On May 16th Edison Miranda lost a lopsided decision to Andre Ward in Oakland, Ca. Although the fight was exciting, Miranda did not have an answer for Ward’s consistent movement, and a once promising career seemed completely to be on the downward slope, to put it mildly. Less than thirty days later, Miranda sat with his team to discuss how he could right the ship. They began a search for a new trainer, and it ended with Joe Goossen.
“I met Edison Miranda for the first time in Oakland. We had a short little meeting. And my first impression was that I liked the kid,” Goossen says about his new protégé. “I spoke with his manager shortly after the fight and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Joe Goossen has made a name for himself by resurrecting the careers of fighters, with Diego Corrales being the most notable. And on October 22nd he will attempt to do it again when Miranda (32-4, 28 knockouts) takes on Francisco Sierra (20-2, 19 knockouts) at the Tachi Palace, in Lemoore, Ca.
For the past four months, Goossen and Miranda have been working together to tone the Colombian’s craft. But the famed trainer figured right away that improvement is needed in order for Miranda to regain the success that he had before.
"Edison is like a student that is taking a math course, doing basic math, but he should really be doing algebra,” Goossen said. “That's mostly it. He was just doing some basic stuff in the ring. There was not a lot of variety to his style. He would track you down and throw the right hand. That could help you up to a certain point but when a guy can move around like Andre Ward did, then you have to have another style in your pocket that you are able to use.”
The irony in the Goossen/Miranda combination is that Ward, Miranda’s last opponent, is a longtime stable head of the Goossen Tutor camp. However Goossen does not sense any conflict of interest. He has been familiar with working with fighters that he was previously going against.
In 2005, Goossen trained Joel Casamayor in a fight to defeat Diego Corrales. Two years later, Goossen switched camps and trained Corrales to beat Casamayor in the rematch. At this point in Miranda’s career, Goossen sees plenty of similarities to the late former champion that he was so proud of.
“Diego was like Miranda when we started. He was a straight up fighter that didn’t use his left hand or movement as well as he could have. He didn’t use a variety of punches in the first Casamayor fight either,” Goossen reflects about the late great champion. “All of the things that I was worried about during the first Casamayor/Corrales fight did not happen. That is why we had an easy victory. But when I switched corners, and took Diego in for the rematch against Casamayor, Diego was able to go from a single-minded pressure fighter to an improviser.
“When we had the rematch, I told Diego, here are the blueprints to beating Casamayor. I basically told him all of the things that I was worried about in their first fight when I was in the opposite corner, and we ended up winning. After that, Diego went from a straight up guy that used very little variety, to a guy that moved side to side, and really out worked the other athlete.”
Meanwhile in the case of Miranda, Goossen has been pleasantly surprised by what he is seeing during training camp. And at only 28 years of age, Goossen thinks Miranda has plenty of juice left in the tank to resurrect his career.
“Most of the people that have been in my gym, and I have some really good top contenders, are all looking forward to seeing Edison fight. The incredible transformation of his style is very exciting to us,” Goossen said. “We put him in an advanced placement course. He is a great athlete. Edison has acclimated himself to a new style and it is really paying dividends in the gym right now.”
Perhaps Miranda’s greatest effort was a controversial loss against undefeated Arthur Abraham in 2006. And judging from the recent report of Dan Goossen pushing for an Allan Green vs. Edison Miranda fight with the winner to replace Jermain Taylor in the Super Six tournament, Joe Goossen might have found a diamond in the rough with Edison Miranda.
Miranda’s entrance into the Super Six is a long shot, considering the fact that Lou Dibella promotes Green and would likely have the inside track on providing a replacement if Taylor withdraws. Goossen thinks that Miranda is not too far away from returning to the championship level.
“Look, he got to the top basically on the rudimentary skills that he had. I don’t think that there is too much of a doubt that he won the first Arthur Abraham fight," Goossen says. "Edison Miranda is an athlete in hiding. He can adapt. I never knew he possessed such incredible skills. I thought man, this guy could really do a lot more in there than he has shown.”
On Heavyweight Prospect Manuel Quezada
Manuel Quezada, another Joe Goossen-trained southern California fighter, will fight on the undercard of Miranda vs. Sierra, against Nicolai Firtha (16-6, seven knockouts) of Akron, Ohio. Quezada has won his last seventeen fights and is fresh off of a one round destruction of Travis Walker in July. “My last fight was short so I am excited to get back in there,” Quezada said. “Every time I go in the ring I feel like I get better.”
Quezada credits his four year win streak to a renewed focus in the gym. He said that Joe Goossen has helped him understand the need to be dedicated round the clock.
“He is the number three or four heavyweight in the world right now,” Goossen says of Quezada. “All he has to do is continue to win. When some more of the timber is clear in the heavyweight division, I am sure Dan (Goossen) will find a championship fight for him.”
Meanwhile, the humbly spoken Mexican heavyweight feels that he has much more to prove and eyes a world title shot in the near future. Quezada also gave his take on his friend Cris Arreola’s fight against Vitali Klitschko last month, and thinks he would have handled the massive Ukrainian differently.
“I think that fight showed that Klitschko is the champ for a reason. Cris tried to get inside but it did not work. No disrespect to Cris, he is a good friend of mine, but I would have tried to take more risks. During a fight, it is my job to just go in there and work. And that is what I would do against Klitschko, every minute of every round.”
If Quezada continues to win, he just might get his chance to fight one of the big dogs.