Abraham KO's Taylor & Froch gets SD over Dirrell

Carl FrochPhoto by: Tom Casino / SHOWTME - By Paul Strauss: Chalk up two for Europe in the Super Six Tournament. In the first bout at the O2 in Berlin, Germany, Jermain Taylor once again seemed to be executing his fight plan well. He took the early rounds simply by being more active. However, most of his punches did not penetrate King Arthur's tight defense.

More importantly, it was clear once Abraham opened up that his punches carried the real power of the two. He remained cautious though. In fact, he entered the ring looking a bit tight and stiff. He started the contest in his usual way with his gloves tight up against his face, which meant he was unable to effectively counter punch. When he did choose to attack, Taylor didn't effectively counter either.

Abraham's first attempt to get things going included an attack that included hard body shots and looping punches to the head. Occasionally he would shoot through straight shots when Jermain would lean too much from the looping power punches. A scenario he repeated included one or two body shots, then a looping right. Taylor would lean to his right to roll with the power shot. Then the King would fire a straighter left up the middle. That punch combination would be repeated over and over throughout the fight, and thankfully for Taylor, Abraham would just miss by the smallest of margins with the left.

Taylor's plan included consistently pumping in his good left jab. He too went to the body, but strayed low a few times. Taylor looked for opportunities to fire his good right hand, which was the punch he used to knock down the iron-jawed Froch. But, he wasn't able to land it cleanly enough to cause any serious damage..

Abraham has an awkward but effective style. He is hard to hit cleanly. Also, by design he often loops his punches. But, before doing so, he uses feints to first get his opponent to offset. He also has deceptive speed, so even if his punches carry a wide arc, it's still difficult inside and time a counter punch.

Another obvious deterrent is Abraham's power. His opponents are naturally reluctant to try and step inside his punches, because if they miss, it could be lights out. That happened tonight at 2:54 of the 12th and final round; although, the KO didn't come as the result of an attempted counter by Taylor. No, this one was more like the Pac Man's KO of Ricky Hatton. The KO punch was a straight right hand right down the middle. Taylor was out cold while still standing. There were several tense moments before Taylor recovered.

Abraham now moves on with three big points (2 for the win and an extra 1 for the KO). Taylor walks away with no points and wondering what the heck he needs to do to come away with a victory. Close but no cigar.

Showtime quickly moved the telecast from Berlin to the Trent FM Arena, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom for the Carl Froch versus Andre Dirrell contest. As in the first fight, the European was considered the heavy favorite. In this case, experts thought Froch to be the proven commodity with his impressive last minutes stoppages against Pascal and Taylor. Dirrell had a stellar amateur career, but had yet to have a win over a big named opponent.

The fight started the way most expected. Dirrell used his superior foot and hand speed to keep the fight at the distance he wanted. He seemed to be easily striking from a distance, and would effortlessly switch form orthodox to southpaw and back again; although, he did get tagged a bit when fighting lefty. However, he appeared to be doing much more than Froch, landing his jab from both sides, and jumping in with some good body shots. Through the early rounds Froch seemed unfazed, but as the fight progressed he became frustrated and resorted to roughhouse tactics. .

He started to push Dirrell's head down. Several times he did so with enough force that Dirrell went down. He also hit behind the head, and hit after the break, but he received only a cursory warning from Hector Afu. When Dirrell clenched, it was a different story. He got warned and then penalized a point. It seemed severe considering what Froch had been doing.

Dirrell boxed beautifully, and let the boxing community know that he is for real. He stayed strong for the entire fight, even though this was his first twelve round fight. Froch, on the other hand, wanted desperately to show those making up the American audience that he was a worthy champion and deserved their appreciation.

After his performance tonight, it's doubtful he will get it. He came off as very awkward, slow and at times a dirty fighter. Even though Dirrell was penalized one point, it seemed Judge Alejandro Rochin Mapula's score of 114-113 for Dirrell was more realistic than Judges Massimo Barrovecchio and Daniel Van De Wiele, who both had scores of 115-112 in favor of Froch. Regardless, Froch comes away with the win and 2 pts., while Dirrell gained a lot of respect and earned 1pt.

We now have to wait until Nov 21st for the next installment between odds on favorite Mikkel Kessler versus Andre Ward. This time, though, the fight will take place on USA soil at the Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, which is Ward's backyard. Turn-about is fair play.

Article posted on 18.10.2009

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