Tonight's Friday Night Fights had an upset, but it didn't come in the main event. The night's top fight went mostly as expected, as Anthony Dirrell improved to 23-0 (20 KO) with a second round knockout of club fighter and late replacement opponent Kevin Engel.
But that doesn't tell the whole story. While Dirrell was definitely well on his way to an easy victory, the knockout shot that put Engel (18-5, 15 KO) down for the count was indeed a clear low blow, and that can't be ignored. Whether it was an inevitable conclusion is not up for debate, but an illegal blow is an illegal blow, and the knockdown shouldn't have been counted, and that certainly shouldn't have ended the fight. It was a bad call by referee Lou Moret, who was out of position on the low blow and totally missed it.
The fight tells us nothing we didn't know about either fighter, and it's about time for Dirrell, 26, to take a serious move up the ladder and fight at least a legitimate gatekeeper or fringe contender. There are plenty available at 168.
In the co-feature, welterweight prospect Joseph Elegele took his first pro loss and looked beyond not ready for prime time in his fight against Aaron Martinez. Martinez dropped Elegele in the first round and had him in a bad way, but hurt him late in the round and couldn't finish him off. Elegele did seem to recover just a bit, but got hurt again later in the fight.
The finish came in the ninth round when a vicious clash of heads opened up a horrible gash on Martinez (15-1-1, 3 KO). Luckily, Martinez actually got a fair shake, and won a technical unanimous decision on scores of 77-74, 77-74 and 76-75. Elegele is now 12-1 (10 KO), and has a lot of work to do.
The swing fight featured Gary Shaw fighter Kurtiss Colvin improving to 6-0 (5 KO) with a demolition of Cleveland Ishe (3-2, 1 KO), which featured a third round knockdown that sent Ishe tumbling backwards into some kind of reverse Die Hard roll.