Dirrell Stops Paschall In 4th round TKO

By Boxing News - 08/04/2008 - Comments

dirrell453.jpgBy Jason Kim: Undefeated super middleweight prospect Andre Dirrell (16-0, 11 KOs) recorded a sudden 4th round stoppage over previously unbeaten Mike Paschall (17-1, 4 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout on Saturday night at the Emerald Queen Casino, in Tacoma, Washington. Dirrell, 25, a former middleweight Bronze medal winner for the U.S> at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, struggled with the aggressive southpaw Paschall for the first three rounds, until landing a blazing straight left hand in the 4th round that knocked Paschall to the canvas on his back. He got up immediately, blood streaming from the center of his forehead from a large, deep cut that dripped blood constantly down into his eyes and across his nose.

The referee immediately stopped the action and had the ringside doctor examine the large cut and after a short period of time, he signaled for referee Robert Howard to stop the fight which he immediately did at 1:32 of the 4th round. Initially, it appeared that Dirrell had broken Paschall’s nose, as the left hand from Dirrell landed square on Paschall’s nose, not his forehead. However, the impact of the punch appeared to flatten Paschall’s nose upon impact, causing his skin of his face to tighten and rip in the process. As deep as long as the cut was, it was doubtful that Paschall’s corner would have any luck in stopping the constant flow of blood that was streaming from the cut down across his face and into his eyes.

For a fighter with who has fought virtually the entirety of his four-year boxing career against largely weak competition, Paschall fought well in the first three rounds of the fight, staying on the outside and landing jabs, and an occasional big left hand shot. He fought aggressively, and showed ring smarts by not pushing the speedy Dirrell too much so that he would open up with his fast hands.

Indeed, the best thing that Paschall seemed to be doing was keeping his own punch output low and staying on the outside, where he was able to slow the fight way down and survive a lot longer than he probably have been had he gone right at Dirrell from the opening bell. As Dirrell has showed in some of his previous fights, he fights at the rhythm and pace of his opponents – if they’re fighting in a slow, deliberate manner, he sometimes fights exactly the same way rather than pushing the fight on his opponent and trying to speed things up.

Because of that, Paschall, 28, did well in the opening round, landing an occasional big left hand and only having to deal with jabs from the much faster Dirrell. I didn’t give the round to Paschall because he was taking a lot of jabs, and his left hands were far too infrequent to earn him to round. However, given the fact that he was a tremendous underdog going into the fight, he did extraordinary well against the former amateur star Dirrell.

In the second round, Dirrell stalked Paschall around the ring, hitting him with mostly jabs and on rare occasion’s right hands. Paschall circled the ring continuously staying on the outside and looking for openings to land his shots. Like in the first round, Paschall did little in the round and only landed a handful of punches.

After eating a lot of jabs in the third round, Paschall launched a big left hand from the outside that landed cleanly to the head of Dirrell, causing him to clinch immediately as if he was a little hurt from the shot. The punch wasn’t thrown with a lot of speed and it was badly telegraphed from the outside, and it was strange that Dirrell would be hit by such a shot. This, and a few other good left hands from Paschall in the round, made me question Dirrell’s defensive capabilities, as he seemed to react a step slow to the punches thrown his way and blocked almost none of them.

Against a better super middleweight, one with power and better boxing skills, Dirrell might find himself losing by knockout if his chin doesn’t hold up. Certainly with the way that punches were getting through his leaky defense by Paschall, I think Dirrell would be in for serious trouble against a good super middleweight like Mikkell Kessler, Lucian Bute, Jermain Taylor or Carl Froch.

In the 4th round, both fighters clashed heads early in the round, and Paschall received a warning from the referee for shouldering Dirrell. Paschall then landed a couple of jabs and began moving side to side. After a brief clinch, Paschall three a jab and backed up slightly. It looked as if he had a lapse of concentration at this point, as Dirrell came moving in like a knife and threw a straight left hand that landed square in the face of Paschall, sending him to the canvas.

Immediately after he got up, his looked like a mess, his face covered from blood from a large cut on his forehead. The referee immediately stopped the action, walking Paschall over to the ringside doctor who looked over the cut for a brief period of time before advising for the fight to be stopped.