Edison Miranda touched down in London with a warning for Tony Bellew ahead of their clash on Saturday – telling the Liverpool man he will not be standing by the end of the fight. Bellew and Miranda meet in a mouth-watering bill-topper in north London. The two-time IBF World super middleweight title challenger is a step-up in class for Bellew, having shared the ring with stars like Andre Ward, Lucian Bute, Arthur Abraham and Kelly Pavlik, and the Columbian wants to make it clear that he is the star of Saturday’s show.
“Put your kids to bed early on Saturday,” said Miranda. “I don’t want them to be frightened by seeing what I do to Bellew. It is going to be ugly.
“I have had an excellent camp. I moved to Las Vegas and trained for the past six weeks with Chad Dawson. We worked very well together and had some great sparring sessions. He is a great champion. I am ready for anyone now.”
The 31 year old is known for having a fearful dig and with an incredible 30 of his 35 wins coming by way of stoppage, the Columbian is a huge threat to Bellew’s desire to move to the World stage – and the visitor questions whether Tony has the power to hurt him.
“We are both known as powerful punchers?” said Miranda. “Maybe I need to watch more Tony Bellew fights. Who calls him a powerful puncher? His girlfriend? The reason the fight will not go the distance is because Edison Miranda is a powerful puncher. I am not putting this decision in the hands of the judges. You can save money and keep the judges at home. There will be two men standing at the end of this fight, Edison Miranda and the ref.”
Miranda enters the fight on the back of a loss to Isaac Chilemba in Las Vegas in February but explains that his eagerness to stop the Malawian after an accidental headbutt caused a nasty cut over the left eye of Miranda which changed the complexion of the contest completely and led to a points win for Chilemba.
“It made all the difference,” said Miranda. “I was up 3-1 on the cards before the headbutt. The blood was dripping in my eye and really effecting my fighting. At the time I wanted to knockout Chilemba so I kept fighting. Looking back on it I should have stopped fighting and went home with the win. However, I am a fighter and want to fight to the death. Hopefully, I am never in that position again. I am not a quitter.”
It’s the second time that ‘Pantera’ has fought in London, having beaten Joey Vegas at York Hall in March 2009. Win on Saturday, and Miranda has designs on coming back for a third time to take on Britain’s number one fighter.
“I really enjoy fighting in the UK – the fans here are great boxing fans,” said Miranda. “Being shown across European TV is great exposure and I have gained many fans all over the world from my fights in Europe. I would love to come back to the UK and fight the best fighter England can throw my way. Carl Froch would be number one on my radar. He is a great fighter who fights with the same love of the sport as I do. We could put on a great show.
“I want to fight the best fighters. That has always been my way. If Froch has other plans then Nathan Cleverly would be a good fight so I can take his belt away and show the world what a true World Champion looks like.”
With 42 fights compared to Bellew’s 18 and over six more years as a professional fighter, Miranda holds a considerable advantage in rounds boxed but he says it’s his power that will be the difference not his years in the game, and has a chilling warning for the Liverpool man.
“My experience won’t make the difference in this fight. Tony will not make it to the later rounds. My right hand breaking his face will be the difference in this fight. I will pound him everywhere and when he drops his hands I am going to take him out early. He has chosen to fight during the wrong time in my career. I am coming to London to make a big impression and win over the fans. Everyone will be chanting ‘Pantera, Pantera, Pantera’ when I walk out of the ring.”
Lee Purdy is aiming to break into the World welterweight scene by beating unbeaten Argentine Gumersindo Carrasco in their chief support bout for the IBF International welterweight title. Exciting light middleweight star Erick Ochieng defending his English title for the second time against Southern Area champ Ryan Toms, hotly tipped Islington middleweight John Ryder will also be in action while popular unbeaten Chris ‘The Flash’ Evangelou fights for the first title of his career when he tackles Danny Connor for the vacant Southern Area light welterweight title.
There is a debut for Team GB star Martin Ward, who hopes to follow the example set by Kal Yafai when he stopped Delroy Spencer on his debut in July. Yafai fights for the second time as a pro, as does cruiserweight prospect Wadi Camacho and Ryan ‘Crash Bang’ Taylor completes the line-up in his seventh pro outing.