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20 JUNE 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Anthony Dirrell Remains Undefeated

Dirrell Celebrates victory
Dirrell Celebrates victory

By: Marc Livitz: Anthony Dirrell maintained his undefeated status, 24-0-(21) by way of a fourth round TKO victory over Renan St. Juste of Quebec, Canada. The WBC Super Middleweight title eliminator bout which took place at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California was stopped towards the conclusion of round four when St. Juste could no longer continue due to the pain caused by a separated left shoulder.

Dirrell didn’t exactly press the action in round one. Many ringside observers expected him to use his four inch height and reach advantage from the opening bell. The Flint, Michigan native (and younger brother of one-time Super Six Super Middleweight participant Andre Dirrell) did a fine job afterwards of switching his stance often from traditional to southpaw in an attempt to confuse his opponent.

St. Juste (23(15)-3(1)-1) took the bait and proceeded to take counter left hooks from Dirrell for the remainder of the fight. Each time the former kickboxer and MMA fighter tried to lunge in, he would find the difference in height to be too much to tolerate and Dirrell would consistently catch him. Rounds two and three essentially followed the same pattern and St. Juste was certainly facing an uphill battle. In round four, Anthony Dirrell began to work the body and head of St. Juste on a regular basis. Towards the end of the round, a brief pause in the fight took place due to an accidental headbutt. Once the two combatants acknowledged that they were fit to continue, Dirrell swarmed St. Juste with a flurry of punches.

The Canadian fighter attempted to tie up Dirrell in the process, but he slipped away from the clinch. Once this happened, St. Juste began to signal to referee Jack Reiss that his left shoulder was in a great deal of pain. After Reiss asked St. Juste multiple times if he could continue, the fight was stopped. Subsequent replays confirmed that St. Juste had in fact dislocated his left shoulder as he tried to throw an overhand left at the same time that the clash of heads had occurred.

Undercard Notes:

The Super Bantamweight battle between Jhonatan “Momo” Romero of Cali, Colombia and Lancaster, California native Chris “Hitman” Avalos definitely stole the thunder from the main event. The undefeated Romero (20(12)-0) was fighting only his second bout in the United States and he sought to take the fight directly to Avalos (19(15)-2). The non-stop action contest was a conflict of styles and will. Romero established the jab early, while Avalos continuously tried to close in on him. A flurry of punches to end the first round put Romero on the canvas.

From round two and onwards, Avalos would seek to engage the action while Romero threw perfectly timed right uppercuts to catch him on the way forward. Each boxer chucked caution to the wind and abandoned conventional use of the ring. No need for jabs after the second round. Instead, mostly good, solid power punches. Seemingly every time Chris Avalos attempted to size up the Colombian slugger, he would get tagged accordingly.

By round six, Romero had control over the use of his two inch height advantage and the timing of Avalos’ progression in advance. In round seven, Romero straightened his powerful right uppercuts into effective punches. The occasional flurry to end each round may have swayed the judges in some small way.

The fight by this point had become a glaring match of power versus volume. Although Chris Avalos demonstrated an iron chin throughout the fight , the night belonged to Jhonatan Romero. The scorecards read as follows: 96-94 Romero, 95-94 Avalos and 96-94 Romero. Although the fight could have easily gone either way, critics will without a doubt point to the fact that Avalos attempted to coast through the last two rounds.

December 2, 2011

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