It didn't end the way anyone would have liked, but Andre Dirrell beat Arthur Abraham via disqualification tonight in the Super Six World Boxing Classic, picking up two points in the tournament.
Abraham (31-1, 25 KO) was well behind on the cards in the 11th round, when Dirrell (19-1, 13 KO) slipped for the second time on one of those stupid logos that people always fall down on, and when down, Abraham landed a right hand that put Dirrell out. Abraham was disqualified on the spot by referee Laurence Cole, losing his undefeated record.
The story of the night was Dirrell either way. He used the style and tactics that those calling for a potential upset said he would need to. He did get himself in trouble a few times, and the fight seemed to be tipping for a dramatic finish before the unfortunate finish. He landed more punches than Abraham even threw.
Abraham went down for the first time in his career in round four, and should have been called down again in the seventh, but Cole missed the call. Cole missed another one in the 10th round, when Abraham put Dirrell on the canvas.
At the time of the stoppage, I had Dirrell ahead on the Bad Left Hook card, 98-91.
A few things stuck out to me. One, Dirrell flops a lot. He is just a flopper. He's Vlade Divac. When he might be in any trouble, he'll hold and hit a knee. The other, though, is similar but the other way around -- Abraham complains a ton, which has been pointed out in the past, but tonight he didn't have "his" referee to stop the action every time he'd complain about a low blow or something even close to low. There was a point in this fight where he complained of a low shot, stopped fighting, and found Dirrell on top of him when Cole didn't stop the action.
This shakes up the Super Six pretty well, as now Andre Ward or Carl Froch (or both) can take the tournament lead. It also puts Dirrell in a prime position to advance to the single elimination part of the tournament, and means Abraham's third fight will really matter for him.
After the bout, Abraham turned off a lot of people by insisting that Dirrell was acting by pretending to be knocked out, so that he could leave with the DQ win.
We'll have more on the fight tomorrow, and thanks for joining us tonight.