Last night on ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights,” up-and-coming middleweight sensation Edison Miranda 26-0 (23 KO’s) defeated two-time world title challenger Howard Eastman 40-4 (34 KO’s) in brutal fashion for a shot at the IBF Middleweight Championship.
The opening round began slowly. Eastman established good distance between him and Miranda, playing the first round cool. Miranda threw often, but was too far away to land. Though Eastman played keep away he was not throwing back. Round one, boring… and even.
In round two, Eastman continued to keep distance from the heavy-handed Miranda. Soon enough, Eastman began to utilize his reach advantage, going to work with the jab. Miranda attempted to throw back, only to have Eastman slip his punches. Eastman continued to pick away with the jab until ending the round with a nice combination.
The third opened up with a few hooks by Eastman, as he began to pick up the pace of the so far lackluster fight. To this point Eastman was fighting extremely smart, staying on the outside, and clinching on the inside. Miranda then landed a nice right hand that momentarily hurt Eastman, followed by a blatant low blow. When the action resumed, Eastman answered back with a vicious hook. The round was close, but I gave it to the veteran.
The fourth proved to be a pivotal turning point in the fight. The round kicked off with Eastman coming on, applying intense pressure. However, Miranda came right back, even stronger. Miranda began to settle into a rhythm, landing more often now. Eastman then began to back off some, yet still continued to get caught with shots. Miranda closed the shutout round with a series of devastating combos and brutal right hands.
Round five began with both warriors trading jabs. Miranda once again got settled and began to land on a more consistent basis, picking and choosing his shots. Miranda once again stunned Eastman with a sweet right hand, as it became apparent that Eastman was hurt badly, and in over his head. Eastman did the only thing he could, he held on for dear life, barely making out of the round. Round five, 10-8 for Miranda.
The sixth opened with Miranda slipping and countering with crisp, hard punches. Eastman began to look scared, afraid to commit to his punches and pawing with the jab instead of actually throwing it. However, midway through the round Eastman shook it off and stunned Miranda with a flush right hand. Miranda came right back strong, with the heart of a true champion. But as quickly as he came back, he was hurt again by another Eastman right. Round six goes to Eastman.
Round seven opened with both fighters trading shots, landing with equal accuracy. Miranda then began to press forward, cornering Eastman against the ropes, landing a variety of brutal combinations. As it appeared Eastman was staggered, Miranda wasted no time, landing the right hand shot heard round the world. Eastman was hurt. Four more devastating, as well as unanswered, punches brought a halt to the bout 2:33 seconds into the round.
The Sweet Science had the fight scored an even 57-57 at the time of stoppage.
Last night Miranda proved a whole lot to the entire world. He did something that 43 other men could not. He stopped Howard Eastman.
Assuming that Miranda puts on an equally amazing performance against IBF champion Arthur Abraham, I cannot wait to see Miranda in the ring with the likes of Jermain Taylor, or Winky Wright.
While Wright may bring a boring fight to the table against Taylor, a fight between Taylor and Miranda would most likely be nothing short of an all-out war.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?