Commentary

Brash Miranda never at a loss for words

When it comes to talking trash, Edison Miranda is in a class of his own. Dan Rafael serves up some of Miranda's greatest hits.

Originally Published: June 19, 2008
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

Edison MirandaAP Photo/Steve JonesEven a devastating knockout loss to Kelly Pavlik couldn't keep Edison Miranda, left, quiet for long.
Trash talk is part of most sports, and boxing sure has had its share of loquacious braggarts. Muhammad Ali is the most famous, of course, talking up a storm and throwing verbal bombs at his opponents to psyche them out and help promote his fights.

In today's game, there is Ricardo Mayorga, the former welterweight champ who has made enough crude remarks toward his opponents (and their mothers and wives) to fill a notebook.

James Toney and Bernard Hopkins have been known to slam an opponent or two, with their mouths outside the ring as well as with their fists inside it.

And Hasim Rahman is about as quick witted and clever as any fighter around.

But standing head and shoulders above them all is super middleweight contender Edison Miranda, the Colombian brawler who has excited fans with his punching power and amused them with his words.

For example: "I could only laugh when I saw his next handpicked opponent. [Elvin] Ayala is a guy that lost not once, but two times to David Banks, a guy that I sent through the ropes with one punch. To make matters worse, he brings all these bums into his backyard -- a place where the referee treats him like his own daughter. If he had any balls, he would fly his ass to America and fight me. I'd destroy him!"

[+] EnlargeArthur Abraham
AP Photo/Heribert ProepperMiranda didn't think much of Arthur Abraham's last opponent, Elvin Ayala, left -- and he let Abraham know it.
Come on, Edison, tell us how you really feel.

That was Miranda (30-2, 26 KOs) ripping German middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham (26-0, 21 KOs) before he defended his belt against Elvin Ayala in March.

Miranda did get his wish, though, because Abraham is in the United States to face him in a 166-pound catch weight rematch Saturday night at the Hard Rock resort in Hollywood, Fla. (9 ET/PT, Showtime).

Also on the card: Middleweight Giovanni Lorenzo (26-0, 18 KOs) will face former junior middleweight titleholder Raul Marquez (41-3, 29 KOs) in an elimination bout. The winner will get the next shot at Abraham, who plans to return to middleweight to defend his belt regardless of the outcome of the main event.

Miranda has not let up on Abraham in the prefight buildup, saying, "Abraham is making the biggest mistake of his life. The last time, I broke his jaw when I was weak and struggling to make 160 pounds. At super middleweight, I'm so strong it's scary. I'd be surprised if he makes it five rounds. He's a good fighter, but I will not hesitate to destroy him. This is a man's business, and I don't know if he belongs here anymore. Abraham made me wait almost two years for my rematch, and on Saturday, I will make him pay for every minute I waited."

Abraham-Miranda I

Catch the first fight
Thursday, June 19, 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHO2
Saturday, June 21, 6 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME
Abraham is aware of Miranda's constant stream of trash talk but is not very interested in it.

"Does anyone really care about what Miranda says? He should tell his psychologist about his problems," Abraham said. "Had I failed to beat a man who has his jaw broken twice, I would have retired immediately and would rather work as a night watchman."

Naturally, Miranda -- still peeved by the questionable officiating job by referee Randy Neumann in their first fight, which appeared to heavily favor Abraham -- had a quick response for him: "I suggest that maybe you should start shopping for your patent leather shoes and uniform, because you'll be doing that night watchman job by the end of the summer. I think you'll be perfect for it, because when something happens, you don't have to do anything yourself -- you can just call for help. Our first fight showed that you're good at that."

Despite a jaw broken in two places during the fourth round of their Sept. 23, 2006, middleweight title bout, Abraham won a controversial decision against Miranda in Germany.

Just imagine if Miranda had suffered a broken jaw. We'd have missed so many glorious quotes.

Here are some of Miranda's greatest hits (pardon the pun):

In March, Miranda and his team were trying to set up a fight with former super middleweight titleholder Mikkel Kessler. When negotiations weren't going well, Miranda let the words fly:

[+] EnlargeMikkel Kessler
AP Photo/Mark BakerMiranda doesn't think much of Mikkel Kessler.
• "I'm not surprised 'Kessler the Kitten' disappeared when the big cat came around. I wish him luck in his future endeavors as a model, actor, race car driver or video game player, because it's obvious that he's no longer a fighter. I want the Kessler fight, the fans want it, but he doesn't want to step up and fight the best. Viking Warrior? Kessler should turn his horned helmet in after disgracing such a tribe of true fighters. He talks like a fighter, has tattoos like he's a tough guy, but when it comes down to being a real fighter, he's not even worthy of carrying my gloves."

