Saturday, May 16, 2009

Live Blog: Andre Ward vs Edison Miranda

Welcome to The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of tonight's Shobox's special edition featuring Andre Ward vs Edison Miranda in a 12 round super-middleweight contest.

Coverage will start at 9:00 PM EST.

In the main under-card bout, 16-0 lightweight John Molina takes on Frankie Archuleta.

Also on the televised portion of the card is 2008 US Olympian Shawn Estrada. Estrada comes in with a 5-0 record, all by knockout, and will be taking on Cory Jones in a 4 round super-middleweight bout.

If you are here early, check out some of The Boxing Bulletin's latest feature stories (links on the left hand side of the page).

Also worth checking out is a friend of mine's blog about his experiences covering Manny Pacquaio's preparation for the Ricky Hatton fight: The True Chronicles

Please refresh this page often, as I'll be doing frequent updates throughout the show.

9:02... Shobox is live from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

9:04... Steve Farhood is interviewing Andre Ward. Farhood asks Ward about Miranda's big pre-fight talk. "This is what I'm used to. They see one thing on the outside of the ring, but then they get in and it's a little different... I'm going to have fun tonight."

9:07... Farhood with Miranda, "Your loss to Arthur Abraham was a bad one, are you fighting tonight for your career?" "I love boxing, I'll keep boxing until I can. This is just another fight."

9:08... We're kicking things off with Molina vs Archuleta. Perhaps the Estrada/Jones bout (it's listed on the showtime website) will be aired in case this one ends early.

9:09... Farhood points out that Archuleta is by far Molina's toughest opponent, although he's fighting above his prime weight and hasn't been too active. "Molina's fighting him at the right time."

9:11... Jimmy Lennon with the intros. The ref is David Mendoza.

9:12... Archuleta weighed in at 128. Molina 132. It would be a nice touch and good info to have if Showtime put fight night weights like HBO does, but unfortunately they don't.

9:13... We're underway. Scheduled for 8 rounds.

9:13... Molina looks MUCH bigger in there.

9:16... Archuleta just landed a decent overhand right around 1 minute in. Molina's been edging forward, while Archuleta occasionally jumps in with a combo before moving. "If Archuleta goes to the ropes, forget it, he's got no chance." - Farhood. Molina keeps moving forward, but hasn't really opened up yet. He just landed a nice left with about 10 seconds left in the round.

9:20... Charles comments that he likes what Archuleta's doing, and Farhood adds, "He's fighting smart." Farhood comments that Molina needs to use his jab and take advantage of his big reach advantage. I think Molina's best shot so far has been the right hand to the body. Archeluta just had a nice little flurry around 1:30 into round 2, but Molina responds by slipping off the ropes and drilling the smaller man. He then turns it up with a powerful flurry that drops Archuleta along the ropes. He's up quickly, but Mendoza takes a look at him and stops it!

9:23... "Sometimes the worst thing you can do is hit a guy." - Farhood

Archuleta was flurrying with Molina up against the ropes, when Molina fired a left hand that backed Archuleta off. Molina then drilled Archuleta with a heavy right hand to the body, and followed up with a left hand that drove Archuleta into the corner. A few shots later and Archuleta was down, although up immediately, he took the count with his back to the ref while walking away.

9:25... A bid of an odd stoppage, although Archuleta didn't put his gloves up when Mendoza finished his 8 count.

9:26... Highlights from Jones/Estrada. Jones opened up aggressively, and walked into a counter right hand that dropped him. Estrada jumped on Jones immediately, and the fight was stopped 91 seconds in. Estrada moves to 6-0.

9:31... I think we might have a bit of a wait here before the main-event. At the moment Showtime is showing highlights of Ward and Miranda's previous fights.

9:34... Not much of a wait after all. Edison Miranda is making his way to the ring.

9:36... Fighting in front of his hometown fans, Andre Ward enters to a big ovation.

9:38... Jimmy Lennon doing the intros. Looks like a good atmosphere inside the arena. The referee is John Schorle.

9:39... Miranda has a bit of a reach edge. Both weighed in at 167 1/2.

9:40... "Miranda's got to get that jab going." - Charles. He's trying to. Accidental head-butt 1 minute in. No blood.

9:40... I stand corrected, Ward has a cut above his left eye.

9:42... Miranda is trying to get aggressive in there, but not landing much of note.

