Dirrell beats Abraham on DQ in 11th
DETROIT (AP) – Andre Dirrell was less than six minutes away from a dominating unanimous decision win before chaos erupted.
Instead, Dirrell beat Arthur Abraham on a disqualification for an intentional foul at 1:13 of the 11th round on Saturday night in the second stage of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
Dirrell (19-1) slipped when he was hit by a glancing blow to the chin in the corner. While Dirrell was sitting down, Abraham hit him across the chin with a right hand and Dirrell couldn’t continue.
“I was not looking at his feet, I was looking at his eyes,” Abraham said through an interpreter. “I didn’t see if he was down.”
During the confusion after Abraham’s illegal punch the ring filled with people, including, Dirrell’s brother, Anthony.
He tried to rush to check on his brother, who was down in the opposite corner, and had to be restrained.
I just wanted to see if my brother was all right,” Anthony Dirrell said. “I apologize for my actions. But I was just worried.”
Dirrell seemed disoriented and unsure that he won the fight. He was sent to the hospital for a brain scan. Anthony Dirrell said his brother was OK, but promoter Gary Shaw said Dirrell didn’t really know where he was as he was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Andre Dirrell was comfortably ahead when the fight was stopped.
Italy’s Guido Cavalleri scored it 97-92, Michigan’s Frank Garza 98-91 and Thailand’s Hanek Hongtonhkam had it 97-92
It was Abraham’s first loss in 31 career fights.
“He executed a perfect game plan and I’m proud of him and I just want to hug him and kiss him,” said Dirrell’s trainer and uncle, Leon Lawson Jr. “But it was blemished.”
There was also controversy after the fight about whether Dirrell should have a steroid or doping test. Abraham’s camp said that if Dirrell didn’t have such a test, he should be disqualified.
Shaw was angry that Abraham’s people talked about the steroid and doping test before expressing any concern about Dirrell’s condition.
Both fighters had a lot of support at Joe Louis Arena. Dirrell is from Flint, about 60 miles north of Detroit. The Armenian-born Abraham drew a large contingent of Armenian-Americans from the Detroit area, who carried a large flag.
Dirrell dominated the fight with his mobility and hand speed, landing strong punches to Abraham’s head and body throughout the fight.
Dirrell knocked Abraham down with about 30 seconds left in the fourth with a right hand. Abraham got back to his feet and took a standing eight count. Dirrell landed a couple of more blows before the round ended.
Dirrel opened a cut by Abraham’s right eye in the seventh.
It appeared that Abraham knocked Dirrel down with a straight right in the 10th, but it was called a slip by the referee.
Abraham began to rally in the eighth round, but Dirrell was able to avoid the slugger’s heavy blows. At one point in the round Dirrell used the rope a dope tactic to duck most of the most dangerous punches and continue to frustrate Abraham.
Dirrell bounced back with a strong ninth round, in which the action was halted for a couple of minute for a cut to Abraham’s head caused by a head butt.
I was getting my chances and in the eighth and ninth round, he was clearly down and the referee didn’t count,” Abraham said.
Dirrell got two points for the win and moves into a second place tie with Carl Froch and Andre Ward in the tournament standings.
Abraham is still in first place with three points because of his knockout of Jermaine Taylor in the first round. Dirrell is now 1-1 in the tournament.
He lost a decision to WBC world champion of England Carl Froch in Froch’s hometown of Nottingham, England.
The next fight in the series on June 19, in Oakland between Ward and Allan Green – who replaced Taylor in the tournament. Both Ward and Green were in attendance on Saturday night.