By Wayne Bartlett at ringside: Tony Bellew negotiated the threat of Edison Miranda at London’s Alexandra Palace this Saturday (September 8), with a 9th round TKO of the dangerous puncher.
TKO being the official result as Miranda, frustrated and looking uninterested at that point, shipped a left to the body, went down on one knee, and simply didn’t want to carry on.
Referee Ian John Lewis duly waved the bout over and brought an end to a fight that looked far better on paper than what transpired in the ring.
The name Edison Miranda used to instantly attract thoughts of a sledgehammer puncher that broke Arthur Abraham’s jaw. But that was six losses, nearly six years and a hell of a lot of ambition ago.
Today’s 31-year-old Edison Miranda, now 35-8(30), is still a dangerous puncher however, and Bellew found that out in round two after being rocked to his boots and forced to regroup.
Regroup he did and the rattle received probably done him the world of good as the Liverpudlian went on to box cautiously on the move for the majority of the fight.
In much the same manner he boxed Ovill McKenzie in their rematch last year Bellew, 29, boxed with a higher work-rate and was content to potshot and wear down the increasingly ragged visitor. But you got the feeling there was a nervousness to the home fighters performance.
His promotional wrangles now public, Bellew had a lot to lose in this fight and at times it showed as he attempted to grind out the win.
With the job nearing it’s conclusion and the British champion a mile ahead on the scorecards, Miranda was restricted to hitting air with his wild attempts and clowned whenever he took a solid shot. Put simply, he’d had enough.
The body shot that forced ‘Pantera’ onto one knee followed by the subsequent stoppage at 2:54 of the ninth, marked win number 18 for ‘Bomber’ against that sole majority decision loss to fierce rival Nathan Cleverly 11 months ago.
Make no mistake about this fight; Miranda is a dangerous fighter to face despite being past his best, and under outside pressure Bellew won the fight well with skill and smarts which showed again his gradual development.
With this hurdle safely seen off it’s another step forward for Tony Bellew. Whether it’s a step towards a rematch with Nathan Cleverly or not we will have to see.
It is though a step towards the upper tiers of the light-heavyweight division, where there are far more dangerous hurdles than Edison Miranda.
Lee Purdy’s shoot-out with Gumersindo Carrasco stole the show on the undercard, with the Colchester fighter breaking the South American’s will in four rounds.
Capturing the IBF Intercontinental welterweight title with this win, Purdy, 25, also snapped Carrasco’s 16 fight unbeaten record in the process and in exciting fashion.
Looking a bundle of energy from the offset, the Argentinean visitor was forced to the canvas in the opener with a half-punch, half-shove from Purdy.
Rising to his feet, Carrasco responded by immediately battering away at the high-held guard crowd favourite when the fight was waved on.
The action flowed back and forth throughout round two but Purdy was the one constantly pushing forward and piling on the pressure. After blood and guts stuff in round three, with Carrasco having little or no regard for defence, the fourth saw him punished.
It always looked a case of who would crack first and Purdy seemed hell-bent on it not being him.
Floored with a right hand, then again with a vicious body shot, Carrasco rose both times and still slugged away on the ropes with the relentless Purdy, until his unguarded chin saw the referee save the Argentinean from his own bravery at 1:43 of the fourth.
English light-middleweight champion Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng continued his rise to the summit of his division with a thumping five round stoppage of Ryan Toms.
After a feeling-out first round the action heated up in round two as both men had successes with Ochieng bobbing and weaving between attacks as Toms looked to land his southpaw left down the middle.
Ochieng looked the more dangerous in round four despite Toms getting closer until a crunching left hook to the body had Toms on the deck.
Not fully recovered, ‘The Eagle’ wasn’t to be denied for too long after digging in the finishing body shot at 2:30 of the round.
Ochieng has the British flag adorning half of his ring shorts, and he is surely not far off a shot at the British title held by Brian Rose.
Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor kicked off the night’s boxing with a second round stoppage of Gyula Vajda.
After taking a look at Vajda in the opener, and getting his nose reddened in the process, Taylor then decked the Hungarian in round two with his first real shot of the fight.
Connecting with a beauty of a right cross over his foes low left that forced him to take a knee, Taylor forced Vajda twice more to the canvas before the referee’s intervention.
Wadi Camacho was next up as he pounded Andy Ingram into defeat in two rounds.
Despite being guilty of waiting too long for periods with Ingram finding bursts of confidence, Camacho looked the more dangerous as he landed several barrages of punches that forced Ingram to the ropes.
It was one of these barrages with Ingram’s back again to the strands that brought a sudden and violent end to the contest just seconds before the end of round two with Ingram out on his feet.
The towel thrown in by his corner and the referee’s intervention thankfully saving the cruiserweight from any unnecessary punishment.
John Ryder extended his perfect record to 12-0(7) with a beautifully brutal knockout of Sandor Micsko.
After a scrappy opener, Ryder uncorked a crunching left uppercut followed by a right hook that separated his man from his senses. A thumping southpaw left cross to the head of the tottering Micsko left him flat on his back.
The announcer stated referee Bob Williams reached the count of ten but with the series of punches landed, he could have reached a hundred.
Former amateur stars Kal Yafai and a Martin Ward also featured on the undercard with fights at both end of the winning spectrum.
Yafai’s one round, two knockdown, TKO win over Richard Voros begged the question ‘what the hell was Voros doing in there’, while Ward overcome the determined Kristian Laight on points on a learning debut.
The night ended on a contentious note as Danny Cassius Connor captured the vacant Southern Area light welterweight title with a 98-94 points win over formerly unbeaten Chris Evangelou.
From the opening bell it appeared a battle between skill and strength, as the flashy work of Evangelou was met with the sheer determination and work-rate of Connor.
The pro-Evangelou crowd, in this backyard of the North-London fighter, could be forgiven that their man had done enough to claim the win after the final bell after ten dogged rounds.
Connor had fought his heart throughout the contest and continually pressed forward, but against the cheers of Evangelou’s more eye-catching work and movement.
The announcer reading out a verdict of 98-94 from referee, and sole scorer Ken Curtis, was then met shock from one set of fans, cheers from another, and raised eyebrows of neutrals, in a fight that surely begs a rematch.
September 8, 2012