- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Whatever Edison Miranda's limitations are as a prizefighter (and there are many), two things have never been questioned: his gift for funny trash talk before a fight and his power.
In his native Colombia, Miranda was scoring knockout after knockout before arriving in the United States in 2005 with a reputation as a huge puncher, and his rep didn't diminish after his eye-catching first-round devastation of Willie Gibbs in his December 2006 HBO debut.
But after hard-hitting and exciting battles, although losses, against Arthur Abraham and Kelly Pavlik, Miranda was on the comeback trail when he met David Banks in a super middleweight fight Jan. 11 at the Hard Rock resort in Hollywood, Fla., in the main event of ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."
It was a good style match on paper. Miranda was the aggressive brawler with power, and Banks -- coming off a stint on the third season of "The Contender" reality series -- was more of a technician.
Banks boxed well in the first two rounds and was doing well in the third round as Miranda tried to find his target. For Banks to win, he was going to have to keep it up throughout the scheduled 10-rounder. But he could do it for only so long before Miranda struck later in the third round.
With Banks backing up to the ropes, Miranda flicked a left jab and followed with a crushing right hand to the jaw that immediately launched Banks backward and sent him falling between the second and third ring ropes.
"There's a big right hand," ESPN blow-by-blow announcer Joe Tessitore called with exuberance. "Holy cow! David Banks is halfway out of the ring! What a knockout!"
For the first seven seconds of referee Telis Assimenios' count, Banks lay almost motionless on his back, literally hanging like a teeter-totter as he balanced on the ropes. If you missed the punch and glanced at the TV, you might have thought someone had pressed the DVR pause button because Banks was virtually frozen horizontally on top of the rope with half his body inside the ring and the other half of his body outside it from the waist up about to fall to the floor headfirst.
Banks eventually grabbed the rope above him and fell back into the ring, but he couldn't beat the count before Assimenios stopped it at 1:15. Although Banks made it to his feet, he was wobbling and totally out of it. He nearly fell down again until grabbing the top rope on another side of the ring before the ring doctor guided him to a stool.
"Can you believe that?" Tessitore continued as the aftermath was unfolding. "Not even two weeks into 2008 and you have the leading candidate for knockout of the year! Edison Miranda! Wow!"
Turns out, it stood up as the knockout of the year. As for the second part of Tessitore's statement?
Other sweet shots:
Also coming: awards for prospect, round and fight of the year
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.