Abraham batters Miranda

Updated: June 22, 2008, 12:03 AM ET
Associated Press

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- "King" Arthur Abraham still reigns supreme.

The IBF middleweight champion left no question as to who is the better fighter, knocking down Edison "Pantera" Miranda three times in the fourth round to win by technical knockout in a much-anticipated rematch.

"I'm a true champion and a true champion has confidence," Abraham said.

Abraham's title wasn't at stake in the bout.

Abraham (27-0, 22 knockouts) spent much of the first and second rounds with his gloves high to his head and his back against the ring ropes, while Miranda threw power punches. Abraham blocked many of Miranda's punches, but a low blow drew a warning to Miranda and a brief rest period for Abraham.

Abraham began to open up in the third round, landing a handful of right and left hands to Miranda's head.

About 30 seconds into the fourth round, Abraham landed a clean left hook to the temple that floored Miranda (30-3). The Colombian got to his feet, but was unsteady.

Abraham launched a sweeping left hook that caught Miranda on the chin for the second knockdown. Abraham ended the fight seconds later with a third left hand to the head, bringing an automatic stoppage via the three-knockdown rule. The time of the knockout was 1:13.

"I don't know what happened," Miranda said. "I was 100 percent coming into this fight. I don't know. He was too strong today. I have no quarrels tonight."

That was a far different attitude from the one Miranda had following their first fight. Abraham defended his title against Miranda on Sept. 23, 2006, in Germany, Abraham's adopted home country.

The fight was a brutal and controversial affair. Miranda broke Abraham's jaw in the fifth round, but lost five points for numerous head butts and low blows over the course of the 12-round bout to lose a unanimous decision by wide margins. Abraham credited his victory to a championship heart, while Miranda bitterly cried foul, believing that he had been robbed by the judges and the referee.

The weeks leading to the rematch were filled with taunts and talk of revenge from Miranda. That drew barbs from Abraham, who called Miranda the dirtiest fighter he had ever met.

The 28-year-old Abraham weighed in at the contracted catch weight of 166 pounds, while the 27-year-old Miranda weighed in at 165.

In the co-main event, 37-year-old Raul Marquez won a close, 12-round, unanimous decision over Giovanni Lorenzo.

In the 10th round, an accidental head butt opened a deep cut over Marquez's his right eye, which sent blooding streaming down the right side of his face.

Later in the 10th, Lorenzo lost a point for an intentional headbutt.

All three judges scored the fight 114-113 for Marquez, now 42-3. Lorenzo is 26-1.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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