Carl Froch Wins Split Decision Over Andre Dirrell In Nottingham

Andre DirrellPhoto by: Tom Casino / SHOWTME - by James Slater at ringside - Tonight,in his native Nottingham, WBC 168 pound champion Carl Froch won a frustrating and at times messy split decision over unbeaten challenger Andre Dirrell. The styles of the two men just did not gel - largely, it must be said, due to the challenger's long periods of negativity - and the large crowd booed frequently during the action.

After the 12 rounds that failed to catch fire were over, most of us at ringside felt "The Cobra" had done more than enough to have won pretty handily. His triumph in his first bout in the "Super Six" tourney turned out to have been a most closely scored one though. Winning by scores of 115-112 twice, 32-year-old Froch saw his 27-year-old rival win on the third card by a 114-113 tally. I myself had Froch a winner by four points.

The main thing for Froch is he won, kept his belt and his unbeaten record and will now look ahead to what will hopefully be far less frustrating fights as he continues his "Super Six" quest. Dirrell, who lost for the first time in falling to 18-1(13) will have to improve if he's to achieve further success.

This is not to say the former Olympian is a bad fighter. At times, especially late in tonight's fight, he looked good with his fast and sharp left hand. On the whole, though, he was just too negative, complaining to the referee a number of times when he should have been getting on with the job in hand.

The early rounds were quite dull, as both guys fought with caution. But it was Froch who initiated the attacks more frequently. Both men threw a lot of jabs tonight, and it must be said that the right jab belonging to the southpaw who calls himself "The Matrix" looked good at times. Dirrell's speed of hand did bother the champion at times too, but for the most part it was "The Cobra" who wanted to fight and fight hard.

Dirrell never went to the floor from any knockdowns tonight, but he slipped and/or fell to his knees on a number of occasions - complaining to the ref about rough tactics from Froch as he did so. Dirrell also held a lot tonight, finally being deducted a point for doing so in the 10th round.

There was no real standout round in terms of action, and Froch, who could never quite nail his man properly with more than one shot at at time, was visibly frustrated at times - as was the crowd. But then, in the last three rounds, after the point deduction, Dirrell became the man who was more aggressive, looking dangerous with his left hand. It even looked as though Froch was hurt a couple of times as his southpaw rival caught his chin.

It was too little too late though, and Froch had done far more work, had hurt Dirrell and had him hanging on to him, and simply wanted the victory more.

After the quite thrilling Abraham-Taylor battle in Germany, the UK installment of the Showtime tourney was quite a let down. One thing looks clear, Dirrell will be a nightmare of an awkward fighter for all other members of the tournament to face!

Article posted on 18.10.2009

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