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Why Froch Beat Dirrell: King Arthur reigns supreme

dirrell3232By Simon Hirst: On Saturday night, we started the Super Six Tournament of the super middleweight division with two mouth-watering bouts. From Germany, we had Arthur Abraham vs Jermain Taylor in a battle of the former middleweight champions. Before the fight started, I applaud Taylor for going over to Germany to fight Abraham, a place that is famous for giving questionable decisions in favour of the fighter with home advantage, so coming from America, Taylor must have knew his chances of winning on the card were slim.

The fight started with Taylor establishing an early lead, fighting behind the jab. This was written in the script as Taylor starts well, with Abraham tending to start towards the middle of the fight. What impressed me most was Abraham seemed to start a bit quicker than usual, around the 4th round. He was throwing point awarding combo’s and his work rate seemed more improved than his reputation suggests. His combo’s were often wild, but effective and they wore Taylor down.

Coming into the 12th round, Taylor was behind fairly on the scorecard and needed a knockout to win. He came forward, but had no real answer as to how to get that knockout. The finish was spectacular as Abraham slipped a powerful right straight threw Taylor’s guard that caught flush and KO’d him.

I respect Taylor a lot. He came to Germany to fight a hero of the German people. Whenever Abraham went for his wild combinations, the crowd cheered loudly. It was a new experience for Taylor, but he had the bottle to do it, unlike his successor Kelly Pavlik. With that said, on a side note, I’m impressed/surprised Pavlik is fighting Williams and fully expect a landslide points loss/stoppage in favour of Williams.

‘King’ Abraham showed why he deserves his place in this tournament and I was very impressed. I look forward to his bout with Carl Froch next year. It will be a war. As for Taylor, people say where does he go from this. He faces Andre Ward next. I think Taylor should stick around. At least until the end of the tournament. He a very skillful boxer. He didn’t run out of gas, as such as he did in the Froch fight, he was worn down by Abraham combinations, which would have worn most people down. In my opinion, he still has a lot to offer.

Abraham fights Dirrell next and I predict a AA stoppage. I think he’s quicker than Froch and will catch Dirrell more frequently. If not, it’ll be because Dirrell is running, which won’t win him many points.
In the other of the fights on Saturday night, Froch retained his WBC super middleweight belt in a largely forgettable fight against American prospect Andre Dirrell in what was more of a game of chess turned cat and mouse.

People call it a controversial decision, but I completely disagree. I thought it was a fair decision. This is a boxing match, a sport where two fighters fight. It is not a game where one guy runs and the other has to catch him.

First of all, Dirrell isn’t a bad fighter when he fights, key word being ‘when’. Froch cornered him so many times and Dirrell, rather than fight his way out, slid out of the way against the ropes and ran. Now, some say he used his speed and footwork, but this is boxing. You use your feet to help generate more power in punching and evade punches, not by running half away around the ring out the way. The speed should be how fast you are as a whole, not just focusing on the feet as Dirrell proved. I’ll even say this, Had Dirrell have counter punched Froch as he came in, whilst sliding off the ropes to evade, he’d have probably won a landslide on the cards. To give an example of what I mean, think Mayweather knocking Hatton down the first time in their fight. As Hatton moved in, Mayweather moved and punched. Still, if he don’t learn this, there’s always a spot next to Tyson Gay on the 100 metres track.

Second reason as to why Froch won was he was the aggressor. He was the one who wanted to fight, always looking to fight with Dirrell, chasing him down. He forced the fight to Dirrell for the full 12 rounds. Had he not done this, you’d have had Froch standing in the centre of the ring, with Dirrell doing laps around him. When they clinched, Froch would try and work on the inside with shots to the head rather than having a cuddle like Dirrell wanted. Perhaps Dirrell was whispering sweet nothings into his ear after all the insults he said in the build up. When Froch did land, it hurt Dirrell, and Dirrell looked to spoil. It made Dirrell look like he had the speed of Jones, but the spoiling tactics of Hopkins. It looked like Dirrell had no confidence in his own chin after being knocked down by Hanshaw. No matter how many times I see that ‘slip’ as it was ruled, it was definitely a knockdown.

Third reason was Dirrell was his constant negativity. He held Froch so many times and pushed him onto the ropes. This was clear as Froch often had his hands by his side if he wasn’t trying to punch Dirrell, which is the name of the game, and let Dirrell push him against the ropes just to prove it was all one way clinching. Whenever Froch got in close, this was Dirrell’s tactic and he rightly got a point deducted. Also, he was on the canvas four times moaning about one thing or another, albeit Froch threw him to the floor the once. Obviously, we can include running than fighting to be his main flaw in his negativity.

You look at this fight being a stinker and you look at why it was, and all fingers point to Dirrell. One guy wanted a fight, the other guy wanted to run, so in a fight, who should the decision go to? Froch came to fight, when he landed he hurt, was happy to mix it in rare cases where Dirrell threw meaningful punches and he stalked Dirrell down.

As Froch said, you should earn the title, not come to steal it. Did Dirrell do enough to win? I don’t think he did. You earn the title by boxing and throwning punches, not running away from them. It wasn’t Froch’s greatest performance due to Dirrell’s awkwardness and unwillingness to fight, but he didn’t deserve to lose his title in a fight like that and rightfully didn’t.

I’m not fully slating Dirrell, he has potential to be good, even a world champion, but his tactics for the fight were all wrong. With that said, for his flashy punches, I don’t think he’d have the chin to stand in front of a guy like Froch. What he does have is hand speed in abundance and needs to use this skill a hell of a lot more.

With that said, I can’t wait for his fight with Arthur Abraham, a powerful guy with more handspeed. It’ll be interesting to see if Dirrell has really learnt his lesson. I predict a AA stoppage. Froch fight Kessler, which I hope will be a slugfest. I think Kessler’s chin is largely untested so I’m intrigued as to who wins this one. I see a stoppage either way.

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