Bellew stops Miranda

09:15 09 September 2012

Tony Bellew. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA wire

Tony Bellew. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Light-heavyweight Tony Bellew enhanced his reputation with a ninth-round stoppage of Colombian puncher Edison Miranda at London’s Alexandra Palace last night.

A left hook to the body saw Miranda drop to one knee - although he had taken a battering throughout the round - and informed referee Ian John-Lewis he did not want to continue.

John-Lewis had seen enough and waved the fight off with just six seconds of the round remaining.

Liverpudlian Bellew made a slow start, but the 29-year-old burst into life in the eighth round, capitalising on his tiring opponent to secure his 18th win in 19 fights.

Miranda’s best days may have been behind him, but his record was full of high-quality opponents including Andre Ward, Lucian Bute and Arthur Abraham.

Losing four of his last seven fights underlined he was no longer a significant force, but with 30 of his 35 wins finishing early, his power was never in doubt.

That power was evident midway through the second round when Bellew was rocked by a looping right hand and was forced to weather a barrage of punches as Miranda sought an early finish.

Miranda was caught by a straight right himself and responded with a theatrical shuffle in an attempt to show he was unhurt.

The rivals exchanged punches in a fiercely-contest third round, but Bellew was struggling to tag the awkward Colombian, whose movement made him difficult to hit.

Constantly on the back foot, Bellew was beginning to enjoy greater success with his jab but the fight remained finely poised as it entered the midway stage.

Miranda’s theatrics continued and on one occasion he leaned on the ropes and turned his back after Bellew had unloaded.

The eighth saw Miranda take a straight left-right combination but it was another tight round, though Bellew was beginning to take control.

And in the ninth he began hitting his opponent at will with a succession of shots taking their toll before a vicious body shot ended the contest.

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