Andre Dirrell Outfoxed, Not Outboxed

BY David A. Avila ON October 16, 2009
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Sometimes a loss is a good thing.

The beginning of the super six super middleweight tournament showed European boxing stands up to American pugilism and also shows that Andre Dirrell has great skills but not great boxing intelligence in losing to England’s Carl Froch.

“I thought I out-boxed him,” said Andre Dirrell.

Yes, he showed he had the greater hand-speed, the faster reflexes and at times enough power to hurt the British strong boy, but the fact that he doesn’t understand that what works in club fights won’t work in title fights hurt him in the end.

Will he learn from this loss?

“I’ll still be a world champion,” Dirrell said.

Throughout his fight Dirrell continued to grapple and hold and allow Froch to manhandle him inside while taking a pummeling with punches behind the head and back. At times he even turned his head to complain to the Mexican referee about the roughhouse tactics.

Bad idea.

This is fighting, this isn’t the amateurs anymore. You can’t tangle with a world titleholder like Froch and expect clean play. The real fighters understand this. He needs a class in Bernard Hopkins 101: “How to win by any means necessary.”

Froch showed he’s a real professional as he flung Dirrell, hit him everywhere possible and never stopped trying to bully the super athletic Michigan fighter. All that holding by  Dirrell resulted in a point deduction.

“He didn’t want to fight like a man,” said Froch.

It became very predictable that Dirrell would attack then push and hold Froch to try and make him go backward. But after forcing Froch to the ropes, instead of pulling back quickly and moving to the left or right, he continued to hold Froch waiting for the referee to break it up. Froch didn’t wait. He continued hitting and shoving to gain more room for one of his power shots.

In the end Froch won by split-decision, but this tournament isn’t over. If Dirrell can learn from his mistakes he could prove to be a very, very dangerous foe for anyone in the tournament. He hurt the rugged British fighter a few times with his speed and timing.

Dirrell will be back if he learns to quit the holding and use his feet to slide left or right and counter. He’s got the tools.

In the other fight...What can anyone say? Jermain Taylor was knocked out by a right hand to the chin from Arthur Abraham. Abraham fights Dirrell next and Taylor has Andre Ward. Froch gets a crack at Mikkel Kessler who still has to fight Ward in Oakland in a few weeks.

Very interesting stuff and a great boost for the super middleweight division.

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