Former junior middleweight titlist Roman Karmazin overcame a knockdown in the ninth round to knock out Colombian puncher Dionisio Miranda in the tenth round, a sensational knockout finish to kick off the new season of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.
Karmazin (40-3-1, 26 KO) was ahead on my scorecard by an 86-84 score after nine, but the fight may well have been scored in Miranda's favor at that point. Karmazin was hurt in the third round and survived, and was knocked down on a rocket right hand in the ninth, but again got his legs back and came back into the fight.
Joe Tessitore said after the fight that Miranda led 87-84 on one card, and two were tied at 85-85.
In the tenth, Miranda (20-5-2, 18 KO) seemed to get his feet tangled up on the first knockdown, but the second and final knockdown left no mystery. A hard right hand put Miranda on the mat, and the referee waved it off.
This now puts Karmazin in line for a shot at IBF middleweight titleholder Sebastian Sylvester, who faces Pablo Navascues on January 30 in Germany. Sylvester-Karmazin would probably be an easy enough fight to make.
Karmazin didn't look great out there by any means, but he certainly overcame a spirited effort from a guy who has a very big right hand. Miranda's rawness wound up losing him the fight, but it was one of those fights where you're never quite sure how it's going to turn out until it ends. A knockout finish seemed certain the whole way through, but Miranda was hurting Karmazin. Karmazin hadn't hurt Miranda at all until the tenth round, despite looking like the better boxer.
It was a fine, fine start to the new season of Friday Night Fights, and it was damn good to get boxing back on U.S. television. A new year for the sport starts fine.