By Geoff Poundes
Despite the promise of fireworks on both sides Tony Bellew and Edison Miranda fought out a cerebral affair at London’s Alexandra Palace this evening – culminating in a win for the British fighter after Miranda quit in the tenth round.
Each fighter had threatened to administer severe pain to the other in the build-up to the contest, but, as is often the case when these match-ups are over-hyped, the two men fell short of their boasts. Bellew in particular settled for a demonstration of his defensive skills, often tying up and frustrating the smaller Miranda and spearing the shorter man on the end of his jab. Bellew showed a healthier respect for the Columbian’s power than Miranda did for Bellew’s, so that whilst the fight was always intriguing, it failed to catch alight quite as anticipated.
Ultimately, Bellew simply drew the Coumbian’s considerable sting, and then stepped up the pressure in the latter rounds. The Englishman suffered a couple of uncomfortable moments, when he allowed himself to be trapped on the ropes, but Miranda’s punches were too ponderous to give him too much trouble. From the sixth onwards, Miranda slowed considerably, and Bellew was allowed to box pretty much as he pleased, spearing Miranda with long lefts and the odd right hand in combination.
In the eighth Miranda showed the first signs of wilting, playing possum on the ropes and playing up to the crowd as Bellew inexplicably called off his attack and allowed his man to rest. In the end, however, it made no difference as the fight was out of Miranda, and when Bellew began the tenth fast and landed a couple of combinations the Columbian took a knee. When referee Ian John Lewis reached eight Miranda rose to his feet, but clearly intimated that he’s had enough, and Lewis called the fight.
Afterwards, Bellew acknowledged the performance was not his best when he was asked if he was satisfied with his night’s work:
“I’m 50/50. I got the end result and I made him miss for the first four rounds” he said, “I stuck to the gameplan but it was a bit rough. I could see him wilt round by round. He’s proven world class and only the “A” list guys beat him, so where does that put me? He found out just how fit I was tonight. I want more top names to come to Liverpool and London”.
Bellew’s promoter Eddie Hearn was equally effusive: “He’s a big character and has a big future. We’re going to make him a huge star next year.”
Bellew moves to 18-1, 12 KO’s, whilst Miranda drops to 35-8, 30 KO’s. Bellew will now bash at the doors of the leading light-heavies, whilst Miranda may well contemplate that his 175 pound adventures are over, and a return to the super-middles makes a good deal more sense.
On the undercard former British welterweight titleholder made a significant statement when he stopped willing but out-gunned Argentine Gumersindo Carrasco in the fourtth of a scheduled twelve rounder. Purdy, 19-3, 12 KO’s belted Carraso around the whiskers from the opening bell, ignored the Argentinian’s countering firepower, and never let up his assault until his opponent finally cracked under the pressure. Carrasco, previously unbeaten in 16 contests, took a count in the first round after a left hook found his chin, but held on until the fourth, when he was dropped early by a right hand, and then again by a left hook to the body. The visitor showed courage to get back up and swap some punches, but Purdy would not be denied and battered his man back to the ropes where a couple of accurate right hands forced referee Steve Gray’s hand, and the fight was stopped. Carrasco nodded in agreement with the referee’s decision at the end.