Dirrell vs DeGale didn’t pan out quite the way most boxing observers had expected, but that’s no complaint. Whether you agree with the outcome or not, it’s now set in stone: James DeGale won via Unanimous Decision. Scores of 114-112 (twice) and 109-117 secured that win at the Agganis Arena, Boston, which took into account two knockdowns suffered by Andre Dirrell in the 2nd round.
BoxingBase.com didn’t find the result particularly controversial, though we would have preferred a Draw (as reached on our own 113-113 card).
Dirrell vs DeGale: The Fight
The fight itself was one of two halves (see our Dirrell vs DeGale Round-by-Round Report). British fight fans in attendance wouldn’t have been blamed for being anxious for DeGale. It was the Gold Olympian’s first fight on a big American stage. Oh, and his opponent was not exactly a pushover.
But one had to admire DeGale’s demeanor from the opening bell. Confident, comfortable. And seemingly housing little worry for his foe’s tool set. DeGale landed leather in the opener, and after receiving a zipping counter left-hook in the 2nd, dropped Dirrell with a full-blooded left-hook of his own. Dirrell was on wobbly legs following the knockdown, and soon found himself tasting the canvas not longer after beating the count.
It was inspiring stuff from the Brit. And hard times for Dirrell who then suffered punishment in the 3rd and 4th rounds. But the American wasn’t about to go down and out just yet. His face may have leaked anxiety, but he then began to bag rounds by outworking DeGale and exhibiting a superior jab. In the later rounds, Dirrell began to assert himself even more, pushing DeGale back with straight combinations.
Where was DeGale during the second half exactly? That we don’t know. The Brit seemed to sag for two reasons: gassing out and struggling against an opponent who had built considerable momentum.
The Boston crowd was far from satisfied when the scorecards were revealed. There were some hard rounds to score, so the two 114-112 tallies were acceptable. But the 117-109 card really was an insult to Dirrell who’d worked hard to boss his way back into the fight.
But it is what it is. DeGale and Dirrell had made for a competitive, hard-fought contest with some pleasing action. It’s becoming somewhat cliché, but yeah, it was no Mayweather vs Pacquiao. And for that reason, most fight fans tuning in were happy.
Dirrell vs DeGale: Aftermath
What’s next for both fighters? Despite the narrow margin, the boxing fandom will no doubt quickly forget the ‘controversy’. Why? Mainly because DeGale is the more exciting fighter, given the extra wallop in his punch. His digestible ego also adds to his appeal.
Given how he and former amateur/pro rival George Groves have grown since their first bout in 2011, a rematch would instantly sell to western audiences. The UK in particular. This would be another battle of Britain, just as Froch vs Groves II was.
As for Dirrell, his reputation hasn’t been tarnished beyond repair. For a man who was criticized for lacking heart, he’s proven he can rise from very deep waters to claw his way back into a fight. Even British fight fans had to respect the American’s tenacity against DeGale. A loss is a loss, however. And one that he will have to rebuild from.
It has to be said both brothers, Andre and Anthony, are having a tough time of it at the moment. Expect to see the pair making Super Middleweight comebacks soon on a Premier Boxing Champions card.
What did you think of Dirrell vs DeGale? We want to know your personal scores – was it a Draw, or did one fighter clearly edge the other? Also, what’s next for both men?
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