By: Eric Lunger
It was a home-coming for Anthony Dirrell tonight as the Flint, Michigan, native fought in front of his home crowd against veteran Denis Douglin, on a special Friday night edition of PBC’s Toe-to-Toe on Fox Sports. Dirrell (30-1, 24 KOs), a former WBC world champion at the 168-pound limit, was looking to get back on track for a title shot next year, while Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs), a 29-year old southpaw from Marlboro, NJ, was hoping to upset the home-town apple cart and grab that potential title shot.
Photo Credit: Silvia Jones/Premier Boxing Champions
From the opening bell, Dirrell was calm and poised — efficient in his movement, and looking for his spots. And indeed, Dirrell found one late in the first round, catching Douglin with a straight right, wobbling him, and almost finishing the fight before the bell. Douglin rallied in the second, scoring to the body and showing the former world champion little respect, holding and fighting a bit ugly. Despite more holding and rough tactics in the fourth, the end of the round saw a flurry of action as Dirrell scored with a variety of heavy punches.
In the sixth round, however, Dirrell suffered a cut in the corner of his left eye, hampering his vision. Ruled an accidental head butt by the referee, the fight was stopped and it went to the cards. Not surprisingly, the judges scored the five completed rounds unanimously for Anthony Dirrell (49-46, 48-47, 48-47).
In the co-main event, undefeated prospect Jamontay “the Quiet Assassin” Clark (12-0, 7 KOs) took on Domonique Dolton (19-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight bout. Clark, a 23-year old from Cincinnati, Ohio, is tall and rangy at six-foot-two, and he possesses a long, stinging jab. Dolton tried to get inside Clark’s jab but with little success. Although a tactical and defensive bout, the high skill level of both fighters made it a compelling contest. Dalton was effective when he could get “in the phone booth,” and Clark was clearly better when he was fighting from range.
An accidental clash of heads in the fourth opened a cut over Clark’s right eyebrow, with Dolton seeking to exploit the injury. The following rounds were competitive and difficult to score, though Clark did the better work from behind his long jab. The Cincinnati fighter showed impressive composure despite the cut, boxing and keeping a very determined Dolton at bay. Clark edged out the majority decision (76-76, 78-74, 77-75).
Earlier in the evening, Houston-based Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (14-1, 9 KOs) took on Kareem Martin (9-1-1, 3 KOs) of Washington, DC, in an eight-round welterweight contest. Karl, who has fought on PBC several times before, is a come-forward action fighter, often to the detriment of his defense. Tonight was no exception.
In a fight characterized by much offense and little defense, both men stayed on the gas pedal for the first three rounds.
The pace slowed in the fourth, but the fireworks resumed in the fifth, with both fighters swinging away for the knockout. At times, Martin protected himself with a high guard, almost as though he was inviting Karl to punch himself out. But Karl’s conditioning, not to mention his chin, held up. The Texan took control of the fight in the later rounds, fighting behind a remarkably effective jab.
Despite a wild eighth round, in which Martin was wobbled, the fight went to the judges who scored the bout unanimously for Karl (78-74, 78-74, 77-75).