Nothing to see here: Anthony Dirrell gets a technical decision over Denis Douglin
In a head-scratching ending, Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell received a technical decision victory over Denis “Momma’s Boy” Douglin, Friday night, after the fight was stopped by the ringside doctor in the sixth round. The fight was the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card, televised on FS1.
Fighting before his hometown of Flint, Michigan for the first time in over six years, Dirrell, 33, blinked profusely as blood began to trickle into his eye, as time was called. It looked bad and, once referee Frank Garza ruled it to be caused by an accidental head clash, the normal process of the fight going to the cards proceeded.
Before the cards could be read, however, a small melee ensued near the corner of Dirrell’s opponent and Douglin’s mother/trainer could be seen running to the other side of the floor pointing at whatever ran her off. Trying to avoid another post-fight melee like Dirrell’s brother Andre was involved in, earlier in the year, Anthony did his best to calm whomever was in that crowd starting a ruckus and even invited Miss Douglin up to the ring in an apologetic embrace.
Douglin, 20-6 (13), an East Coast journeyman out of New Jersey, quietly took his gloves off, as the scene began to settle, with a look that seemingly knew these weren’t going to be the only post-fight shenanigans.
Scores of 49-46 and 48-47 twice were read in favor of Dirrell; two replays happened, then the card was swiftly put to bed without a post-fight interview or mention of the scores, not counting the sixth round, in which the fight was stopped. Under the unified rules, the round a fight is stopped and sent to the cards should be counted.
In that round, Douglin had some of his best moments, even after getting docked a point by Garza, in its opening moments, when Dirrell flopped to the canvas inexplicably. It was a strange sequence that didn’t seem to qualify as a foul but the fight had been getting chippy throughout and perhaps Garza was trying to take control. It cost Douglin a draw, at the very least, and perhaps a win if the sixth round were scored.
Dirrell, 31-1-1 (24), certainly did enough to win the fight. The former WBC super middleweight titleholder landed the most meaningful punches of the fight and had Douglin reeling multiple times throughout. Although he was conservative with his attack against the southpaw, Dirrell had him stunned, by the end of the first, and, by the third, established a nice body attack that slowed down the forward-pressing Douglin. When Dirrell let his hands go, he did better but Douglin’s will made it a fight and the mouse under Dirrell’s right eye at the end of the third was indicative of that.
The fight wasn’t the prettiest but Douglin was at least game for Dirrell’s homecoming. In the fourth, Dirrell had one of his most successful rounds and the back-and-forth action had those at the Dort Federal Event Center on their feet for the remainder of the fight. The fight grew intense before the abrupt stoppage had it spill out into the crowd but, once cooler heads prevailed, Dirrell stood there with his arm raised and his cut was barely even noticeable.
If you caught a glimpse of the quick replays after the decision was finally read, there was enough evidence to believe Douglin landed a straight right hand to cause the cut. Just after said punch was landed, however, their heads certainly rubbed together and the video evidence in the angles given were inconclusive.
That would be the ruling anyway if there were a replay system set up in boxing but how can boxing fans expect something like replay, which is necessary, when the sport can’t even enforce the rules it already has in place?
In the FS1 co-feature, Jamontay Clark had to eke out an eight-round majority decision win over Domonique Dolton, after sustaining a nasty cut above the right, in the fourth round, caused by an inadvertent clash of heads. It seemed much worse than Dirrell’s in retrospect, especially as Dolton, 19-2-1 (10), was able to climb back into the fight, as Clark seemed bothered by it. Clark, 13-0 (7), continued the fight without complaint and got the well-earned nod with scores of 78-74 and 77-75 in his favor, overruling the card that saw it a draw (76-76).
In the opening bout of the telecast, Ryan Karl, 15-1 (9), earned a unanimous decision over Kareem Martin, 9-2-1 (3), with scores of 78-74 twice and 77-75. The welterweight contest was the best fight of the evening.