Mailbag: Dirty punch on Dirrell no act

Andre Dirrell (above left) beat Arthur Abraham on a disqualification for an intentional foul in the 11th round.
(Jerry S. Mendoza/AP Photo)

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Saturday was a very busy boxing day with major fights all around the globe. I answer fan questions about those bouts, as well as other boxing topics, in this week’s edition of the mailbag.

I think Andre Dirrell fought great on Saturday against Arthur Abraham, but Abraham was about to knock him out. In the 10th round, he took a lot of clean hits. I hate to say this, but I think Dirrell was acting a bit after Abraham was disqualified. His reaction was delayed. Either way, I would be shocked if a healthy Andre Ward didn’t walk away with this tourney. Do you think Ward loses at all?

Michael Henry
New York

Michael, Dirrell was in no way, shape or form acting. A powerful puncher like Abraham wound up and hit him cleanly on the chin while he was down and not defending himself. Abraham is fortunate Dirrell was not injured seriously, because it was a blatantly intentional foul. As for your other point, I agree. Ward was my pre-tournament choice to win and I haven’t changed my stance.

Tournament point deduction?

I just watched the Dirrell-Abraham bout and that was a sad finish to a fight that Dirrell was controlling. Should Abraham be subject to a Super Six points deduction because of that? He hit a man while he was down and afterward he refused to acknowledge that he did anything wrong. Then I hear that Team Sauerland is planning on filing an official protest. What is there to protest?

William
Albany, N.Y.

I don’t think he should face a deduction of his points he earned in his previous win over Jermain Taylor. He had a chance to win the fight if he didn’t foul, so he in a sense docked himself by fouling blatantly and getting himself disqualified. His actions were reprehensible, but the punishment should not affect previous fights in which he did not foul. If Michigan suspends him, I would support that wholeheartedly. And forget about any protest. Sauerland would have to be a better illusionist than David Copperfield to change many minds on this topic.

Let’s see Abraham’s character

It doesn’t matter how this Abraham-Dirrell fight ended (of course it matters to Dirrell for getting stretched out), it’s good for boxing. Now we will see what kind of “character” Abraham has, and see how anxious he is to coming back from a fight he got ‘dogged’ every round until the bizarre 11th. Abraham is known as a banger, but was on the receiving end of being banged in this fight. Let’s see if he can come back from this.

T. Laurance
Phoenix

I’m far more worried about whether Dirrell can come back. He fought hard, he fought well and, above all, he fought within the rules, which Abraham did not do. Former world champion Antonio Tarver, working the Showtime broadcast, made a good point when he said a blow such as the one Dirrell received is often one a fighter never recovers from. Let’s hope that’s not the case here.

Disgusting finish

I am completely disgusted with the way Dirrell-Abraham ended and how Abraham conducted himself in defeat. First, Abraham deprived Dirrell of the glory of scoring a decision or a knockout win that most people thought he couldn’t score. Instead, Dirrell fought the fight of his life and didn’t even understand that he won afterward. Second, the punch that caused the disqualification may have ruined Dirrell’s career. When a fighter takes that kind of knockout, it can permanently diminish his ability to withstand concussions in the future. Third, Abraham showed no remorse for his illegal punch after the fight. Instead, he accused Dirrell of being a “good actor,” implying that Dirrell faked the concussion. This was really appalling when you take into consideration all the whining Abraham did each time Dirrell landed a punch near the belt line. To me, Abraham was trying to get a cheap point deduction by being a “good actor” in those instances. As a fan, I am hereby firmly rooting against King Arthur until he takes responsibility for his lackluster performance, gives Dirrell the credit he deserves and issues some kind of apology for his illegal punch.

Raj
El Centro, Calif.

It’s hard not to agree with everything you have to say, Raj. Bravo. Very well put.

Old guys should stay home

I agree with you and someone needs to put a stop to these older fighters still competing. No one wants to see or is going to pay to see their washed-up behinds! I would never pay for a fight with Roy Jones Jr. or Evander Holyfield. Give us (fight fans) a break and let some of the up and coming fighters get their due. Roy and Evander, find something else to do and retire while you still can talk correctly and still have some motor skills or you will turn out like Ali, Joe Frazier and Tommy Hearns. No one will know what you are talking about when you open your mouth without closed caption letters running across the bottom of the screen.

Denise
Detroit

There are only so many punches a fighter can take and Holyfield and Jones have already taken more than their share, in my opinion.

Jones had the better career

I disagree with you when you say Hopkins had a better career than Jones. Hopkins boxed at middleweight from 1988 through 2005 and during those years, he was a beast and the best at his craft. However, Jones did beat him. Now, flip the coin. From 1988 through 1998, Jones not only fought in four different weight divisions, he won titles. It’s obvious whose career was better. Hopkins beat every middleweight put in front of him, except Jones. Jones had the better career.

Antonio Brown
Atlantic Beach, Fla.

They’re both great fighters and they’re both first-ballot Hall of Famers. You could debate the issue for hours and I can’t make a strenuous objection against you. I just wish they would have had a rematch much sooner so that it would have meant something.

Impressed by Maidana

What did you think of Marcos Maidana’s performance in his sixth-round knockout Saturday of Victor Cayo on HBO? Cayo took advantage of his size and really put on the pressure! That guy must not have the knockout power, but he does have the hand speed and movement. Maidana impressed me with creative countering and defense. He refused to let Cayo “tee off” during rallies. Maidana timed his counters and changed his angles nicely. Maidana could have lost and I’d still be impressed by his composure. Maidana reminds me of the Colombian who beat Vernon Forrest twice, plus adding in some major skills. I think promoters should continue to take a closer look at South America for talent. That would improve the sport. Somewhere out there on a tiny island or a big city could be the next Pacman!

Jose L. Munoz
Brooklyn, N.Y.

I was very impressed by Maidana and he’s convinced me he belongs with the elite at 140, Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander. The Colombian you’re referring to is actually a Nicaraguan, Ricardo Mayorga. I don’t see the comparison, other than both guys hit hard, but I do believe Maidana is en route to a very nice career.

Picking the Tuaman

I think David Tua could beat either one of the Klitschko brothers.

Jerry
Vancouver, Wash.

With all due respect, Jerry, you’re crazy. Did you see the Tua-Lennox Lewis fight?

The best heavyweights

I believe the Klitschko brothers are the best heavyweights in the sport. Do you think that just maybe if they put effort into their matches that the fickle American public would give them the accolades they deserve? Wlad is dominating like Mike Tyson did in the mid-to-late 1980s. The difference is, Tyson gave his full effort and got those tomato cans he was fighting out of there. The opposition Tyson faced was not much better than the Klitschko brothers have faced. However, Tyson made certain that everyone knew he was the best by blowing them out, not just jabbing them into submission. Even after Roy Jones Jr. played around with his mediocre opponents for a few rounds, he did it with style and then took them out after dazzling us. The Klitschkos have the talent to do the same, but just don’t. This is what frustrates the American media and public.

Hodge
Los Angeles

I agree they’re the best heavyweights in the world, and they’re the best by a long shot. I was disgusted by Wladimir’s lack of effort in trying to finish Eddie Chambers, though I have no such problem with Vitali.

Kevin Iole covers boxing and mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Kevin a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010