Boxing


Sharkie's Machine: Arthur Abraham Battered in DQ’d Loss to Andre Dirrell in Super Six Tournament

Abraham DirrellBy Frank Gonzalez: Kudos to the Andre Dirrell (19-1, 13 KO’s), who put it all together in his match up against ‘former’ IBF titlist, “King” Arthur Abraham in Showtime’s Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament. We always hear that styles make fights and this fight was testimony to that. Dirrell has shown good boxing ability against all the scrubs he faced since he turned pro, fighting as a prospect, which he still was when he was selected as one of the ‘six best’ Super Middleweights in boxing to be in this tournament.

Frankly, I don’t understand how any of the three American’s in this tourney got their spots. This is no disrespect to any of them but lets be honest, Jermain Taylor, a fading former Middleweight titlist who lost two of his last three and two relatively untested prospects in Andre Dirrell and Andre Ward? Sure, Ward showed himself to be masterful in his beating of legit contender Mikkel Kessler but Dirrell was unimpressive and looked down right scared in his first “fight” against Carl Froch. With Jermain Taylor’s departure from the tournament, Allan Green (29-1, 20 KO’s), who’s won his last six fights, will be replacing him.

Had this tournament included IBF titlist Lucian Bute and his former nemesis Librado Andrade, then maybe add Andre Ward for his pedigree and impressive win over the always dangerous Edison Miranda, then the winner of this tournament would be the closest thing to the true Champion at Super Middleweight.

Consider that Lucian Bute is not in this tourney and he’s arguably one of the best in the division. Librado Andrade of Mexico was a higher ranked fighter who also deserved invitation. In effect, whoever does win the Super Six Tournament will not be the Champion of the division unless he immediately fights and beats Bute (if Bute retains his title by then).

Initially, I had Dirrell pegged as the weakest among the six contestants of this tournament, particularly after the way he ran and slipped and ran and complained to the ref in his first bout against Carl Froch. I thought he lost a close one in that ugly fight against Froch, who didn’t look so super himself that night. Froch is very much like Abraham in that he’s not going to dance your dance but take you into the deep waters and then try to drown you late. Froch couldn’t put the run, hold and run Dirrell down that night but was the better “fighter” and squeaked off with his first pair of points in the tourney.

If there were any doubts about Andre Dirrell’s qualifications for even being in this Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament—I’d say he proved his worthiness Saturday night in his hometown of Detroit, where he faced the favorite to win the tournament in “King” Arthur Abraham. Dirrell easily won the first few rounds. In the fourth, Abraham managed to land a big shot that Dirrell countered with an equally big straight left that sent Abraham to the canvas for the first time in his career. Dirrell proceeded to put on a boxing clinic, shutting Abraham out until midway into the ninth round, where Abraham started landing more than just a few shots. In the tenth, Abraham finally landed one of his big power shots that sent Dirrell to the canvas.

But alas, Lawrence Cole was the referee and somehow, he didn’t see it as a knockdown but as a slip from tangled feet. Upon further review, their feet didn’t tangle and it was in fact, a clean punch that floored Dirrell. “Officially,” there was no knockdown. But anyone who saw the replay saw that there was. Boxing should use Instant Replay. What’s right is right. These fights are too important to be subject to a bad call by a referee, who’s usually only human.

The discounted knockdown of Dirrell seemed the prelude to Abraham finally catching Dirrell, ending the fight and retaining his status and dignity after being battered, cut badly over his right eye and out worked by his under rated opponent all night.

At the start of the eleventh round Abraham was in search and destroy mode. He clearly needed a knockout to win and time was running out. As he pressed Dirrell towards the ropes, Dirrell slipped in the corner and while he was down, Abraham threw a right hand to Dirrell’s face while he was already down from the slip.

After that illegal punch connected, Dirrell looked fine but then suddenly, fell back, eyes closed and his legs seemed to jiggle in an eerie way. Dirrell appeared to be out cold and was unresponsive for a while. That’s a disqualification foul and referee Lawrence Cole did his job and disqualified Abraham on the spot.

After a moment of concern, Dirrell was conscious but crying and talking as if he’d lost by knockout. He was informed by the ref that he had won because Abraham was disqualified for hitting him while he was down. It was shades of Roy Jones Jr. vs. Montell Griffin, where Jones threw two big shots that KO’d Griffin while he was down on a knee.

This strange ending cast a strange shadow on the brightest outing of Andre Dirrell’s pro career. This was a fantastic performance by Dirrell, who showed no fear whatsoever against arguably the toughest man in the tournament. Dirrell used all his assets of speed, mobility and boxing ability to control the tempo of the fight while out working and out scoring Arthur Abraham round after round, making him miss and lose his composure. Abraham is a slow starter so I wasn’t surprised to see him lose the first few rounds but as the rounds wore on, the situation remained as Dirrell controlled the show, landed the cleaner shots and made Abraham miss, rendering him ineffective.

It was a disappointing ending (a DQ) because Abraham is the kind of guy who tends to knock guys out at the end of a fight. But it was a great fight for Dirrell, who fought a fearlessly and was truly the better man overall Saturday night.

There were some interesting comments during the post fight interview with Abraham, who insisted that Dirrell was ‘acting’ and wasn’t really knocked out at all. Abraham even suggested that it was okay to hit a man who is down. Surely he knows better. It’s always interesting to see how undefeated fighters behave after their first loss. Abraham saying Dirrell was acting like he was knocked out was a dumb accusation to make even if it’s true, because nobody told Abraham to hit a man while he’s down in the first place. He might’ve gotten away that in Germany but not when you’re the visiting athlete here in the USA. An example being how Abraham got robbed for a knockdown in the tenth, compliments of American referee Cole’s possible ‘lack of vision.’

It was interesting how that nasty gash over Abraham’s eye stopped bleeding after the doctor came to look at it and pressed a cloth over it for about ten seconds in the ninth round. What was on that cloth? Cole twice told the doc and his assistant they could look at it but not treat it. So much for technicalities.

Before last night, I suspected that Andre Dirrell was a talented, athletic boxer who was skittish and afraid to mix it up with punchers, as he demonstrated vs. Froch. After what I saw Saturday night against Abraham, Dirrell became a true contender when he gave all he had and showed no fear. If he continues to fight this way, things are going to get even more exiting as this tournament continues. Last week I can’t imagine I’d ever say this but this new fearless Dirrell is a fighter I cannot wait to see fight again.

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Comments can be emailed to dshark87@hotmail.com

Article posted on 28.03.2010



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