9:43... Ward's corner tells him the cut is very small. "Do not be in the corners!" They tell him. The head-butt occurred in the corner, Farhood points out that Miranda was a little reckless which caused the butt

9:44... Miranda is pressing and swinging wildly. He just missed with a big right. Ward is circling here, and occasionally stopping to trade. Ward now drills Miranda with a hard right hand. Miranda is stalking, but no luck. He now lands a right hand low. About 1:15 left in round 2.

9:46... Farhood comments that what Ward is doing well is either being very far away or very close to Miranda. Ward cracks Miranda with a right hand and Miranda smacks his chest to say bring it on (or that hurt). Some big action with about 30 seconds in the round. I think Miranda got a decent right hand in, and Ward responded by mixing it up. Ward digs a hard left to the body with about 10 seconds left.

9:47... Farhood gave round 2 to Miranda based on a couple good rights late in the round.

9:48... For those that weren't looking forward to it, this has been pretty entertaining so far. Miranda comes out putting the pressure on. Ward's doing a good job of beating Miranda to the punch and then tying him up in close. Ward drills Miranda with a really nice body shot 1:00 into the round. Miranda keeps stalking. He's firing the jab and then trying to bang home the right hand.

9:50... Ward drills Miranda with a left hand between the guard. Ward's moving nicely, picking his spots to stop and fire. Very good 3rd round for Ward so far. Ward nails Miranda with a straight left just before the bell.

9:51... Miranda opens up round 4 by chasing after Ward and bulling him into the ropes. Ward backs up, moving away to his right. Miranda catches Ward with a right hand, but didn't have the full force behind it.

9:52... Ward drills Miranda with a decent combo. Ward is looking comfy here. He's just got Miranda's right hand to worry about, and he's doing a nice job of moving out of the way. If Miranda was a litle quicker or didn't load up so much, it might be a different story.

9:53... Ward's doing a fair bit of holding inside. I said early it was a "nice job" of tying up. I guess that's still one way to look at it. Ward stops and drills Miranda to the body. Miranda misses badly with a right hand a few seconds before the bell to end round 4.

9:55... Ward just landed a nice combo. Miranda tried to respond, but Ward was already out of range. Ward leaps in with a left hand. He's landing all the solid punches right now. Farhood comments that Miranda isn't really throwing much anymore. 1:30 left in round 5.

9:57... Really nice uppercut from Ward. Miranda felt that. Ward drills Miranda with a 1/2. He's pawing with the jab and then unloading. Miranda trying to fight back, but he's being outclassed here. Just before the end of the round, Ward lands a nice left hand between Miranda's guard along the ropes, and Miranda pounds his chest.

9:58... Farhood comments that Ward is showing some nice defensive work. He also compliments Ward's nice left upper-cut he landed.

9:59... Miranda tries to jab his way in and follow up with a right, but Ward slips it. Miranda's just doesn't have an answer for Ward's movement. He's throwing that right hand, but with Ward moving away from it, it's never landing. Miranda lands a decent uppercut in close. Ward now tries to smother Miranda in close, and fires off a body shot. Some good shoulder to shoulder action here, and Ward looks like the stronger man as he pushes Miranda backwards.

10:01... 1 minute to go in round 6. Ward in control. He's mixing up his punches very nicely. Miranda lands a nice, but Ward just fires back. Now Miranda launches a big right that sails over Ward's head and Ward ties him up. Ward stings him with a right hand and pushes Miranda back along the ropes. Miranda fires back. There's the bell.

10:02... Farhood has it 59-55 after 6. He gave Miranda round 2. Nick Charles has it the same way.

10:03... Miranda came out hard and drilled Ward with a big right hand along the ropes. Ward quickly moves out of trouble and Miranda chases. Ward stops and fires to the body. He lands a hook. Miranda pressing forward here, and Ward ties him up. 2:00 left in round 7.

10:05... Nice left hand from Ward. He pushes Miranda back along the ropes and forces Miranda into the corner. Ward with a right/left combo that lands. He missed with a big hook though, and Miranda chases him into the corner, before Ward ties him up. The ref breaks the little wrestling match up. A bit more holding and mauling from both fighters. Ward catches Miranda with a nice left hook with about 30 seconds to go in the round. Miranda takes it well and chases Ward backwards. Ward is too quick though, and by the time Miranda catches him, he's too close and they clinch.

10:06... Miranda's corner is telling him that he's got to change things up. "Don't chase him! You've got to hit him. We're down."

