It wasn't pretty, and the science sure as hell wasn't sweet, but Anthony Dirrell picked up his first world title in pro boxing tonight, outpointing Sakio Bika in a rugged, messy fight at the StubHub Center, winning an unanimous decision on scores of 117-110, 116-111, and 114-113. BLH had it 116-111 for Dirrell.
Dirrell (27-0-1, 22 KO) beat the odds once again in his career, as he's already overcome non-Hodgin's lymphoma and a bad motorcycle accident, and now has surprised many by becoming the first of he and brother Andre to win a world title in boxing. If you'd made that prediction four or five years ago, you could have gotten some great odds.
Bika (32-6-3, 21 KO) didn't go quietly, which he never does. The Cameroonian, now living in Australia, was his usual dirty, hard knocks self tonight, clinching a lot, diving into Dirrell plenty, and to be fair, that all came back from Dirrell, too.
But what Anthony managed to do that Bika never did was land clean, telling blows. He was clearly the superior technical boxer, and he appeared to hurt Bika a few times, too.
A big credit goes to referee Jack Reiss, who took control of the fight and turned it into something resembling a boxing match starting in round three, after an opening pair of rounds that hardly looked like professional boxing at all.