(Andre Dirrell pictured left, Carl Froch pictured right)
Round 2: Both fighters are feeling each other out. Not much action, but Dirrell is busier with the jab. (Scored for Dirrell)
Round 3: Dirrell's southpaw stance and hand speed are keeping Froch away. Froch starts to close the gap and lands a straight right counter punch. (Scored for Froch)
Round 4: Dirrell lands a left hook -straight right combination to Froch's head. Dirrell lands a straight left in the southpaw stance. Froch is aggressive toward the end of the round. (Scored for Dirrell)
Round 5: Dirrell lands a right. Then, he lands a straight left to Froch's midsection. (Scored for Dirrell)
Round 6: Froch lands a right off a clinch. Dirrell lands a quick counter left. A lot of hitting on the break and holding going on. (Scored for Froch)
Round 7: Dirrell lands a straight left. Froch and Dirrell exchange hard left hooks. (Scored for Dirrell)
Round 8: Dirrell lands an overhand right, but Froch counters with a stinging left hook that dazed Dirrell. (Scored for Froch)
Round 9: Froch is closing gap. He lands a right with Dirrell on the ropes. (Scored for Froch)
Round 10: Dirrell lands a straight left. Froch jabs and then lands a right. Dirrell receives a one point deduction from the referee for excessive holding. Froch rushed in and Dirrell caught him with a sharp left hook. Froch was on wobbly legs as the round ended. (Scored for Dirrell, but is Even because of the point deduction)
Round 11: Froch hit Dirrell with punches in the corner. Froch got nailed with a left hook from Dirrell. Then, Froch lands a left hook. Dirrell has swelling on his forehead above his left eye. (Scored for Dirrell)
Round 12: Mostly, Dirrell boxes and stays away, but when they engage he still beats Froch to the punch. Froch wasn't close to landing a punch this round. (Scored for Dirrell)
Overall Summary: Carl Froch won a 12 round split decision over Andre Dirrell. Official scores were 115-112 (twice) for Froch and 114-113 for Dirrell. I scored the bout 115-112, 7 rounds to 4 with one even for Andre Dirrell. I had Dirrell winning round 10, but I scored it even after he was deducted one point for excessive holding.
Andre Dirrell had a superior edge in hand speed. He used the entire ring to his advantage and controlled the range very effectively. Froch did not land many punches, but half the ones he did land were effective. Dirrell was beating Froch to the punch for the majority of the bout. However, Dirrell did hold excessively after landing his punches. Throughout the fight, Froch hit Dirrell behind the head, but Dirrell was also putting his head down during the clinches.
Dirrell fought too conservatively for fighting in Froch's hometown of Nottingham, England. It should not happen, but it often does where a fighter gets the benefit of a "hometown decision." Tonight, Andre Dirrell was a victim of a bad decision from the judges. While it is an unfortunate decision loss, Dirrell could have engaged more to help his cause. Dirrell had a dominating edge in hand speed and could have taken the initiative more often because he was already beating Froch to the punch almost the entire fight. In a way, Dirrell boxed like he was in the amateurs, trying to score from a distance and tie up. The hardest, crisp punches that Dirrell landed occurred when Froch forced him to let his hands go. Get boxing gloves by Everlast and Ringside.
For Froch, he could not catch the speedy 2004 Middleweight Olympic Bronze medalist. Froch tried to trap Dirrell against the ropes and for the most part, he was unsuccessful doing it. Well, Froch may have been lucky to get this victory and 2 points tonight, but he has a lot to make up for in the foot speed department going forward in Showtime's "Super Six" Tournament.
Next up for Carl Froch will be Denmark's Mikkel Kessler. As for Dirrell, he will be facing the very tough Arthur Abraham, who defeated Jermain Taylor in Germany earlier in the night.
Carl Froch improves his record to 26-0, 20 KO's, while Andre Dirrell falls to 18-1, 13 KO's.