Sakio Bika put his WBC super middle crown up against Anthony Dirrell at Barclays Center on Saturday evening at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and on Showtime.
It was a rugged rumble, with Bika going down once and having a point taken for an infraction. We went to the cards, with the Dirrell corner especially certain they’d hear…”the neeewww.” The cards read: 114-112 (Bika), 116-110 (Dirrell) and 113-113 (draw). Dirrell looked beyond irked, as, perhaps, he should have, and he left the ring ASAP.
Bika went 170-609, to 167-477, and we’ve seen many times before, volume spoke loudly to the arbiters. He said after that he felt like he had to fight the ref, and he accused Dirrell of milking sympathy. He said he was the busier man on the night. Dirrell before the decision said he gave himself an A, not an A plus, and expected to win. In the locker room, he used salty language understandably, to show his digust.
Bika looked to make it a scrum while Dirrell picked his spots to land a heavy one in the first. Bika looked amateurish, winging wide shots and missing in the second. Dirrell waited patiently to land his stuff, and liked it when Bika was waiting. Dirrell’s elusivity, with his legs especially, looked good to the judges in the third. A body shot made Bika dip and Dirrell landed a right cross to the head which buckled his knees, the best shot of the bout to that point.
Dirrell shifted to lefty after Bika had some luck landing rights to the top and to the body. The fourth was a better Bika round, for sure, as Dirrell was waiting too much.
Down went Bika off rights in the fifth, on his face. His legs were in bad shape and he might have been saved by the bell.
A right hurt Dirrell and he needed to grab but he got his senses and landed his own answer when he got some space, and hurt Bika in the sixth. Bika was the bull, and Dirrell looked to pick his spots, landed a hard counter or one in between in the seventh.
In the eighth, Bika was busier, and Dirrell needed a second wind. Bika was busier in the ninth, and landed a swell kidney shot to boot. In the tenth, they traded to end the round. A low blow, the left, felled Dirrell, at 1:12, and Bika had a point taken. Blood was seen on Dirrell’s left eye in that 11th. In the 12th, Bika shoved Dirrell down, and went low a few times. He whacked to the body and Dirrell did manage to land some counters. Bika, in fact, was on unsteady legs to close the round out. The corner didn’t like it as Dirrell raised his hands and celebrated twice in the waning seconds.
Julian Williams met Orlando Lora in a junior middleweight squareoff. The Philly fighter, coming in at 13-0-1, winged nasty left hooks and rights over the defense of the Mexican in the first. Lora was a sitting duck and a commissioner in his corner hopped up on the apron as he was eating clean shots in round two. Again, some in the crowd hooted, as they did when the ref halted the Ali-Selig contest. But we are living in the post Mago world in NYC boxing and I think it’s always better a tick too early than a tick too late.