Edison “Pantera” Miranda was in his usual form today at the final press conference before his HBO-televised bout with Kelly Pavlik at the FedEx Forum, letting both Pavlik and the night’s headliner, Jermain Taylor, know that he’s got both of them in his sights.
“Pavlik’s a great fighter but I’m in a different league,” said Miranda (28-1, 24 KOs) of his opponent on Saturday. “I’m a Major League player and he’s in the Minor Leagues. People watch baseball for the homeruns and boxing for knockouts. On Saturday night I’m going to give people what they want to see, a KNOCKOUT!”. In the midst of the BBQ festivities in Memphis this week, Pantera promised that he was going to have his very own BBQ. “I will Bar-B-Que Kelly Pavlik!.”
The unbeaten Pavlik, a heavy hitter in his own right at 30-0 with 27 KOs, said he’s willing to oblige Miranda in standing toe to toe and going to war.
“On Saturday I am going to break the record for the most punches thrown in a round and give the world a great fight to watch,” said “The Ghost”.
As for Taylor, who faces 154-pound titlist Cory Spinks in a “middleweight” championship bout, Miranda did not hold back.
“Taylor, I will fight you for the same amount of money that I’m getting paid to fight Pavlik just to show the world that you’re not a real champion,” said Miranda. “I’m the real champ. I fight real middleweights, not blown up welterweights.”
And that was just the beginningâ€¦
“Cory Spinks you’re a great Champion, but Taylor, you’re supposed to be a tiger,” continued Miranda. “How do they put a tiger against a cat? If you’re a real tiger, why don’t they put you face to face with the panther?”
Taylor took Miranda’s words in stride, saying that he “isn’t going to pound the podium and yell like Miranda’. Instead, he was going to be a classy champion. However, it was very clear that Miranda’s tough talk got under Taylor’s skin. Just a few minutes into his speech, Taylor began pounding the podium and screaming (even harder and louder than Miranda), which is very unlike the usually calm Taylor. It was apparent that Taylor was more concerned about Miranda rather than Spinks. He spent most of his time addressing Miranda’s statements and did not even make one mention of Cory Spinks, who he will be fighting on Saturday night.
On another note, Pantera pledged that he did not come to the United States for money. He came for the love of the sport and to take on the best fighters in the world. “The fans want to see exciting fights and knockouts and I will give them just that. Boxing is a sport that needs help and I believe that I can give boxing the shot in the arm that it needs”. On the contrary, Taylor stated “To me, it’s all money in the bank baby!”.
The Miranda-Pavlik, Taylor-Spinks doubleheader airs live on HBO World Championship Boxing on Saturday, May 19, at 10:15pm ET / 7:15pm PT.
For more information on Pantera including news, video, photos and merchandise visit www.panteraboxing.com.