Arthur Abraham overcomes broken jaw to retain title


Mon, Sep 25, 2006 - Page 20

Germany's Arthur Abraham overcame a broken jaw on Saturday to retain his IBF middleweight title with a unanimous decision over Colombia's Edison Miranda.

Abraham pounded Miranda for four rounds until the Colombian apparently caught the Armenian-born German with a right to the jaw late in the fourth round. Abraham spat blood and was unable to close his mouth, but prevailed to improve to 22-0. The ring doctor said he faced an operation.

In the fifth round, Miranda intentionally headbutted Abraham, who went over to the edge of the ring to let blood pour out of his mouth.

After that his corner kept telling the 26-year-old Abraham he had to hold out the whole 12 rounds or his title would be gone.

"You can do it -- try to close your mouth -- you can do it," Abraham's trainer, Ulli Wegner, kept telling him.

Miranda pressed the fight, but appeared spent from the pounding he had taken and fell to 26-1.

The German kept dodging blows and once a round unloaded a few hard shots -- sometimes knocking the Colombian into the ropes -- before covering up again.

Miranda's third low blow of the night in the 11th round proved costly.

Abraham repeatedly turned his back on Miranda after a clinch -- apparently his concentration gone -- and each time the Colombian ran after him and tried to knock him out from behind.

The low blow gave the German five minutes to recover and he easily stayed away from Miranda through the final two rounds.