A few days later, the sides made a deal, but then Kessler pulled out without explanation, really irritating Miranda:

• "I didn't get my hopes up because I know Kessler is afraid of me. We gave him everything he wanted to make this fight, and he still wouldn't take it. In fact, the only thing we didn't give him is the opportunity to tie my hands around my back while we fought, but at this point, I'm willing to even give him that because I know if I yelled 'boo' at him in the ring, he'd turn and run."

In May 2007, Miranda lost to Kelly Pavlik on the undercard of Jermain Taylor's middleweight title defense against Cory Spinks. But Miranda was all over Taylor before the fight, launching a pair of gems at him:

• "I'm concerned that the fans of Memphis are paying a lot of money for tickets to our show on May 19 because they think they're going to see a middleweight championship fight, but really, that's false advertising because you're just fighting another junior middleweight. So I'm willing to move my fight with Pavlik into the main event spot, and you can be on my undercard. This way the fans get what they paid for."

• "I'll give Taylor this -- after beating Kassim Ouma, and if he can beat Cory Spinks, he will definitely be the best junior middleweight in the world. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he's supposed to be the middleweight champion."

Miranda also fired at Pavlik, who would knock him out in the seventh round of their title eliminator:

• "I will not stop my attack until Kelly Pavlik is laying on the ground for good. If he is stupid enough to get up, he will get hurt badly. After I knock out Pavlik, it will be my turn to face Taylor. He just better hope I take my gloves off and leave the ring before he steps in, or I may be the first boxer in history to get two KOs in the same night."

In March 2007, Miranda, who adopted San Juan, Puerto Rico, as his hometown, was set to fight Allan Green on a Miguel Cotto undercard:

• "I am very thrilled to put on a show for all my friends in Puerto Rico. I will pay them back by making it an exciting fight. However, I advise you to put your children to sleep early. Don't let them watch this fight. With Green's lack of defense, he is going to get brutally beat up, and I don't want the young children to be traumatized."

Miranda had hoped to lure then-champion Taylor into the ring and trashed his promoter, Lou DiBella, who had just had a role in the film "Rocky Balboa:"

• "I think Lou DiBella should stick to acting, because he plays a promoter in the make-believe world better than he does in real life. The fans and media want to see this fight between Taylor and myself, and HBO definitely wants to see it, but Lou doesn't want to put the jewel of his company anywhere near me because he knows he'll get knocked out. I won't be outweighed by 20 pounds on fight night and won't need a walker to make it to the press conference like the other old men Taylor has fought."

In December 2006, Miranda scored a spectacular first-round knockout of Willie Gibbs and took the opportunity to rip Abraham:

• "After the fight, I thought there was a stampede, but what I was actually hearing was Abraham and his team running even further away from me. I know he wants no part of me."

So are these quotes for real?

"They're 100 percent real. That is Edison speaking," co-manager Steve Benbasat said. "He's got an extremely outgoing personality, and he says what is on his mind. He's very funny and can be intimidating at times. He's not ashamed of anything he says. He's promoting the fight, himself and the sport of boxing. You look at him in the ring and his gestures, like the throat slash, and it's parallel to his comments outside the ring."

Leon Margules, the executive director of Warriors Boxing, said Miranda has a "devilish" personality and many of his outrageous comments are said with a wink of the eye.

"It's his personality. He's a tough cookie and a street guy," Margules said. "He'll have this sly look on his face, and you don't know if he will kiss you or smack you. He says things off the wall that make you laugh, and it's hard to tell if he's serious or not. I never know when he's kidding or serious.

"Sometimes he'll look at me with a menacing look, and when he sees I am taken aback, he starts laughing. That's his personality."

Miranda says he is serious about his tough talk but also has fun with it.

"I talk about my opponents because that is how I feel about them, but I am also doing my job," Miranda said. "I come to do my job like a businessman and I do it because I like it and have fun with it. The words just come from me. People can take as it joke, but I don't do it as a joke. It is not a joke to me."

Well said.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.