Group Two of the Super Six on Showtime, started out with a great fight, but disappointing end. American Andre Dirrell defeated German Arthur Abraham by DQ, round 11 on Saturday night in Detroit. Dirrell, the underdog, was in control for most of the fight before slipping in the eleventh and being hit in the head by Abraham, 31-1 (25), after the referee had called a halt. Dirrell, 19-1 (13), immediately went unconscious and began to shake. Referee Laurence Cole immediately disqualified Abraham as the medical team rushed into the ring to tend for the fallen Dirrell. After a few moments, Dirrell seemed to come through, but seemed to not realize that he had won. Dirrell was seen crying and seemed very confused as to how the fight ended. Even as ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr was announcing the disqualification win for him, Dirrell was inconsolable and seen sobbing, thinking he had lost the bout. It wasn’t until he returned to his locker room that Dirrell seemed to realize that he had won the fight. As a precaution, Dirrell was sent to the hospital. For his part, Abraham stated that the foul was not intentional, then told Showtime’s Jim Gray that Dirrell was faking it and was not a fighter.
Despite the ending, the fight was masterful for Dirrell. Seeming to stick to the perfect plan of how to fight Arthur Abraham, he stuck to the outside and kept busy. Abraham, a notoriously slow starter, seemed content to lose the first couple of rounds. He seemingly woke up in the middle of round three, to show some of the power he possesses and steal the round. Round four saw Abraham go to the canvas for the first time in his career, although he was off balance when Dirrell landed the punch. Abraham got himself back together, but still badly lost the round. Rounds five and six showed the same way on the cards with Dirrell directing the action. Then in round seven, a cut opened up over the right eye of Abraham. Towards the end of the round, Abraham tasted the canvas once more, but referee Laurence Cole unbelievably called it a slip. Abraham started out round eight and nine desperately swinging for a knockout, but losing both rounds due to the calm domination of Dirrell.
Round ten started off and ended very well for Abraham. He came into the round looking to stop Dirrell and caught him mid-way through, knocking him to the canvas. Once again referee Laurence Cole erred as he called the knockdown a slip, explaining that the fighter’s leg became entangled. During live action the viewer could plainly see that was not the case and when shown in slow motion replay, proved that was not the cause of the knockdown. Dirrell survived the round and came into round eleven a bit more timid, but remained on the outside. At the 1:13 mark, Dirrell slipped on liquid on the corner and went down on his knees. Abraham swung once towards Dirrell, and then just after the referee called “halt”, Abraham loaded up and threw another punch, this one landing squarely on Dirrell. Dirrell seemed to look up and then fell to the side, shaking uncontrollably. Referee Cole called for medical attention immediately and you could hear him telling Abraham the fight was over and he had lost by disqualification. For the next few minutes, the atmosphere around the ring was eerily similar to the July 1996 Bowe-Golota post fight melee, but cooler heads prevailed.
I knew the fights in group two of the Super Six would be of better quality than group one, but never thought that Abraham would suffer a loss. Although he lost by DQ, Abraham would have certainly lost the fight if it went to the scorecards. So far, I have been pretty impressed with the “Super Six World Classic” and am looking forward to its continuation. I can only hope that Andre Dirrell comes out of his hospital testing and is healthy enough to continue.
At this time, the scoring totals for the Super Six are:
1-1 Arthur Abraham 3
1-1 Andre Dirrell 2
1-0 Carl Froch 2
1-0 Andre Ward 2
0-1 Mikkel Kessler 0
0-0 Allan Green 0
Group Two reconvenes on April 24th as the WBC champion Carl Froch, 26-0 (20), takes on former WBA champion Mikkel Kessler, 42-2 (32) in Denmark. Then on June 19th, Allan Green, 29-1 (20), makes his “Super Six” debut when he takes on WBA champion Andre Ward, 20-0 (13) in Oakland California.
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