Weekend Wrap-up: Bellew-Miranda, Klitschko-Charr, Ward-Dawson

By: Danny RichardsonFollow me @Danny_Boy_93

 


The new boxing season kicked off in style on Saturday, with 3 high profile fights taking place on both sides of the Atlantic. In London, Liverpool’s Light Heavyweight hope Tony Bellew faced a step up in class against Edison Miranda, in Russia, heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko took on the unbeaten Manuel Charr and finally in Oakland, U.S.A, the classy Andre Ward faced Chad Dawson for the WBC and WBA super middleweight crowns. 3 very different contests at 3 different levels, the new season got off to a flyer.

Bellew beat Miranda TKO 9 

In London’s Alexandra Palace, proud Liverpudlian Tony Bellew defeated the tough Edison Miranda in the ninth round to signal his rise onto the world level. Bellew, who improved his record to 18 victories, 12 by KO, executed a perfect game plan to stop Miranda, who slipped to his 8th defeat in 43 contests.

Although the fight was far from entertaining, against the norm in a Bellew contest, I was very impressed by ‘the Bomber’ last night. Although he took a while to get going, possibly showing the hard hitting Miranda too much respect, Bellew was mostly in control for the duration of the fight, working well behind the jab and catching Miranda with some nice shots to the body. Miranda showboated from time to time, and did catch Bellew a few times in the fight, even rocking Bellew momentarily in the second round. However, the die hard Everton fan recovered well, to dominate Miranda on my card.

I had Bellew well ahead by the time the stoppage came in the ninth, and it was a professional finish from Bellew. Sagging on the ropes, Miranda took a left hook to the body and that was the shot that did the damage to send him down. He took a knee, before rising and seemingly signalling that he’d had enough, leaving referee Ian John Lewis no option but to wave the fight off.
Bellew did seem lethargic at times, and could have forced the stoppage earlier, had he pushed forward when he had Miranda hurt. There were times when you expected Bellew to step up the pressure, particularly in the 7th round where Miranda looked there for the taking. Bellew instead stepped back, letting Miranda off of the hook. However it turned out to be the perfect tactics. Bellew was never really in trouble, and wore Miranda down , claiming a comfortable stoppage win. Miranda is a good opponent and Bellew showed he belongs at a world level last night.

I think in the future, Bellew needs to take a few more chances, because against the higher calibre opposition, he may not get as many chances as he did against Miranda last night. The cutting edge was missing until the ninth round – and I think Bellew will be disappointed he wasn’t as explosive as he could have been. But you can’t argue with the result, Miranda has lost to the likes of Andre Ward and Lucian Bute so Bellew can add his name to the list of class operators to have beaten Miranda. I get the feeling there’s more to come from Bellew, he has a great personality, and I’d love to see him tackle Nathan Cleverly again. He’s winning a lot of fans as his career progresses, and I can’t wait to see him back in action again.

Klitschko beat Charr TKO 4

In what was another bore fest from a Klitschko brother, WBC king Vitali made easy work of Manuel Charr inside 4 rounds in Russia, in what could be his last contest as a professional boxer. After a sluggish performance against Britain’s mad man Dereck Chisora in February, Vitali barely broke a sweat as he wore down the unadventurous, previously unbeaten Charr, who I can safely say no one will ever hear from again.

Klitschko was by far the superior man in the mismatch from hell, and dominated the poor Charr from start to finish, knocking his man down in the third round, before stopping him in the following round. I don’t even have to describe the fight, it was same old from Vitali, too big, too strong, too good for his opponent, who looked scared to death of the Ukrainian. The fight was stopped on cuts after a wound opened up over Charr’s right eye. Although not the worst cut I’ve seen, it saved Charr from further punishment, in fact he showed more fight at the fight being stopped than he had in nearly 12 minutes of boxing. Klitschko looked embarrassed at the beating he had just given Charr, and to be honest, I was embarrassed for him.

The thing is with the Klitschko’s, it’s like their fighting on a video game on the easiest difficulty. They don’t have to break sweat when they deal with easy opponents and it makes for terrible viewing. I personally can’t understand why they’re still in boxing; there is only one fight the world wants to see and that’s Vitali against David Haye. Until that happens, we’ll be stuck watching them beat up overweight part timers. Vitali said he will probably retire after last night, but I hope a final big money showdown with the Hayemaker may persuade him to carry on. It will be the perfect send off, so let’s hope it happens.

Ward beat Dawson TKO 10

Andre Ward proved why he has a claim to the pound for pound throne on Saturday when he totally dismantled Chad Dawson in 10 rounds. ‘S.O.G’ retained his WBA and WBC super middleweight crowns in impressive fashion, putting on a boxing clinic to take out Dawson, who suffered only the 2nd defeat of his career. Ward extended his unbeaten record to 26 wins, claiming an impressive stoppage in the process.

Ward started slowly, but in the 3rd round, he got the breakthrough. After seemingly struggling to figure out Dawson’s style, Ward landed a short left hook which sent Dawson to the canvas. Although he got up, from that moment on, Ward totally dominated, landing his left hand at will.
Throughout the contest, Ward landed his left hand and put together beautiful combinations. Dawson couldn’t get going, and gradually deteriorated as the fight went on, possibly being slightly weight drained. But don’t let that take anything away from Ward, who hammered a world class light heavyweight with ease, adding another knockdown in the fourth, his left hand again doing the damage.

The end came in the 10th, when another left hand sent Dawson reeling. His legs were gone, and a combination but him down on the floor for the third time. He got up again, but referee Steve Smoger wisely waved off the contest, after Dawson seemed unwilling to continue.

Ward looks to be the real deal. With Floyd Mayweather coming towards the end of his career, I have no doubts that Ward will be the next pound for pound king. Looking at the fighters he’s beaten in the past few years, Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler and Dawson, you have to say that he’s one of the, if not the best out there at the minute. It was a quality performance, and I will put my neck on the line and say it will be a good 5 years before he tastes defeat. He may never lose; I wouldn’t put it past him. It’s difficult to see where he goes from here though; a routine defence may be next. Dawson will surely move back up to light heavyweight, but it’s all about ‘S.O.G’.

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