SANTA YNEZ, Calif. (Dec. 2, 2011) – Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell recorded his ninth consecutive stoppage after Canadian Renan St-Juste could not continue to fight following what appeared to be a separated left shoulder at 2:54 of the fourth round in the ShoBox: The New Generation main event. The evening’s opener featured Jhonatan “Momo” Romero scoring a 10-round split decision over Chris “The Hitman” Avalos in an action-packed super bantamweight bout by the scores of 96-93, 96-94 for Romero and 95-94 for Avalos. The doubleheader originated from Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., just up the 101 Freeway from where International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight titleholder Abner Mares and Joseph King Kong Agbeko will battle in a highly anticipated rematch tomorrow on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING LIVE at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME®.
After a measured first couple of minutes, Dirrell (24-0, 21 KOs), of Flint, Mich., established his power by backing up St-Juste (23-3-1, 15 KOs) with a right hand late in the opening round. The southpaw St-Juste, who also boasts some fuel in his fists, repeatedly loaded up with his left hand and missed wildly. Facing a 5-inch heigh disadvantage, the shorter St-Juste failed to get inside on Dirrell. Ever patient, Dirrell dictated the fight’s pace and seemlessly switched between orthodox and southpaw stances.
In the fourth, an awkward clash caused a head butt to Dirrell’s forehead that sent him to the ground. Seemingly incensed, Dirrell stood up, regained his composure and proceeded to attack his opponent. After taking a few shots, St-Juste attemped to hold on to his surging opponent but Dirrell merely spun him around. St-Juste began to wince in pain while clutching his left shoulder. Referee Jack Reiss ended the bout when St-Juste informed him that he could not continue. Replays showed that St-Juste’s shoulder was injured during the awkard clash and not from Dirrell’s post-head butt attack.
Although the bout was stopped short, Dirrell looked good through four rounds while taking his largest step up in competition. The victory awards Dirrell the distinction of mandatory challenger for the World Boxing Council (WBC) 168-pound title, currently held by Super Six World Boxing Classic Finalist Carl Froch.
”I’m coming, Super Six. You all better watch out. ’The Dog’ is coming,” Dirrell emphatically stated after the bout as he celebrated with his family, including his brother and former Super Six participant, Andre Dirrell.
The telecast’s co-feature provided more punches and rounds than the headliner but less certainty about the outcome. Avalos (19-2, 15 KOs) – making his ShoBox-record sixth appearance – scored a knockdown just before the end of the first round with his patented power punches against the ropes. The quicker Romero, of Colombia, rebounded in the second session by staying mobile and timing Avalos’ punches to catch him coming in.
Avalos, of Lancaster, Calif., achieved most of his success with powerful combinations while Romero’s right uppercut served as his most valuable asset. The seventh round turned into a slugfest with both fighters refusing to hit the canvas. Avalos continued to display to ShoBox fans that his chin is almost as solid as his right hand.
Avalos caught Romero with a head shot in the eighth that seemed to hurt the Colombian. Avalos went for the kill but was unable to stop his opponent. Romero bounced back with a very successful ninth after looking exhausted in between rounds.
As the fight came to a close, the boxers raised their arms in victory but it was only Romero (20-0, 12 KOs) who was able to keep his arms upstretched when the outcome was officially announced. The vocal crowd booed the decision.
The event was promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC.
Tonight’s telecast will replay on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME Extreme and will be available on SHOWTIME On Demand from Dec. 5 through Dec. 18.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV