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Miranda back in the mix


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by James Slater - Power puncher Edison Miranda, an exciting fighter who has very much made a name for himself as a world class, KO or be KO'd practitioner, may be close to getting another crack at a recognised world title. According to the man with all the news, Dan Rafael of ESPN.com, "Pantera" is currently in line to face WBO super-middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz in Germany on January 9th next year.


"We're pretty close to a deal," Leon Margules of Warriors boxing told ESPN.com..


Co-promoted by Margules, 28-year-old Miranda of Colombia has already had one unsuccessful crack at a world title, and he has also come up short in a final eliminator for one. Miranda, 33-4(29) lost a thriller on points to then IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham back in September of 2006 (the incredible "broken jaw" win Abraham managed to get) and he was later stopped in the 7th-round of another war when future middleweight king Kelly Pavlik stopped him in May of the following year.


Miranda then moved up in weight from 160, where he's had a mixture of success and failure at 168-pounds - wins over David Banks and Francisco Sierra, losses to Abraham (in a 166-pound catch-weight rematch) and Andre Ward - and now he looks forward to one more shot at capturing world honours.


Russian-born Stieglitz, who is the same age as Miranda and now lives in Germany, won the WBO 168-pound belt with an 11th-round TKO over the previously unbeaten Karoly Balzsay in August of this year, and the Miranda fight would be his first defence. Boasting a good record of 36-2(22), Stieglitz has nevertheless been stopped in both of his losses. Alejandro Berrio, another Colombian, stopped him in the 3rd-round back in March of 2007, after having lost a previous fight to the current WBO ruler via 11th-round TKO in 2005, and Mexico's Librado Andrade stopped Stieglitz in the 8th-round back in March of last year.


A strong and capable fighter, the 28-year-old who turned pro at 173-pounds in 2001 and has wins over some good men might just be a titlist Miranda can defeat. Not as big a puncher as Miranda, and not as experienced at world level (even though he has managed to win a title whereas Miranda thus far has not) Stieglitz could well be overpowered by the dangerous Colombian. Then again, with his high guard and physical strength, the Russian tough guy could outlast Miranda and stop him late as his challenger tires - as Stieglitz did in the fight when he won the WBO belt he now holds (forcing Balzsay to retire on his stool at the end of the 10th).


An exciting prospect of a fight (is Miranda ever in a dull fight?), hopefully Stieglitz Vs. Miranda will go ahead as planned.



Rob will deffo be interested in this

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