10:07... Action in close to start round 8, with both fighters shoulder to shoulder. Ward pushes Miranda back into the corner. Some holding going on. Now they kind of waltz back into the middle of the ring, and Ward lands a nice little shot inside. 2:00 left in round 8.

10:09... Ward is now out muscling Miranda. He's pushing him backwards and has Miranda up against the ropes, while he's working little shots. Miranda is trying to fight back with his back to the ropes in the corner, but Ward doesn't let him out. I dunno how many people expected this sort of fight here from Ward. He's just pressing in, forcing Miranda backwards. The ref now warns Ward for getting a little too rough. 20 seconds left in the round. "The more rugged guy has been Ward." - Farhood. Miranda just doesn't have the legs right now to get Ward as a range where he can get some leverage.

10:10... Ward's corner tells him to "Keep it smart."

10:11... Round 9 underway. Miranda opens up stalking, while Ward backs away, only to stop and drill home a left hand. Miranda jabs his way in and launches a huge uppercut that may have changed the fight if it landed clean, but it didn't. Now they clinch again. Miranda hustling this round, as he's coming forward and letting his hands go. Just not having too much luck landing anything clean. Ward now stops and lands a right hand, and ties Miranda up. 1:30 left in the round.

10:13... "He's looking like an old 28." Charles on Miranda. Ward with a nice right hand and follows up with a good left hook. Miranda tries to fight back, but misses with a right hand. Ward now bangs home a right hand, and Miranda tries to fight back, but Ward gets on the move and ties Miranda up when he gets close.

10:13... Miranda's corner is telling him that Ward is tired. "You've got to fight 3 minutes."

10:15... Miranda opens up the 10th round on the attack. But it's Ward that lands the damaging shot with a good left hook. Miranda's trying to jab his way in, but he's too slow to follow up with his right hand. Ward's just too quick. 1:30 to go in a bit of an uneventful 10th round so far.

10:16... Every so often, Ward stops and lands clean with something hard. The ref now warns Ward to stop the holding. Ward lands a really nice right hand and then moves out of trouble. He stops and lands a big uppercut. Miranda tries to respond and their legs get tangled and Ward goes down. Not a knockdown though. There's the bell to end round 10.

10:18... "Beat him up!" - Ward's corner tells him before he goes out for round 11.

10:19... Ward with a nice 1-2. He's managing to get his straight shots through Miranda's high guard. That's of course when Miranda has his hands up, as he often doesn't.

10:20... It has to be said - Miranda is a gutsy fighter. He's been drilled by a lot of clean hard shots tonight, and he's still coming forward, desperately trying to land something big. Farhood comments that Miranda might as well put a message in the mail that he's trying to land that big right hand. Yeah, he's telegraphing it.

10:21... Ward with a nice body shot. Action has been a little slow here. Ward is playing it safer than in previous rounds as Miranda is desperate and really loading up. Ward wings a hook over Miranda's head as the bell rings to end round 11.

10:22... 12th and final round. Miranda needs a KO.

10:23... Miranda lands a chopping right. Ward on the move, stops throws and hold. He does it again. Miranda chasing and firing the right, but it doesn't land. Charles comments that Ward hasn't switched to southpaw this round, something he's been doing often tonight. 1:30 to go in the fight.

10:25... "To Miranda's credit, he has come forward all night." - Farhood. 1:00 to go. Miranda trying hard here, but just not connecting. Ward using the ring, then jumps in with a hook. 15 seconds left. They clinch. Another clinch. Miranda misses a right hand and there's the final bell.

10:26... Farhood, "Ward is class in and out of the ring." "He answered the critics by taking this fight." - Charles

10:27... I suspect the cards will be in the 119-109 range.

10:28... Jimmy Lennon Jr. with the decision. Unanimous decision. 116-112, 119-109, 119-109 for Andre Ward.

10:33... A convincing win for Ward, although not the most exciting of fights. Ward tells Farhood that he proved tonight that he could take a shot, although he's not happy with his performance. "I wanted to look better in certain spots, I felt like a I put myself in compromising positions at times."

10:34... Steve Farhood and Nick Charles raved about Ward's performance tonight. He was in control all night, but a little too much holding for my tastes. Still, he got the job done and won going away.

10:36... Thanks for checking out The Boxing Bulletin's live blog coverage of tonight's fight. We'll be back again for the May 30 Berto/Urango, Cintron/Angulo HBO show.