|Sharkie's Machine Interview with Edison Miranda
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., Doghouse Boxing (May 7, 2009) Photo © Redline
Super Middleweight Edison "Pantera" Miranda (32-3, 28 KO's) is scheduled to face Andre Ward (18-0, 12 KO's) on May 16th at the Oracle Arena in Oakland California . This fight will be televised on that Saturday night on 'Shobox, The New Generation' on Showtime Network at 9 p.m., East coast time. Check your local listings if you're not on the East coast. Ward is a good prospect with an unblemished, albeit limited resume. Miranda is top level contender with a big punch and a wild side that always guarantees excitement.
Thanks to a friend, Herman Colberg-Guerra, I was afforded the opportunity to speak with Edison , as he readies up for his upcoming fight with Andre Ward.
Frank Gonzalez Jr.: Thanks for taking time to talk to me Edison.
Edison Miranda: Thank you.
FGJ: You’ve had some exciting fights in the last couple of years, fighting top guys in dramatic fights. You’re fights are exciting because they almost always end with a knock out. Your three losses were to men who now wear title belts in Arthur Abraham (two times, once in 2006 and again in 2008, though the first loss was controversial), and Kelly Pavlik back in 2007. Everyone knows that Edison “Pantera” Miranda always comes to fight and as boxing fans, what more can we ask for? Things didn’t go your way against Pavlik and Abraham but I expect you learned from those experiences.
EM: Losing to Arthur Abraham and Kelly Pavlik was the best thing that ever happened to my career because I used it correct some of the mistakes I was making. There were things outside the ring that hurt me going into those fights. Before Pavlik’s first fight, I had no visa to travel to the US and had to go to Colombia . When I got there, there was no good place to train where I was, so I played lots of dominoes and partied a lot. I had a great time…but I gained 47 pounds in two months. I was over 200 pounds by the time I got back to Puerto Rico and had six weeks to lose the weight and make 160 pounds. For Abraham’s second fight I had the same problem. Went to Colombia , did lots of eating and later had to lose close to 60 pounds in seven weeks. … Some people take drugs and that’s their problem. For me, food is my drug.
FGJ: Have you heard of Overeaters Anonymous?
EM: (laughs) Yes, I am a member.
FGJ: You broke Abraham’s jaw early on in the first fight and he was gushing blood from his mouth. Another ref might’ve stopped it, but Abraham wanted to continue and was allowed to do so. I thought you won that first Abraham fight but because the referee, Randy Newman went wild taking several points from you for low blows that weren’t all that low but on the belt line, the decision didn’t go your way.
EM: The first fight with Abraham, the referee took five points away from me! I feel I won that fight.
FGJ: If you beat Andre Ward, would you like to face Abraham again?
EM: I would love to fight Abraham again but the WBC is having a clearance sale (baratillo) for the WBC 168 pound belt and I want to take advantage of it. They are basically giving that title away. Look, now you have Carl Froch as the WBC champion. He just beat Jermain Taylor, a coward. Andre Ward and Jermain Taylor are the same. They are fruits from the same tree. So going after 168 WBC belt is like taking advantage of cheap prices. I can’t let that opportunity go by.
FGJ: There are too many “champions” in each weight class, so there’s really no Champions. What do you think about all these belts?
EM: If I could win all those belts and unify the titles, I would celebrate and then the next day, I would relinquish three of the four belts so somebody else has a chance to earn one. Everyone has to have a chance to eat.
FGJ: Let’s talk about Andre Ward. He’s 18-0 with 12 knockouts and he won the gold medal in the 2004 Olympics as a Light Heavyweight. He’s a tough kid with lots of amateur experience behind him. For a prospect, he’s fought a fair level of opposition so far. You will be a big step up for him, the toughest opponent he’s faced as a pro. How has your training camp gone and how do you see this fight, a boxing match or a slugfest?
EM: (moment of silence) I feel bad to have to fight Ward.
FGJ: Why is that?
EM: Tell you what; I am embarrassed to fight Andre Ward because he hasn’t fought anybody and nobody knows who he is. When my friends ask who I’m fighting next and I say “Andre Ward”, they say they’ve never heard of him; who is Andre Ward? He’s unknown. They know who Pantera is, not Andre Ward. I’m embarrassed to fight someone nobody knows. Somebody of my caliber deserves to fight somebody who’s at least known.
He (Ward) says I’m a ‘bully.’ A bully is someone who terrorizes kids in school. And he’s right, to him I am a bully and I’m going to bully and abuse him. He is an Olympian and won a lot of trophies as an amateur, but let me ask you one thing, when you become a professional boxer can you ever go back to being an amateur? When I ’m done beating him he’s going to have to go back to the amateurs so he can keep winning trophies. As a professional, he won’t win them.
FGJ: I’m not religious but I’ll be praying for a knockout in that fightfor excitement’s sake.
EM: Ward doesn’t know what he’s getting into. Maybe his team told him things they shouldn’t have, to make him think he’s ready for me. For me, this fight is personal, because it’s very important for my career to win. I wear the Puerto Rican flag on my trunks and I want to win this one for the Puerto Rican fans. All Puerto Rican fans will be watching this fight, which will be to the death.
FGJ: As an aggressive and a voluminous puncher, what are your thoughts on energy management, particularly when fighting for 12 rounds?
EM: I come with a lot of stamina. I never get tired. I work hard and do everything to be in top shape for my fights, no matter what happens with location problems, visas, whatever. My stamina is great. The problem is that when they face the Pantera, they don’t last. They can’t stand the pressure. No matter how much Ward jumps, punches, runs or doespressure bursts pipes. No matter how big and strong the pipe is, you put a lot of pressure into it and it bursts. After three, four or five rounds of me being on top of him, hungry to put some ketchup and mayonnaise so I can finally eat him, he will realize that my intention is to knock his head off, and he will quit or…I’ll knock him out. You’ll see.
I always have energy, I wish they would bring back the 15 round fights, I would love that.
FGJ: I wish 15 round fights were back too. All title fights should be 15 rounds.
Do you ever have nightmares of Randy Newman refereeing your fights?
EM: No, I never have those kinds of nightmares. I wish Randy Newman was the referee in my fight with Ward, so Ward learns what punishment is. Other referees might stop the fight when they see me beating him. I know Randy Newman would not stop the fight and so I get a chance to punish Ward some more. (Laughs)
FGJ: Is there anything you want to say to the fans out there?
EM: Yes, to all the fans out there, make sure when you watch this fight that you don’t reach for the popcorn or drinks. Don’t turn your eyes away for a second or you might miss the knockout.
Also, I have a question for you Sharkie, what do you think was the best night and the worst night in the history of boxing?
FGJ: Off the top of my head I’d say…Best moment, when Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez fought their first historic fight. Worst…hmmm, when Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ears? I don’t really know, there’s so much to pick from. What do you think were the best and worst days of boxing history?
EM: Best day was the day Mohammad Ali was born. The worst day was when Buster Douglass knocked out Mike Tyson. Boxing really started with Ali and died without Tyson.
FGJ: That’s an interesting answer. I thought one of the best days in boxing was the day when Tyson got knocked out by Douglass.
EM: Boxing needs somebody like a Mike Tyson and has been missing that kind super star for too long.
FGJ: I agree that boxing could use a big attraction at Heavyweight.
You’re a lively character Edison and it’s been fun talking with you. Thanks again for taking the time. I wish you all the best and look forward to your fight on ShoBox on May 16th.
EM: It was a pleasure. Thank you.
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