Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
The Super Six Begins
Jermain Taylor began the fight as expected boxing and shooting his jab at Abraham.
King Abraham simply played peek a boo as he blocked most of the punches coming his way but occasionally a jab or two powered their way through the gloves.
By the end of the fifth round, Abraham had slight swelling around his right eye as Taylor’s jab made its mark.
The last minute of the third round told the story of the fight while Taylor won the first two minutes of the round as he probably won the previous six minutes with his jab but a straight right hand nailed Taylor and Abraham followed up with combinations to the body and the head.
This flurry of punches showed the difference between the two fighters. Abraham took Taylor’s power jab in stride but his punches showed power when they struck Taylor, they forced the American back.
Abraham is a patience fighter and there were times in this bout that he may have been too patience. A right hand in the ninth round sent Taylor reeling back to the ropes and he went into survival mode.
Yet, Abraham showed economy in his punches and Taylor survived.
Halfway through the fight, Taylor fought the fight he needed to fight as the fight was spent mostly in the middle of the ring but Abraham’s own jab proved effective in countering Taylor’s jab and his defensive skills made it difficult for Taylor to unleash his vaulted right hand, his best punch.
Taylor became a one dimensional fighter as his only real effective punch was his left jab but a jab alone will not beat Abraham.
Over the second half of the fight, Taylor gamely fought but it seemed that it was a case of a pop gun versus a shot gun. He threw his right, but those rights never could land solidly.
Taylor would begin each round by flicking those sledgehammer jabs and Abraham would merely flick them off while patiently waiting for the right moment to strike back.
Each of the later rounds, Abraham made it a habit to fight down the stretch as he unleashed a volley of punches from the body to the head.
In the 11th round, Taylor started off his customary fast start but at this point, he knew he was losing the fight so he pushed the action by attacking but in the last 30 seconds, Abraham nailed Taylor with a left hook to the body before finishing the round with combinations that started with the body to the head.
At the beginning of the 12th round, Taylor attacked with volley of jabs and then tried to shoot the right over Abraham’s defenses but as the round progressed, Taylor weakened.
In the last 20 seconds. Abraham threw a wild left hook and Taylor reacted. With Taylor’s glove slightly ajar, Abraham nailed him with the perfect right hand, straight and on target.
Taylor’s eyes were closed before he hit the canvas and for the third time in his last five fights; he was knocked out.
Abraham is one of those sneaky fighters who seem look easy to hit but yet his opponents never seem to quite catch him and when they do, they hit a granite chin. Abraham is one of the favorite to prevail and victory over Taylor showed why.
The fight was fought in the middle of ring which should have favored Taylor but it didn’t.
Andre Dirrell attempted to lift Carl Froch’s WBC Super Middleweight title in Froch hometown of Nottingham, England. This was one of those fights that many of the rounds were close and the judges were given the choice of the awkward slugger versus the slick boxer.
Dirrell moved and countered effectively while Froch pursued; often ineffectual. Rarely could Froch trap Dirrell and he often escape unharmed.
For Froch, he wanted to turn this into a brawl and he used rough tactics to get Dirrell to lose his composure. He showed discipline but there were times that he held Froch instead of engaging in inside fighting and this did cost him a point as the referee deducted a point in the tenth for what was viewed excessive holding.
The difficulty of judging this fight showed up in the ninth where Al Bernstein gave the round to Froch as he rewarded him for his aggressiveness and rally in the last minute.
Blow by blow announcer Gus Johnson gave the round to Dirrell for his sharp counters.(I joined Johnson in awarding the round to Dirrell.)
The last three rounds had their drama as Dirrell lost a point in the 10th round, but a left hook in the last 30 seconds delivered by Dirrell sent Froch reeling to the ropes and Dirrell chased him down.
In the 11th round, a key moment of the fight occurred when Froch chased Dirrell to the corner. He threw four straight punches, all of them missed as Dirrell ducked them all and with the blink of an eye, Dirrell nailed Froch with a straight left hook, followed by a second hook for the most effective counter.
In between the 11th and 12th rounds, Dirrell’s corner told their young charge that he could not win a decision in Froch’s backyard and Dirrell attacked as he hoped for knockout but the knockout never came.
Dirrell lost his first fight as Froch slipped through with a split decision. I agreed with the judge who rewarded Dirrell as he connected on the more accurate punches but the other two judges awarded Froch the decision on the theory that he was the aggressor and the old boxing adage, you have to take the champion belt.
The irony of this fight is that the hardest punch was Dirrell’s straight left at the end of the 10th and then in the 11th with two Dirrell Hooks forced Froch back after Froch missed on a four punch combinations in the corner.
Dirrell’s next fight will be against Abraham whereas Froch will finally meet Mikkel Kessler. Dirrell showed the right stuff but came up just a little short on the scorecard whereas Taylor showed that being a very good fighter is not just enough.