Former WBC Super-Middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell successfully returned to the ring on Sunday afternoon at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX by scoring a workmanlike ten round unanimous decision over longtime contender and multi-time world title challenger Marco Antonio Rubio in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card broadcast in the United States by CBS. Dirrell was able to consistently get his offense off first and kept Rubio on the defensive for much of the fight.
Although it appeared for a time that Rubio’s strategy may have been to play the role of counter puncher, he was simply unable to time Dirrell’s offense and was sporadic in letting his hands go. Official scores were 100-90 (on all three scorecards) in favor of Anthony Dirrell. Unofficially, I scored this bout the same as the three official judges scoring every round in favor of Dirrell.
There is simply not much to say about this fight. Dirrell forced the action, dictated how the fight was fought from start to finish, and simply did what he had to do to secure a victory. Anthony Dirrell advances to 28-1-1, with 22 Knockouts. Marco Antonio Rubio falls to 59-8-1, with 51 Knockouts.
Prior to this fight this observer stated that if Dirrell managed to look impressive and give himself back in the win column that it is not difficult to envision him possibly getting a rematch with Badou Jack, the man who defeated Dirrell for the WBC world championship earlier this year at some point in the near future.
Before a rematch can be signed however, Jack must defend his world title against former world title challenger George Groves on September 12th on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather-Andre Berto bout in Las Vegas, NV. Although there was not much excitement in the fight between Dirrell and Rubio, Dirrell did what he had to do and at the end of the day should be considered a likely candidate to face the winner of Jack-Groves perhaps as early as next year.
As for Marco Antonio Rubio, I stated prior to the fight that the main question I had going into it was what Rubio had left to give as a fighter at thirty-five years old. Rubio did take significant punishment throughout the fight with Dirrell and to his credit was able to stand up to it. This observer however, wonders whether the defensive manner in which Rubio fought this fight was perhaps an attempt to avoid being caught in exchanges as has been the case throughout his career where he has suffered knockout losses, or whether it is a sign that Rubio is now a fighter in decline and cannot let his hands go as frequently as in previous fights over the years. We will have to simply wait and see what the future may hold for Rubio going forward.
Also on this card, former IBF world Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell scored a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over former WBO Bantamweight world champion Tomoki Kameda. In a rematch of what was an extremely close fight earlier this year, Kameda seemed to dictate how this fight was fought from the outset by using lateral movement to pick his spots and make McDonnell miss. Kameda’s combination punching to the body and head and ability to move in and out of McDonnell’s range, despite being the shorter of the two fighters was the story of the fight in the eyes of this observer.
Although many observers, this one included felt that Kameda landed the cleaner more effective punches throughout and appeared to have a decent lead on the scorecards, the three official judges Glenn Feldmann, Jesse Reyes, and Steve Weisfeld turned in scores of 115-112, 116-111, and 117-110 in favor of McDonnell.
Unofficially, I scored this fight 116-111 in favor of Kameda. Although I scored a couple of rounds in favor of McDonnell in the later stages of the fight, including the twelfth and final round where McDonnell was able to score with some might call a questionable knockdown of Kameda where Kameda was struck by a punch while in the process of slipping on the canvas, I felt that Kameda controlled the majority of this fight and landed the more effective punches.
The fight, which was to determine interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Bantamweight ratings quite frankly could lead to a third encounter between the two. The first fight between the two was an extremely close battle that saw McDonnell earn a victory by just one point on all three official scorecards. The rematch was not as close in that it appeared Kameda did enough to win the fight decisively. The decision of the rematch however, which may be seen as controversial would seem to warrant a third fight between the two at some point down the road. It will be interesting however, to see whether or not McDonnell, who has held interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s ratings since May of last year will be in position to challenge current WBA world Bantamweight champion Juan Carlos Payano in the near future.
Jamie McDonnell advances to 27-2-1, with 12 Knockouts. Tomoki Kameda falls to 31-2, with 19 Knockouts.
In other bouts:
In the Jr. Bantamweight division Victor Ruiz (20-5, with 14 Knockouts) scored an eight round split decision over former two-division world champion Daiki Kameda (29-5, with 18 Knockouts) as of this writing there is no word as to why this bout, which was originally scheduled to be a ten round contest was shortened to eight rounds.
In a Jr. Lightweight bout Miguel Flores (17-0, with 8 Knockouts) scored a fourth round knockout over Carlos Padilla (15-3-1, with 9 Knockouts).
Also in the Jr. Lightweight division Mario Barrios (11-0, with 7 Knockouts) scored a fourth round knockout over Jose Cen Torres (13-9, 1 with Knockout).
In the Lightweight division Robert Vela (13-1-2, with 6 Knockouts) scored a six round unanimous decision over Cesar Martinez (0-6-3, with 0 Knockouts).
In a Jr. Welterweight bout Anibal Resendez (4-2, 1 with 1 Knockout) scored a six round unanimous decision over Alberto Navarro (3-11-2, with 1 Knockout).
In a Jr. Lightweight bout Jeremy Longoria (8-5, with 2 Knockouts) scored a fourth round knockout over Jesse Anguiano (2-6-3, with 1 Knockout).
In a Jr. Welterweight bout Rickey Edwards (8-0, with 3 Knockouts) scored a second round knockout over Marco Antonio Solis (3-2, with 1 Knockout).
A scheduled six round Welterweight bout between Ryan Karl (8-0, with 6 Knockouts) and Malcolm Terry (6-5, 6 Knockouts) did not take place. Although both fighters weighed in on Saturday for the fight, there is no word as to why the fight was scratched as of this writing.
As has become the norm this Premier Boxing Champions card produced action. Although a potential title shot may be in Anthony Dirrell’s future following a convincing victory over Marco Antonio Rubio, the main storyline that emerged out of this card in the eyes of this observer was the controversial decision in the McDonnell-Kameda rematch. It will be interesting to see if the controversy surrounding the decision of that fight will ultimately lead to a third encounter between the two.
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