(Credit: Dave Nadkarni/Premier Boxing Champions) By tim Nielson: Andre Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs) showed tonight that inactivity can hurt you, as he came back from a long layoff from the ring to struggle to beat Blake Caparello (22-2-1, 6 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision in a fight televised on Premier Boxing Champions on Spike from the Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Dirrell was knocked down in the 2nd round from a scorching left hand from Caparello. Dirrell came back to control most of the rest of the fight, but it was not one of his better performances. In fact, it was the type of performance that leaves many questions about whether Dirrell has the talent to go anywhere in the super middleweight division at his age.
While Dirrell is only 32, he’s not showing the talent that he had exhibited earlier in his career and it could be that all the time that he’s missed in the last six years have hurt his skills.
The final judges’ scores were 98-91, 98-91 and 98-91. Dirrell appeared to win every round but the 2nd, but he still did not look good. It could have been an easier fight if Dirrell had stayed on the outside, jabbed and thrown fast shots. Instead of doing that, Dirrell frequently fell forward and fought on the inside against Caparello. There was a lot of holding, wrestling and smothering from Dirrell.
It’s unclear where Dirrell got the habit of fighting like that because he didn’t used to fight in that style. It could be that he didn’t have the stamina to fight hard in the center of the ring, so he chose to wrestle and lean on the inside.
In the 5th round, Dirrell briefly showed the fighter he once was when he threw repeated left hooks to the head of Caparello. However, after fighting hard for 30 seconds, Dirrell spent the remainder of the round leaning, wrestling and smothering his own power on the inside.
In a much better performance, former WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (29-1-1, 23 KOs) destroyed Caleb Truax (26-3-2, 16 KOs) in the 1st round of a scheduled 10 round fight. Dirrell looked cautious at the start of the fight until getting hit with a head snapping jab from Truax. This angered Dirrell, who then landed a powerful right hand to the head of Truax that badly hurt him.
Dirrell followed up with another right hand that knocked Truax down. A short while later, Dirrell knocked Truax down with a left hand to the head for the second knockdown. The fight was stopped at 1:49 by the referee.