Andre Ward will be stepping up in competition when he takes on former middleweight contender, Edison Miranda. Will the 2004 Olympic gold medalist pass the test, or can the big punching Pantera derail Ward's plans?
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The Boxing Bulletin writers give their predictions...
|Miranda was a bit chinny as middleweight before the Pavlik beating, getting rocked in at least four fights. Post-Pavlik, he crumpled on the first flush shot he took on the chin against Abraham. Ward will be the first strong natural super-middle he's faced and I just don't trust he can take a good shot anymore.|
The caveat is that the book's still out on Ward's whiskers, and this is indeed a step up. But I think Andre will take Miranda out within rounds 4-6 after a cautious start. - Michael Nelson
|I'm not really a fan of this bout; I think it's a mismatch. I was never a Miranda believer, but what he did have pre-Pavlik was a certain toughness that would carry him through most rough spots. He no longer has that it would seem, and now he is only a crude fighter with a big punch. I'm not on the Ward bandwagon either, but I suspect he dominates, one way or the other, probably by stoppage. As a step up fight, he ought to look mighty impressive or he'll end up like Chad Dawson did last week; another win on his ledger, but immobile in his goal of advancing to bigger, better fights.|
I think Ward is too fast, at a weight past Miranda's best. Miranda has a punchers chance, Ward has all the other advantages. My forecast is a 75% chance of a Ward victory. - Jeff Pryor
|Miranda is just too damn slow to deal with Ward. Haven't seen that much of the kid, but he should win. I think Miranda will last the distance because I'm not sold on Ward as a finisher or a puncher. Wide decision. Not necessarily thrilling. - Lee Payton|
|I'm taking Ward by boring decision. I can't really say I'm sold on Andre as far as being a future star of the sport. But I do think he is too talented for Miranda. Can't say this match up has my juices flowing. Not even a little bit. - Mark Lyons|
|I've never rated Miranda and don't rate Ward either. I believe Ward will use his speed to hit and move his way to a unanimous decision, but will inevitably fail when he steps up to the highest level. - Dave Oakes|
|Ward's big edge in overall skills, especially hand speed, should be way too much for Miranda - but Miranda's one shot power should make it interesting for as long as it lasts. - Andrew Fruman|