Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dirrell DQ11 Abraham

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.


RocketBowler said...

Cole doesn't know the difference between a slip and a knockdown. He has no business refereeing major fights. 2 KDs in this fights were ruled as slips. Look back to the other Cole fight in 2003 between Barrera and Pacquiao - he called a KD a slip and a slip a KD both in favor of Barrera.

In this fight, he should have been there to protect the fallen fighter as we cannot always trust the judgment of the fighters in the heat of the battle. Not sayin' that Abraham is blameless but he took too many blows and his judgment is suspect.

Tim -- said...

I think you overestimate the potential impact of the Lorenzo situation. As I pointed out at the time, fighters are always faking things. Abraham faked about 300 low blows last night. The Lorenzo situation was such that everyone EXCEPT that referee understood what was going on, and it was so egregious that there's really not much I can think of that even compares to it.

The last time someone tried to fake something to even close to that degree, the ref got it right -- DeMarco against Adjaho. Interestingly, the WBC didn't fine him. And even blind-ass Laurence Cole saw this Abraham-Dirrell for what it was.

People are going to think boxers are faking things no matter whether they do or not. A two-year old faking incident almost certainly isn't on anyone's mind in a situation like this, and I strongly doubt it even has any below-conscious level "cultural" influence.

David Schraub said...

I think there is a qualitative difference between faking a low blow, and faking a serious, call the doctors head injury. And I'm curious why so many people instinctively think that folks are faking the latter -- even when it is overwhelmingly obvious that they're not. While Lorenzo is more of an archeotype for a broader problem, I can't help but think that instances of real fakers are causing people to doubt real injuries, and that's bad for the sport.

Tim -- said...

I didn't say they were equivalent instances. I was pointing out that there's lots of faking in boxing (and sports). The act of faking overall probably contributes to people thinking that a boxer might be inclined to fake something. I acknowledged that Lorenzo's act was more egregious. But I don't think it's the first thing that came into most people's minds Saturday, or even anything that subconsciously hovered around in there.

Of course, we're trying to read people's minds. I just know that I haven't heard anyone bring up Lorenzo besides you. People seem to think Dirrell is faking because they're Abraham fans or people who don't like Dirrell, based on what they're saying. Or because they're the kind of people who only ever have something negative to say in boxing forums.

zekester said...

"Dirrell almost definitely suffered" I like that, just as fake as Direll was last night. ALMOST DEFINITELY, oxymoron, lol
You can even see Direll peek through his gloves when he's one the groung sheilding his face, pretending to do the jitterbug, then comes right out of it and pretends to be a simple minded retard after the fact, all an act, disgraceful.

Brave Justice said...

Regardless if he is faking or not. You can't hit a defenseless fighter on the ground. Its a DQ. I don't understand why people are more concerned if Dirrell is acting or not. He could have gotten back up instantly. The fight is still over.

Anonymous said...

That was a 110% acting job by Dirrell. Zero doubt about it

El Presidente said...

"Dirrell almost definitely suffered a severe concussion as a result of Abraham's blatant foul."

Dirrell went to the hospital, and doctors ruled out any type of concussion, much less a brain bleed. He didn't even have a mild concussion.

If you are truly KO'ed, you don't have the presence of mind to look up at the ref, make a wincing expression on your face, raise your arms to your face, then fall gently to the canvas.

A true KTFO would have resulted in little to no body control, which means no wincing, no raising your arms to your face, and no gentle lay down on the canvas. In a true KTFO, his head would hit the canvas.