Sharkie’s Machine: “Miranda Far More Impressive Than Pascal”
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., Exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (Jan 14, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights showcased Canada’s unbeaten Super Middleweight Jean Pascal (21-0, 14 KO’s), ranked tenth in the world rankings to go up against a blue-collar Philly fighter named Omar Pittman (15-4-1, 8 KO’s). That fight would take place on the under card of Edison Miranda vs. David Banks at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood Florida.

According to ESPN2, during the lead up to this event, Pascal and Miranda were getting into it with each other instead of who they were slated to fight. Bad blood? Please. The promoters cry wolf so often on that front that if there ever really
was bad blood, I probably wouldn’t believe it. But we all know bad blood when we see it.

If Pascal and Miranda want at it bad enough, I’m sure they could arrange to make it happen. But they won’t. After all, boxing is business. Why not make a nice payday to scratch that itch? But you have to admit, a real fight, no ref, no ring, no cameras and best of all, no judges might be real satisfying and worth it for the winner of that little tiff. It’s my opinion that Edison Miranda would wreck Jean Pascal. How do I know? I don’t. But based on what I saw last night, that’s how I’d see it play out, whether in or out of the ring.

The Miranda Banks Fight

This was a slow brewing but short fight, with Miranda stalking Banks and Banks landing some decent shots, enough to win the first two rounds. Calm and deliberate, Miranda dispensed with Banks with a third round knockout that sent Banks through the ropes awkwardly, looking ready to snap in half as he bravely pulled himself back into the ring and stood up wobbly just after the referee counted ten. Miranda’s telling punch didn’t even seem all that hard, so much as it
was straight to the target of Banks head. The KO had a Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em Robots feel about it.

The evolving Miranda is still a strong puncher and looked slower because he was fighting more disciplined in the wake of his loss to Kelly Pavlik, which must have been a valuable experience that taught him to fight smarter and be ferocious with precision instead of with abandon. For Banks, this was a fight he might’ve done well in if not for the KO punch because he had solid boxing skills, was controlling the tempo and was moving well. I had him winning the first two rounds.

If Miranda continues to improve his patience and ring smarts, he will be a Champion again. Even in this, his most boring fight, he won in dramatic fashion.

The Pascal Pittman Fight

The first round showed Pascal to be over anxious and a bit sloppy. Pittman hit him with a short left hook that saw him lose his balance and one glove touched the canvas. The ref called it a slip, but technically, it was a knockdown. As Teddy Atlas talked about how poorly Pittman’s last few fights fared against guys with lousy records, Pascal got the huge benefit of a wrong call by the ref.

In the second round, Pascal pushed Pittman during one exchange and Pittman tripped to the canvas. The referee counted it as a knockdown. It was a slip. Interesting how both calls were in favor of Pascal so far.

Pittman appeared a slower fighter with limited skills. When Pascal pushed him a second time, again causing Pittman to slip, the ref ruled it a slip and gave a soft warning to Pascal. In spite of the treatment he was getting from the ref, Pittman showed some grit and the first round really should’ve been 10-8 for Pittman. Pascal has fast hands, moves a lot and can be very aggressive, but he wasn’t as effective in the first couple of rounds as he was from rounds three to six, where he scored more and controlled the ring moving around his opponent and popping his jab.

In the seventh round, Pascal was pressing Pittman into the corner ropes when suddenly, Pittman mounted a counter attack that saw him land some right, left combinations and a left hook that staggered Pascal to the other side of the ring. Pittman went after him and Pascal held on each time he got close. Pascal survived the round but was clearly hurt.

Pittman couldn’t close the show in the eighth, though he did try. Pascal was on his bike and eventually, got his bearings back and won the last two rounds by out boxing and out scoring Pittman.
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In truth, Pascal escaped a bullet. Had Pittman been a pinch faster, chances are he’d have KO’d Pascal.

After the Judges Pascal a Unanimous Decision Win, he went, got changed and was on hand with the announcers during the Miranda Banks fight.

The point of the fight was to showcase the skills of Jean Pascal, who has been going at it verbally with Edison Miranda during the promotion of the Event. So, the plot was created and surely whoever saw this event will be itching to see Miranda fight Pascal.

I think Miranda is fighting smarter and is still a dangerous puncher with a vicious streak that excites the fans. Pascal, for his part, is a tough fighter with a style that borders on unorthodox. He beat Kingsley Ikeke last year in pretty convincing fashion but I doubt he can beat Edison Miranda.

Time will tell.

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