Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (23-0, 20 KO’s) defeated Kevin “The Hitman” Engel (18-5, 15 KO’s) by way of a 2nd round KO on July 22nd as the headline for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights from the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, California.
The 26 year old Dirrell continued his unbeaten ways as he further climbs the super middleweight ranks. This bout turned out to be an easy outing for Dirrell, the younger brother of fellow pugilist Andre Dirrell, as he won his second fight this month, following a 5th round KO of Dante Craig three weeks ago.
The 31 year old Engel had taken the fight on short notice after Alejandro Berrio dropped out, and was unable to make weight for the fight on the notice. A new contract was written up and the Hitman was unable to live up to his namesake.
Dirrell came in looking sharp, working the jab early and landing some hard body combinations. Seamlessly switching stances, Dirrell welted up Engel’s left eye early on, and showcased superior speed and skill over the Hitman.
As the 2nd round began, Dirrel continued to control the tempo, dropping Engel early in the round. Engel got to his feet quickly and walked into more punishment. A second knockdown followed and ended it. Engel and his camp argued the left that ended it was a low blow and replays showed it was questionable. Regardless, at the 1:44 mark of the 2nd round, unable to continue, Engel was counted out.
Low blow or not, the result probably saved Engel from severe damage, had it continued. Props to Engel for taking this fight on short notice and struggling to make weight, but we all saw a simple “tune up” for Dirrell in what turned out to be a short and convincing outing.