In what was, for the most part, an exciting if one-sided fight, Andre Dirrell (19-1, 12 KOs) prevailed over previously unbeaten, Super Six tournament leader Arthur Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs). Unfortunately, it didn't quite happen the way Dirrell would have liked. Dirrell was well in control of the fight on every card, including knocking "King Arthur" down for the first time in his career in round four. But he was beginning to tire, and referee Laurence Cole (who was at his typical levels of incompetence) missed what should have been a knockdown against "The Matrix" in Round 10.
In round 11, though, things got scary. Dirrell slipped on a ring logo in the corner, and went down. Abraham then proceeded to uncork a massive right hand that knocked Dirrell out cold. You can see it here (at around 55 seconds in):
Dirrell was clearly, clearly already down when the punch was thrown. And so Abraham was disqualified, rightfully so.
So a couple of things. First, Abraham loses massive points for acting like a punk. I can accept, barely, that he did not intentionally mean to hurt Dirrell. Things can get a little wild in the ring, and its the referee's job to get between the fighters in situations like this (Cole, predictably, was way out of position). Nonetheless, this was an obvious foul, and Abraham lost a lot of respect for both trying to pretend that Dirrell was not on the floor when he hit him, and then later accusing Dirrell of acting.
Which moves us to number two: Dirrell was obviously not acting. You don't act the twitching you saw from Dirrell when he was on the canvass. If you're acting, you don't keep up the facade after the announcer already has proclaimed you the winner (Dirrell, for quite some time after the fight, still didn't seem to realize he had won). You don't show the signs of clear disorientation that Dirrell demonstrated if you're acting. And finally, unless you're a bad guy on an episode of House, I don't think actors can fake trained doctors into thinking you might have a brain bleed. Dirrell almost definitely suffered a severe concussion as a result of Abraham's blatant foul.
And finally, number three: This fight is the exact reason I hate Francisco Lorenzo's true acting job that got him a DQ win over Humberto Soto. I supported the fine against Lorenzo at the time, precisely on the grounds that his behavior leads folks to think boxers are faking injuries when they're not, and in a sport such as this, even a moment's hesitation can quite literally be fatal.
As much haterade as I direct towards Cole, he did act reasonably quickly to make sure a doctor was in the ring, and was quite firm in making the correct DQ ruling. But what if he had wondered, even for a few extra moments, if Dirrell was just putting on an acting job? A bunch of the folks I was watching with were pretty quick to say that Dirrell was at least partially BSing. Again, observing how Dirrell behaved both after the punch landed, and in the aftermath responding to Showtime's attempts to interview him (attempts that failed because Dirrell was essentially incoherent), that assessment is obviously wrong. But it's the actions of people like Lorenzo who plant that seed of doubt when faced with situations like Dirrell's, and frankly that's not acceptable given the risks these fighters take on for our entertainment.