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16 APRIL 2014

 

Despaign Despair For Edison Miranda


Miranda Edison body Green HoganPhotos
Miranda Edison body Green HoganPhotos

By Sean Wippert at ringside in Las Vegas: The co-main event of the evening on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights at The Cosmopolitan Hotel featured what looked to be one of the more unique pairings in the super middleweight division. Coming by way of Colombia and bringing with him a 34-5 with 29 wins by knockout was Edison “Pantera” Miranda. The Columbian native’s 74% win by knockout ratio is exceptional to say the least especially when you take into account that he has faced off against top tier opponents like Arthur Abraham and Andre Ward.

Across from him was a much less known fighter fighting out of Havana, Cuba’s Yordanis “King Carney” Despaige. While not as well-known as Miranda, Despaige none the less was a threat in the ring with a record of 8-1 and four knockouts. Additionally, unlike Miranda, he hadn’t lost 3 of his last seven fights by knockout. Whichever the case, the Cuban seemed more than ready to throw down as they went through the pre-fight instructions.

The opening round saw a much more seasoned Miranda getting caught by several shots launched by Despaige. The attacks became so much that in the final seconds a series of punches nearly ended the Miranda’s night before it began. The offense continued into the second round where both men decided it was time to test one another’s mettle. The pair spent most of the round trading shots in the middle of the ring like it was going out of style. As if frustrated by the sound of the bell, Miranda fired a shot after it tolled and was penalized.

It was as though the malice of the earlier minutes had become a bit of an issue as Miranda was called for a yet another low blow in the early seconds of the third round. Despaige eventually came back to his feet and the men once again returned to testing one another. This time it was Miranda who stepped up to the challenge with fists flying at every imaginable angle. These heavy exchanges continued into the fourth round with Miranda finally beginning to get a foothold in the fight. Towards the latter half of the round everything seemed to come to a head. What began with Despaige connecting on a trio of shots turned into a barrage. In response Miranda did the last thing anyone expected, he dropped his gloves, smiled, and proceeded to absorb nearly a dozen shots to the chin. When the smoke cleared it was Miranda who seemed to laugh at the offensive display by Despaige.

With the electricity of the fifth still circulating through the crowd, the men spent the sixth continuing to exchange shots. Unfortunately for all in attendance, the increase in legal shots led to a few stray illegal ones. In the first few moments of the round Miranda once more landed another low blow. Referee Vic Drakulich had seen enough and called the fight at the 0:45 mark, awarding the win via disqualification to Despaige.

The painful win moves Despaige to 9-1 with 4 knockouts. When asked about what he thought of the fight has said that Miranda “fights dirty” and “he hit me with his elbows and head more than his fists.” He also commented that “If the fight had gone on much longer he would have killed him.” With the loss Miranda falls to 34-6 with 5 knockouts. After the fight Miranda was quoted as saying that “This was a bad decision. Decisions like this ruin the sport and make paper champions.”

The undercard of the night opened light-heavyweights Sergei Kovalev of Russia as he took on Douglas Otieno of Nairobi, Kenya. Kovalev opened up the fight with a very jab heavy attack that resulted in some painfully well placed shots.

The clean shots seemed to throw off Otieno a bit as he attacked awkwardly and off balance in response. Kovalev ended the night with a crushing left that sent Otieno to the canvas. The fight was officially stopped at the 2:39 mark of the second round. With the win Kovalev improves to a perfect 16-0 with 14 knockouts and takes home the NABA US light-heavyweight belt. With the loss Otieno falls to a respectable 23-7 with 12 knockouts.

The bill also saw local Las Vegas native- Badou Jack “The Ripper” dismantle fellow a light-heavyweight from Athens, Georgia Timothy Hall Jr.

Jack’s brutal offense was simply too much for Hall to take. Referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight at the 1:31 mark of the second round following a second knockdown by Jack. The win moves Jack to 7-0 with now six knockouts and drops Hall Jr. to 6-12 with four knockouts.

Also on the undercard, Miami, Florida native Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelmy grinded his way through an eight round decision over Kansas City’s own Geraldo Robles.

With the unanimous score counts of 76-75/78-73/79-72, Bathelmy improves to 14-0 and takes home the UBO International super-featherweight championship Belt. With the loss, Robles falls to 14-11 with six knockouts.

In heavyweight action, Romanian-born Razvan Cojanu pounded his way to his first professional win. He took a unanimous decision of 40-36 (all) over Kourtney “Mr.” Boden, improving to 1-1. With the loss Boden improves to 3-3 with 2 knockouts.

The main event of the evening pitted two of the sport’s best junior welterweights.

Standing in the blue corner and fighting out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was the always dangerous Victor Cayo. Cayo came into the fight with a record of 26-1, 18 via knockout. Adding to his validity as a contender in the division is that his one and only loss came at the hands of the very talented Marcos Maidana.

Standing across from him was Memphis, Tennessee’s own Lamont “Havoc” Peterson. Not to be out done, Peterson has also traded shots with some of the best in the business to include Victor Ortiz and Timothy Bradley. The 27-year old Peterson has amassed an equally impressive record of 28-1-1 with 14 knockouts. On paper it appeared that everyone in attendance was in for one hell of a matchup.

As the opening bell sounded, both men seemed to forgo the standard feel out opening round in exchange for a much more aggressive experience. Each man seemed content to fire away, taking several chances that many a weaker fighters probably wouldn’t dare to. Peterson then landed a late overhand right in the first that floored Cayo. Referee Kenny Bayless immediately waved it off, calling it a shot to the back of the head and not a clean knockdown.

The second round was a bit of clone of the first with both men attacking almost at will. Cayo struck early and often, landing a pair of nasty shots that almost wobbled Peterson. The Tennessee-native took the attack well, returning an equally well-placed combination that grabbed Cayo’s attention near the end of the round. This pattern of brutal exchanges continued in through the third, fourth and fifth rounds, with neither man willing to back down or slow in pace. It became common to see Cayo firing a blisteringly fast shot combo followed by Peterson returning fire with equal intensity.

By the halfway mark of the fight, Peterson had turned to a bit of stick and move style, picking a ranged jab attack over a phone booth scrap. Cayo gave chase and managed to quickly push the fight back to its square off and trade roots. The trench style warfare that followed was similar to the early rounds, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Even with the reduced tempo it was hard to see how either man was able to continue with such a brutal series of exchanges.

As the later rounds began coming and going it was becoming harder and harder to distinguish and clear winner. Although Peterson was connecting with some nasty shots, Cayo just kept finding ways of returning the favor with quick combinations to counter the momentum. The damage done by Peterson was, however, showing as Cayo’s returns became fewer and fewer. Peterson on the other hand seemed to be gaining strength as the rounds hit double digits.

In the twelfth and final round it looked as though Peterson had had enough and did not want it to go to the scorecards. He unleashed what can only be described as a full boar assault. Shot after shot connected, sending echoes of leather explosions throughout the arena. In the last few seconds of the round, the mounting damage had just become too much for Cayo to handle. He fell to a knee after weathering yet another Peterson onslaught. After a ten count he failed to return to his feet, awarding another knockout win to Peterson.

The hard fought win brings Peterson’s record to 30-1-1 with now 15 knockouts and fully reinforces why he has the nickname “Havoc.” Cayo takes only his second loss in 28 fights, falling to 26-2 with 18 knockouts. This bout was well worth the billing and one that I have a feeling we may see again in the future.


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