors were unfounded.

Ward is meeting a huge, hard punching fighter in Green who turned pro at the lightheavy limit and has been as high as 181 lbs, but Green made a career decision in 2005 to campaign in the super middle class, so here he is, 29-1, 20 KO, feeling neglected and hungry for opportunity which finally seems to be unlocking it’s doors to him.

As to the tactics, well, Ward is going to use movement to keep Green moving and box him in and out much like he did Miranda and Kessler. Green is going to box to prevent himself from looking bad on the cards, and setting traps, looking for the big counter or hands down moment to deliver his bomb. It should be a decent technical fight at very least, and it could be a dramatic fight if Green can solve Ward’s footwork and put him in some trouble.

Logic dictates a Ward win, but I’m going against all logic here because I feel Green will be in the condition of his life and has some untapped potential that might well prove to be America’s newest Superman’s kryptonite.

So, it’s Green for me unless some breaking news comes out that would alter my pick. I just got that funny feelin’.

6/21/10- Post Fight Review:

Well, excuses are like gas, everyone has some, but it was well noted in the media that Green may have overtrained, and, indeed, that appears to be the case as Green as the bigger, allegedly stronger fighter having been as high as cruiserweight early in his career, turned up as weak and meek and tiny as a newborn kitty.

Punch Swap

Punch Swap

It could be that the 80% bowel resectioning has weakened him enough to be exposed at the elite level, or maybe the hype of the interviews coming into his first major event took a mental and physical toll on Green as he only weighed 166 after previously being at the 168 lb supermiddle limit in his last two fights. He certainly had the style, the punch, and the reach to be a major danger, but, Ward tossed a blanket on his tiger and smothered him inside, near suffocating Green by the end.

I’m reading in the Ring blog where the author acknowledges the boredom of the bout, but justifying it on thrilling technical merit, but I’m sorry, but that’s complete hogwash. It was a fight that was 90% contested inside, nose to nose, grabbing and tossing out popcorn and kisses for punches. Nobody was ever buzzed, staggered, or more than barely mussed from the best punches.

That reminds me of a host of great inside work done by Dick Tiger who was The Man slaying a landscape of monsters in his day. Thinking also of scarcely remembered crown jewels of boxing such as Griffith/Paret III and Frazier/Quarry I & II if you want to see the way the all timers do nose to nose blasting demolition against prime hungry man eating predators.

For me, the best fights of the super six series have been Froch/Kessler who brought some old school technique and toughness into that donnybrook, and Abraham/Taylor which featured Taylor in the physical condition of his life working Abraham as hard as he’s ever been worked in his career to give it all up with one of the most dramatic one punch KOs you can ever witness.

Moreover, not that hometown cooking played  a role in this final result, the hometown fighters are 6-0 in the series. I do take issue with the scoring as Green was game and fighting even up with Ward through the first 5 rds before his boiler ran out of steam. He operated at around 20% capacity after that, just using his skills and experience to hold on for the big Home Run Shot Heard Round the World that never came.

Queuing up as we speak, perhaps Froch/Abraham can deliver a Fight of the Year classic, with some possibilities for Ward/Dirrell and Green/Kessler.

Yes they can…….keep hope alive……..and never say die when one punch changes everything.

Preview of Pavlik vs Martinez

By Bobby Mac

A very intriguing middleweight title defense is coming up this Saturday when Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik defends his Ring, WBC, and WBO titles against the WBC junior middleweight champion, Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez.

Martinez was the late stand-in for the ailing Kelly Pavlik when Paul William’s expected title challenge to Pavlik at the end of 2009 fell out. Martinez lost a majority decision to Williams in a spirited nontitle middleweight bout that Martinez supporters claim he won. Regardless of the decision, Sergio Martinez won over a lot of fans with his performance, enough to catch the attention of the newly slighted Kelly Pavlik looking to regain his monumental reputation in the boxing world.

Pavlik is making his 6th defense of his titles that he won the hard way back in 2007 when he beat The Man who beat The Man, Jermain Taylor, who Kelly whacked out in the 7th round in thrilling bout. Since then, he has struggled with a career threatening accident when he put his hand through a pane of glass, then was near death in a reaction to treatment from a staphylococcus infection in his hand.

Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlik

Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik

Pavlik also struggled somewhat in the ring, unable to replicate thrilling performances against Edison Miranda and Jermain Taylor before taking a near shutout drubbing at the hands Bernard Hopkins in a Light Heavyweight non title catchweight fight. Still, in spite of the adversity, here he is in his 6th defense against the biggest challenge of his career since he first challenged Jermain Taylor.

Sergio Martinez is a fast handed, southpaw Argentinean just now coming into his own at age 35. He will be giving up some significant size and strength against the huge Pavlik, but size and strength is not the Martinez stock in trade although he is plenty big enough. Martinez is a boxer reliant on speed and angles to earn his wins and operates out of a tricky southpaw stance.

Martinez trades with Paul Williams

The Bruising

It’s hard to know how Pavlik will adjust to fighting a southpaw since he has no significant experience with a southpaw at this high level. He was in training to fight Paul Williams who is also a southpaw, so Pavlik will at least have had some previous training accumulated. Likewise, Martinez has no experience against such a big strong, prime, heavyhanded fighter as is Pavlik. Williams was as tall, but more fast handed boxer than slugger and not nearly so physically strong.

