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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dirrell Defeats Abraham By Disqualification

Entering his bout with Arthur Abraham on Saturday night, Andre Dirrell, a native of Flint, Michigan, was a 2-1 underdog, although some people even considered him a greater underdog. Dirrell showed his critics that he was a much better fighter by putting on a brilliant boxing exhibition in front of his hometown fans at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. However, after beating Abraham to the punch for almost eleven complete rounds, disaster instantly arrived. In round eleven, Dirrell was moving along the ropes when he entered the corner and slipped on an advertisement in the ring. With Dirrell down on one knee, Abraham unleashed a punishing right hand that temporarily knocked Dirrell out. Referee Laurence Cole immediately disqualified Abraham for  hitting Dirrell while he was down. One could have made a case that Abraham's devastating blow was dealt in the heat of the moment, but it is hard to defend him when listening to his comments after the fight. Clearly, Abraham was frustrated and intentionally delivered the punch to Dirrell's head.

"I don't know. He went down and I threw one punch. It's not a disqualification. It's normal," Abraham said after the fight.  "He wasn't on the ground. I shouldn't have been disqualified." Then, Abraham stated, "He's a good actor, not boxer. He's a good actor."

Until that horrific moment, Dirrell gave fight fans a nearly flawless performance. In the first round, Dirrell came out in a southpaw stance and threw his punches behind a quick jab. Abraham was very hesitant to let his hands go. Toward the end of the round, Dirrell switched to a conventional stance and pushed Abraham back with a right hand.

Dirrell started round two in a southpaw stance again. Abraham came toward him with his hands held high, although Dirrell peppered him with combinations to the body and head. Abraham attempted to land his straight right, but was unsuccessful.

In round three, Dirrell's straight left was getting through Abraham's solid guard. Dirrell switched his stance again and kept Abraham turning. Abraham would land some shots, but Dirrell countered back immediately. Dirrell showed no fear against the hard-punching Abraham, who landed some powerful rights just before the end of the round.

Andre Dirrell, 26, became the first fighter to knock Arthur Abraham, 30, down in the fourth round. Abraham stepped up his aggression and landed a right followed by a looping left hook. After Abraham missed with a right, he was slightly off-balanced and Dirrell unleashed a vicious straight left without delay that floored him.

In rounds five and six, Dirrell continued to hit Abraham with a variety of clean punches from numerous angles. In the seventh round, both men clashed heads. Prior to the clash of heads, Dirrell landed a stinging left hook to Abraham's head while in a conventional stance. It was unclear whether the cut on Abraham's right eye resulted from the headbutt or a punch. Referee Laurence Cole ruled the cut was caused by a punch.

Abraham attacked Dirrell in the eighth round with a series of rights and left hooks in the corner. Dirrell managed to slip some punches, however, Abraham connected with most of them. Then, in the ninth round, Dirrell connected with a barrage of punches, hammering Abraham with straight lefts to the head and rights to the body. During an exchange in the corner, Abraham rushed toward Dirrell and got tagged with a straight left that popped his head back and opened the cut on his eye wider. Laurence Cole briefly stopped the action for Abraham to be observed by a ringside doctor. Yet, the doctor started applying pressure to Abraham's cut as if he were a cutman to stop the bleeding. The doctor applied pressure for approximately one to two minutes before letting Abraham resume fighting. This clearly gave Abraham too much time to recover after getting nailed by a crisp punch, which momentarily dazed him. When the fight continued, Dirrell went right back on the attack, landing body and head shots.

In the tenth round, it appeared that Abraham landed a right hand and simultaneously stepped on Dirrell's foot. Dirrell went down to the canvas, but Cole ruled it was a slip. Dirrell was somewhat stunned and Abraham controlled the remainder of the round by landing more damaging right hands.

It was in the middle of round eleven when Abraham fouled Dirrell in a moment of total irritation, which resulted because of the way Dirrell was handling him in the fight. When Dirrell was walking around again, Showtime's Jim Gray asked him, do you know what happened? Dirrell shaken up and with tears in his eyes replied, "I got dropped man!" Abraham's punch was so hard that Dirrell was confused and unaware of exactly what just happened to him. "He hit me when I was down. He hit me when I was down," Dirrell recalled a brief moment after Jim Gray asked him what happened.

It was an extremely unfortunate incident that occurred last night. Dirrell was taken to nearby Detroit Receiving Hospital. Hopefully, Dirrell will be okay and can resume his boxing career soon. It appeared that he had sustained a concussion.

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