Anthony Dirrell vs. Denis Douglin – Results
By Sean Jones: Highly ranked #2 WBC super middleweight contender Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) labored to an unimpressive 6 round technical decision victory over Denis Douglin (20-6, 13 KOs) on Friday night at the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan.
(Photo credit: Silvia Jones/Premier Boxing Champions)
The fight was stopped during the 6th after the 33-year-old Dirrell was cut on the side of his left eye from a head-butt during the round. The fight then went to the scorecards, and Dirrell was given the victory by the scores 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47. Boxing News 24 saw Douglin winning the fight by a 48-47 score.
After Dirrell was cut in the 6th, he told the ringside doctor that his vision was blurry out of his left eye. Dirrell didn’t bother trying to get out of the round to see if his corner could stop the bleeding. Dirrell looked like he was tired and panicking at that point in the fight. Did Dirrell quit? It looked like it. The younger Douglin appeared to be in the process of breaking Dirrell and he opted to quit.
Dirrell appeared to lose rounds 2, 3 and 5. Dirrell looked exhausted in rounds 5 and 6. The judge penalized Douglin 1 point in round 6 after an extremely weary looking Dirrell slipped and fell to the canvas. It was a bad point deduction by the referee, considering Dirrell didn’t fall due to Douglin. He fell because he was so extremely tired.
If you take away the point deduction, the fight would have been scored a majority draw. Dirrell didn’t fall because Douglin pushed him. He fell because he was exhausted by the 6th, and his legs looked rubbery. The younger Douglin was wearing Dirrell out with his body shots, youth and pressure. Dirrell couldn’t handle the youth and energy from Douglin.
Dirrell looked like an old and shot fighter by the 5th. He had nothing left at all. It’s a good thing cut occurred, as the younger 29-year-old Douglin was taking the fight to Dirrell, and was hitting him with every shot he threw. In contrast, Dirrell was throwing wild shots and missing by a mile. Dirrell wasn’t throwing enough shots to win the rounds conclusively. It was Douglin that was doing most of the work in throwing a lot of shots and landing well to the body.
Dirrell took some big shots from Douglin through most of round 1. However, late in the round, Dirrell hurt Douglin with a big right hand to the head that backed him up. Dirrell then followed up with several hard shots to the head. Dirrell missed with a few hard shots that might have knocked Douglin out if they had landed. That was the story of the fight though. Dirrell landed big shots, but he’d then miss a bunch of hard punches that would have given him a chance to end the fight early.
“I’m right there in this division,” said Dirrell. ”He was wearing down and then the head-butt came. I told the doctor my vision was blurry and he decided not to let me continue.”
It looked to me like Dirrell was tried, and decided he wanted to get out of the fight the easy way. Douglin was definitely coming on and looked like the stronger fighter by the 6th round. Dirrell looked so exhausted and old inside the ring. This wasn’t the same Dirrell that we’d seen in his rematch with Sakio Bika 3 years ago in August 2014. Dirrell wasn’t throwing many punches against Douglin, and it wasn’t just because looking to load up. Dirrell didn’t have the stamina to throw more than a handful of shots in each round. When Dirrell would throw punches, he would look tired and wouldn’t be able to throw other punches for a considerable amount of time.
You have to give Douglin credit for wearing down Dirrell with his body shots. Douglin was landing a lot of hard punches to the body in each round that seemed to take the energy out of Dirrell. Douglin and his trainer had clearly studied Dirrell’s fights with Badou Jack and Bika and realized that he wears down quickly when he gets hit to the body. Dirrell can take head shots well, but he does like getting hit to the body. Badou Jack wore Dirrell down completely in attacking him to the body in their fight in 2015.
When Douglin did was a variation of that. Dirrell was grabbing Douglin a lot to keep him from throwing body shots. While in the clinch, Douglin would hit Dirrell with shots to the head, which were perfectly legal. Dirrell kept looking at the referee to let him know that he didn’t like getting hit while he was clinching, and the referee was frequently stepping in to stop Douglin from working. It was crazy. Douglin was doing what fighters are supposed to do when they’re being held. They’re supposed to keep working. Dirrell definitely didn’t like working on the inside, and the referee made it easy on him by constantly stepping in to stop Douglin from throwing punches while being held. Dirrell hasn’t fought too many fighters during his career that work on the inside, and don’t give up when they’re being held. Douglin is well-trained in boxing, and what he was doing is what fighters are supposed to do when their opponents clinch them frequently. Douglin kept working. When a fighter has his hands free, he’s supposed to work on the inside. Dirrell didn’t want that. He only wanted to work when there was separation between him and Douglin.
“I was going for the knockout,” said Dirrell. “I wanted to get him out of there. I was getting hit and I got frustrated occasionally.”
Dirrell was wasting his time going for a knockout, as he was swinging wildly and missing repeated. Dirrell would land one big shots, and then miss with 3 or 4 follow up punches. Douglin was ducking Dirrell’s wide swings and coming up underneath with hard body shots that was draining the Flint, Michigan native. Douglin was the better fighter, and he likely would have won the fight if it hadn’t been stopped.
This was the first fight for Dirrell in 10 months, and it showed. He looked very, very rusty, and not the same fighter he was back in 2013, when he was at his best. Dirrell has missed so much time with his career with injury problems and long periods of inactivity. I don’t think he’s going to be able to get back to the level he was at before. Had this been David Benavidez or Chris Eubank Jr. inside the ring with Dirrell, he would have lost badly to those guys. Those fighters are capable of fighting for a full 3 minute round, and they would wear Dirrell down badly.
Douglin deserves a rematch with Dirrell, as this fight proved nothing. Dirrell didn’t look like the better fighter during the fight, and the point deduction in the 6th round was ridiculous.
In the co-feature bout, the gangly welterweight prospect Jamontay Clark (13-0, 7 KOs) built up an early lead and then had to hold on to beat Domonique Dolton (19-2-1, 10 KOs) by an 8 round majority decision. Clark fought well in the first half of the fight, but he then gassed out and took punishment in the last 3 rounds of the fight. The judges scored it 76-76, 78-74, 77-75. It was close. Boxing News 24 had the fight scored a draw. Clark didn’t do enough to win. The way he performed in the fight, I don’t think he’s going to go anywhere in the division. Clark suffered a cut over his right eye in the 4th round.
Other boxing results on the card:
Ryan Karl UD 8 Kareem Martin
78-74, 78-74, 77-75
Alexey Zubov SD 6 Robert Simms