20-20 Hindsight: Abraham Makes His Case for Showdown With Pavlik, Berto Ready for Welterweight's Best?

I guess that settles that. Arthur Abraham put to rest just about any doubts about his abilities and worthiness by knocking out Edison Miranda in the fourth round of their rematch Saturday night.

As naturally skeptical as I am about fighters who spend their entire careers in Europe, Abraham looks like the real deal. We already knew he had championship heart, gutting out his first bout with Miranda after having his jaw broken. This time we saw his craftiness and power, both of which were impressive.

Though this weekend's fight was at a catchweight of 166 pounds, Abraham's prize for winning could and should be earning a shot at middleweight king Kelly Pavlik's titles. Doug Fischer of MaxBoxing.com summed it up short and sweet in his weekly Monday Mailbag, saying, "Pavlik-Abraham is THE fight to be made at 160 pounds."

That's especially true since the middleweight division looks devoid of appetizing options for Pavlik. Some have suggested Winky Wright, but stylistically Pavlik-Abraham is much more of a crowd-pleaser, and my guess is it would sell better as well.

Staying with the theme of boxers whose stock is on the rise, welterweight Andre Berto continued his rapid ascent with a seventh-round KO of Miguel Rodriguez. He captured the vacant WBC title in the process, which could instantly make him a player in a division that is loaded with talent.

Berto once again flashed his ridiculous hand speed and complete arsenal of punches. He was more than justified in saying after the fight that it would take "a bad man" to relieve him of his new belt. But is he really ready to be thrown in with the likes of, say, the winner of the upcoming Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito bout?

I suspect not, but the nice thing is that he doesn't have to be. At 24, Berto is the youngest of the welterweight powers - though others, like Cotto and Paul Williams, aren't much older. Williams-Berto seems like it would be a hell of a fight, and if that one can't be made, there are a number of veterans in the division who would make a nice step up for Berto. Regardless, time is on his side and he looks like a star in the making.

Now if someone could just come up with a catchy nickname for him...

1 comment:

uatu said...

Credit due to MMAMeetsBoxing aka A.L. who nailed the Abraham - Miranda fight perfectly. He called Abraham by KO. Uatu went two for two in his predictions for winners but took Abraham by decision not KO.