Dirrell Fights Davis to a Split Draw
By Caryn A. Tate on February 28, 2021
In the 9th, it seemed a switch had flipped for Anthony Dirrell. (Photo courtesy PBC/FOX)
From Los Angeles, Premier Boxing Champions presented a card broadcast on FOX. The headliner featured former two-time WBC world super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs) vs. Kyrone Davis (15-2-1, 6 KOs) in a 12-rounder.
Davis started out well, light on his feet and moving laterally. At times he tried to initiate some rough stuff, but Dirrell isn't called "The Dog" for nothing; he put a stop to that right away, catching Davis with some sharp shots that made him think twice about coming in.
Davis fought well, but he was somewhat easy to time and Dirrell also saw that and often capitalized on it. He hurt Davis several times. As the rounds progressed, Davis fought with activity, letting his hands go often, but Dirrell landed the cleaner punches that seemed to have more effect.
In the middle rounds Davis came on, throwing in volume. Dirrell kept his hands at home too much, perhaps looking for the knockout and less on winning the rounds. There was some great, technical boxing happening.
On my card Davis won rounds 6, 7, and 8. He boxed very well and simply let his hands go more than Dirrell, landing more punches. Davis looked comfortable.
In the 9th, it seemed a switch had flipped for Dirrell. He let his hands go well and landed some very sharp, accurate shots that made Davis appear unsure.
From then on it was all Dirrell. He let his hands go and landed the cleaner, more effective punches. Davis put forth a good effort but there was a clear experience and IQ gap, and Dirrell capitalized on that.
The official scorecards read 115-113 Davis, 115-113 Dirrell, and 114-114. It was a split draw.
There were a few close rounds for sure, but not enough to justify a draw decision. The card for Davis was just tough to swallow.
After the fight, I appreciate that the FOX commentators attempted to educate a little about how scoring works, but there was no mention of the four scoring criteria or—even more important—the order in which the criteria must be applied. It's not a mystery how to score properly and media, fans, and everyone who cares about the sport has to keep calling that out in an effort to force the state commissions to hold judges accountable for poor cards that didn't adhere to the criteria or the order in which they should be applied.
Earlier, 19-year-old Jesus Ramos (15-0, 14 KOs) faced Jesus Emilio Bojorquez (24-3, 18 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout. The southpaw Ramos overwhelmed his opponent from the beginning. In the second round, he landed a great right hand on Bojorquez that dropped him on his seat. Bojorquez did make the count, but not long afterward referee Thomas Taylor mercifully waved off the fight when he'd seen Bojorquez take enough damage.
The first bout on the card featured Vito Mielnicki Jr. (8-0, 5 KOs) vs. Noe Lopez (10-4-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight contest. Lopez tried; he did let his hands go, but he just wasn't on the level of the 20-year-old Mielnicki and was dropped in the second round by a nice right hand upstairs. In the third, Mielnicki battered Lopez until the latter finally took enough damage for the referee to feel he needed to step in and stop it.