Andre Dirrell's Win Over Abraham Makes Carl Froch Look Good!

Abraham Dirrellby James Slater - Back in October of last year, when he met the gifted, the slippery, the hard-to-nail-cleanly and the just plain frustrating-to-fight Andre Dirrell in his native Nottingham, Carl Froch kept his head. Last night in Detroit, when the also undefeated Arthur Abraham met "The Matrix," he did not. Instead, the Armenian-born former IBF middleweight "King" chose to belt Dirrell with a flush right hand while Dirrell was down from a slip; a move that subsequently sent the switch-hitter to hospital for observation.

Clearly, Dirrell, with his rabbit-like movement around the ring, combined with his effective head movement and his effective offence - an offence that makes Andre's pursuer pay the price for having walked in in an attempt to hit him - is one of the hardest guys in the world to fight today. Almost impossible to look good against, let alone actually defeat, the Michigan man can and will continue to give all the fighters he meets headaches. However, all this considered, it in no way justifies what Abraham did last night.

Rightfully DQ'd for his blatant punch, the fighter who was woefully behind on all scorecards at the time of his ugly infraction was unable to act as professionally as fellow "Super-Six" entrant Carl Froch did when he had his nightmare of a time with the man he eventually and, in the opinion of some people, controversially, out-pointed via split decision.. This does not mean "The Cobra," the reigning WBC 168-pound champion is a better fighter than Abraham; but it does mean he has a cooler head. Going by his and Abraham's respective showings against Dirrell, it also means that Froch deserves much more credit than he received post-fight late last year.

Okay, Dirrell, as he proved last night, learnt a lot from the Froch fight, and maybe he will get even better in the future after reflecting on what he was able to do against the previously all-conquering Abraham. A boxer who seems to need to build his confidence, Dirrell, if the painful foul he received last night hasn't done any serious damage - either physically or from a mental, self confidence aspect (as we all obviously hope it hasn't) - can indeed only get better.

But with all that's happened since the Boxing Classic started, who do we now see as the overall favourite? At one time, Mikkel Kessler was the favourite to win; but another Andre, in Ward, came along and defeated him. That result, depending on your opinion, either elevated Ward to favourite status, or it made Abraham the man to be looked at as the best bet to win "Super-Six." But who is the fans' favourite to win the thing now? Clearly, it's proven tough predicting any of the tournament bouts thus far - and we have still to see how Jermain Taylor's replacement, Allan Green, looks when he joins the tournament against Ward in June.

Froch, for his part, says HE will win the tourney, and who knows; maybe he will. If he can get past Kessler next month, and then get past an Abraham whose own self confidence may have taken a mighty hit - what with him losing for the first ever time - Froch will be seen by many as the favourite to win. Or do the fans now feel Dirrell, the man who lost his "Super-Six" debut to the only British fighter in the tournament, is the man to believe in as far as an eventual winner?

One thing can be agreed on right now: both Froch and Dirrell, neither of whom got too much praise after their meeting last October, are better fighters than we thought they were back then.

Article posted on 28.03.2010

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