Edison Miranda is the IT fighter, the one that gets the most play in the chat rooms, the one that we’re latching on to as a potential next generation stud.
His profile got a bump when he savaged Willie Gibbs on HBO on Dec. 16, and his stock bumped up a few more points northward when Mouthy Max Kellerman proclaimed him a hot commodity, a stellar talent to keep on your short list of fighters who could break out to another level.
We’ll soon get a chance to see if that new hype is just so much hyperbolizing, or if Miranda really is all that, a crackerjack puncher with the backstory that screams for a TV movie treatment.
Miranda, age 29, who grew up chowing down on roadkill as a street urchin in Colombia, will butt heads and fists with undefeated Allan Green on March 3 on HBO.
The bout takes place in Puerto Rico, Miranda’s adopted home base, and has taken on a tad more import as Green got a little mouthy last week. He promised he’d school Miranda on his home turf, Puerto Rico, and said that his own fan base there is considerable.
Did the Green smack talk rile Miranda up, get his blood boiling to a dangerous level?
“I’m not upset at Green,” Miranda told TSS on Wednesday afternoon. “I was training at 100% and it woke me up. Now I’m training at 120%. He just woke up the monster.”
Yikes, I thought what we saw against Gibbs was monster-ish. You mean there’s another level?
Miranda delves into his belief why Green went there, why he created a flurry of controversy with his rant.
“The only reason he talked trash is to make a name for himself,” the 26-year-old hitter said. “He’s using Edison Miranda as a platform, he just doing it for the show. I’m not mad at him.”
He is, he admits, a tad bewildered.
“Green has me a bit confused,” Miranda says. “He says he’s got a lot of fans in Puerto Rico but I have yet to see one. I want to know who they are.”
Miranda is not taking this Green broadside personally, he says.
“My heart is like that. I can’t change that. I don’t have any enemies. I can’t hold grudges.”
Miranda was dumped by his birth mother early on, and taken in by a family friend. The “friend” dumped him on the street when her family ranks swelled, and he was left to his own devices.
That meant scrounging for food to stay alive, and one might surmise that a man who lived through this ordeal, and tasted such examples of hard-heartedness, might be a bit bitter.
Miranda insists that his soul hasn’t shriveled from the experience, that even if those that rejected him came a callin’, galvanized by his newfound fame and rising fortunes, he wouldn’t spurn them.
“I don’t have any problem with my past,” he said. “They haven’t come out, and I’ve tried looking for them. When they do come to me, I’ll meet them with open arms.”
That all said, Miranda isn’t looking to make the 23-0 Oklahoman Green an addition to his stable of pals.
“This is the sports world, a foe is an enemy in the ring but once we’re done we put this behind us. He’s a human being, and if we’d eat from the same plate if we had to.”
The 27-year-old Green may not feel so Oprah-y. There’s prestige and title fights and big money on the line March 3. The winner could take on Youngstown middleweight Kelly Pavlik, who looked so impressive downing Jose Luis Zertuche on HBO two weeks ago, with the winner of that beef meeting Jermain Taylor.
Ah, Taylor. His name and image is a constant in Mirandaland.
“One thing that confuses me is I don’t know if Green is a good person or a bad person, but this beating he’ll get belongs to Jermain Taylor,” Miranda says. “I don’t know why Green is here. This beating is meant for Jermain Taylor.”
Miranda, should he dispose of Green, and he fully believes that’s almost a given, will gladly step in with Pavlik next. And then?
“I want to demonstrate to the world that there are good fighters in boxing, that boxing isn’t rigged,” he says. “Green, Pavlik and then Taylor, I’m leaving Taylor for the end. I’m definitely leaving him for dessert.”
SPEEDBAG The MMA revolution continues as Showtimes gets into the mix with a Saturday card that kicks off at 10 PM Eastern. A Gracie and a Shamrock top the bill, so there’s something significant on the line, as cousin Renzo and baby brother Frank do battle. The company presenting the show is headed up by Gary Shaw, the boxing promoter who’s taken some heat—mostly behind his back, it must be said—as some folks have theorized that he’s jumped ship from boxing to MMA because his stable and fortunes have declined recently. Well, Shaw’s stable got an injection of life when Chad Dawson schooled Tomasz Adamek last week, and with the growth of MMA, one can argue that Shaw is simply diversifying, and widening his asset base. I took in the Showtime ½ hour preview show, and that got me pumped to see the main event. But the fighter who really perked my interest was Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett. He’s proclaimed publicly that he’s killed three people, and while his record isn’t majestic (14-9,) his antics before, during and after fights makes him a fascinating figure. Tune in on Saturday, if for no other reason than to get a load of this cat…
—MyNetwork, the TV network that is the result of the merger of UPN and WB affiliates, will run a UFC replay show starting in the fall. One a week, UFC will show fights in there entirety. The MMA growth march continues; HBO will run three cards this year, now Showtime is in with both feet…who wants to hazard a guess when ESPN decides the water temp is just right?
—Hey, I rarely shill for cards but the HBO “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader on Feb. 17 that features Paulie Malignaggi (21-1, 5 KOs) vs. Edner Cherry (21-4-2, 10 KOs), Sechew Powell (20-1, 12 KOs) vs. Ishe Smith (18-1, 8 KOs), and Andre Berto (16-0, 14 KOs) vs. Norberto Bravo (23-12-3, 12 KOs) should be solid, and the atmosphere in the Hammerstein in NYC will be pulsating. Tickets are priced at $300, $200, $125, $75, and $40 and there are a batch left. Call 212-947-2577 to get on board…