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Rumor Mill: Andre Ward vs Edison Miranda


A source close to the Miranda camp is reporting that Andre Ward and Edison Miranda are close to coming to terms to fight on May 16 on Showtime.  This would be a big step up for Ward, who's mostly fought low-level journeymen up to this point.  He has said he wants to get a title fight by the end of the year, and this is certainly a step in the right direction.  In addition, this might help answer some questions about his chin, as he has been wobbled by a couple of low-level fighters early in his career.  Due to injuries and other mishaps, Ward's been moved as slowly as any top prospect in recent memory, but a win over Miranda would clearly put him on the map for contenders at 168.

Miranda, on the other hand, could use redemption.  He's a Grade A trash talker, but in the ring, he's been a Grade B fighter, losing badly the last two times he stepped up.  He does have good wins over Allan Green and David Banks, and a close (and heavily disputed) loss to Arthur Abraham in which he broke Abraham's jaw.  While he's no tactical fighter or slickster, we could see Ward change up his gameplan once he feels Miranda's power.

As an aside, this leaves very few options for Lucian Bute.  It's been rumored that he wants to make a fight for late June, before his mandatory against the Andrade-Tsypko winner becomes due.  As a beltholder, any fight would need to be against someone in the IBF top 15.  This includes Vitali Tsypko (busy), Librado Andrade (busy), Sakio Bika (already beaten by Bute), Robert Steiglitz (not a name and not particularly worthy), Andre Dirrell (waiting for the WBC to order his mandatory against an easier opponent), Jeff Lacy (busy), Ward and Miranda, Jesse Brinkley, Anthony Mundine (busy), Dennis Inkin, Jean Pascal (busy), Allan Green (busy) and Jean Paul Mendy (busy).  Bute's camp has already publicly dismissed Brinkley as an option.  Former titlist Inkin might be an interesting option, but there really isn't a whole lot there. 


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