It’s that unknown factor that both bring into the fight that makes it so intriguing to me. Usually I have a sense of how the fight is likely to unfold, but I’m coming up blank on this other than to note Pavlik is not likely to be outboxing Martinez who in turn is not likely to be outslugging Pavlik. Kelly should be the favorite, but perhaps not by so much.

I’m hoping for a classic slugger vs boxer fight of the year candidate that both gentlemen are fully capable of delivering. May the best man win.

The Contrast of King Arthur Abraham vs The Matrix Andre Dirrell

by Bobby Mac

Super Six tournament leader King Arthur Abraham is being matched in the fabled Joe Louis Arena in Detroit against Andre The Matrix Dirrell in one of the most important bouts of 2010.

The contrast in the nicknames between the medieval “King Arthur” to the modern “The Matrix” cannot be any more pronounced than the boxing styles the boxers will bring into this bout. Abraham has a very relaxed elbows tucked high guard he employs as his base of ring operations that has seen him to an unblemished championship quality record of 31-0, 25 KO, compared to the high energy frentic footwork flash of Dirrell, currently sporting an 18-1, 13 KO record.

Abraham is the proven fighter having made 10 defenses of his IBF middleweight title before moving up a division to knock out Jermain Taylor in one of the most dramatic and concussive knockouts in fistic history. At age 30 with few demonstrated weaknesses in the ring, he seems in the big middle of his prime years. Jermain Taylor also turned out to be excellent preparation for this Dirrell bout with both having fast footwork, fast hands, and sharp jabs.

Dirrell is largely untested coming off a loss in his biggest fight to date against Carl Froch, part of the opening series of the Super Six tourney. He is an athletically gifted boxer, but it remains to be seen if he can actually win at the top level he now finds himself at. His last 5 fights have been his greatest challenge to date, and while he showed flashes of greatness, he also showed flashes of anxiety which  robbed him of his balance and tangled his footwork. He reminded me of the late great Floyd Patterson’s tendency to go down in the barest of breezes.

Abraham is the shorter, stockier, man, probably the strongest and most powerful fighter in the tourney. Dirrell is the younger fighter, taller and quicker by a significant margin over Abraham, so the physical differences are yet another of many contrasts in this fight.

d/a

Before the Battle

So, the $64,000 question those interested are asking is how is this fight going to play out?

Two years ago, Anthony Hanshaw really brought it early to Dirrell, scoring two knock downs Hanshaw was quite unfortunate not to get the call on. Dirrell regrouped enough to trade with Hanshaw and force the stoppage in the 5th round. In his next bout, Dirrell scored a dramatic one punch stoppage of undefeated Mike Paschall, knocking him down and splitting his forehead open. Then came the overmatched Organov and Findley where he simply outclassed and then overwhelmed aspiring prospects.

Abraham has been a Ring ranked fighter since 2005 when he outclassed the #1 Howard Eastman with a decision. By the end of the year, he’d knocked out the 6-4 freakishly tall Kingsley Ikeke for the IBF title that he defended like a Lion against a variety of challengers. Abraham has only had two fights at supermiddle, both non-title bouts that he blasted out ranked contenders Edison Miranda and Jermaine Taylor with dramatic, highlight quality knockouts.

So King Arthur will enter this match as the favorite because he’s much better than any fighter Dirrell has met and he’s also beaten a host of fighters as good or better than Dirrell that possess some overlapping natural attributes.

There is one fight that saw Abraham almost in a life and death struggle, the first Miranda fight. Abraham reportedly lost 2-3 pints of blood after his jaw was broken and seemed to have been given some unsporting extra penalty points and time to recover by the ref. Regardless, recover he did. He was knocking Miranda back at will by the fight’s end to win a controversial decision that he later settled in the rematch.

The switch hitting southpaw Dirrell will be looking to box and move, peppering Abraham with sharp jabs and quick combinations before he has a chance to set to punch. Though winning on the cards against Taylor, Abraham did look ponderous against the quick waterbug defense of Taylor at times. Dirrell also has 13 knockouts in his 19 fights and often marks up his opponents, so he is a live dog in this dustup as long as he comes to fight with some fire and purpose. He cannot rely on spoiling his way to a decision as he tried against Froch against such a quality champion as Abraham is.

Abraham is a devastating puncher who is a solid boxer in his own right, an excellent tactician who intuitively knows when to duck and cover or when to open up. I’d think his team have already spotted Dirrell’s shaky balance in the ring and will be looking to pick their big shots early to build a lead with knockdowns.

Even when not taking punches Dirrell operates on surprisingly stiff legs that belie his fast footwork and quick reflexes. Abraham will put those stiff legs to the test with more pressure than Dirrell is used to which makes me think this will be another Abraham stoppage.

To win, Dirrell would have to bust up Abraham’s face for a TKO stoppage at the discretion of the ref or ring doctor. I don’t see Dirrell’s stamina holding enough to win a decision if he lasts. Dirrell would have to perform well above his previous efforts to beat Abraham. Sure, it’s possible, after all, the Hall of Fame is packed with great fighters who beat bigger odds to establish great legacies.

Dirrell has something of a home advantage in Detroit in spite of never having boxed professionally there and he certainly has the talent, but does he have the fight and the smarts to pull it off?

Stay tuned and we will find out. If the stars all line up just so, they might even duke out a classic for the ages.