FS1 Anthony Dirrell vs Denis Douglin, Jamontay Clark vs Domonique Dolton, and Ryan Karl vs Kareem Martin
BY KID HERSH
PBC on FS1 from Flint, Michigan, featured a card of prospects, contenders, and veterans.
First up on the card was Ryan "Cowboy" Karl (14-1, 9KO's) vs Kareem Martin (9-1-1, 3KO's). The referee was Michael Griffin. In the first round Karl was getting blasted by Martin as he was wide open to right hands - which was also a weakness of his in the only loss of his career earlier this year. Karl was leaving his left hand far too low and dropping his hands after punching, making him an easy target for Martin to tee off on. In the second round Karl was still coming forward and throwing lots of punches but it appeared that some steam was taken off his shots already. Martin was firing with great success still, hammering home left hooks in the second round that were stunning Karl and drew blood from his nose. In the third round Karl had a bit more of a measured round as he stunned Martin with some of his punches for the first time in the fight - such as the right hand a little over a minute into the round. In the coming rounds Karl was targeting the body while Martin was still head hunting. This was separating Karl just enough to win the rounds because he was slowing down Martin. Going down the stretch Martin was starting to fade and it all surmounted in the eighth and final round when midway through it Martin was teetering and looking like a finished fighter. Karl went for the kill but he was tired himself and a bit predictable as he was head hunting for the knockout when he should have been targeting Martins body - which was wide open and what wore him down in the first place. Karl nearly got the stoppage but Martin showed good heart and toughness to gut it out to the final bell. Karl would win the UD in a fight where he showed toughness and conditioning but he really needs to get together with Ronnie Shields and train to defend right hands - that is a big weakness that is still apparent.
Next up was Jamontay Clark (12-0, 7KO's) vs Domonique Dolton (19-1-1, 10KO's). The referee was Michael Griffin once again. In the first round neither fighter was really able to find the mark. Dolton was dropping his hands and proving elusive defensively but could not mount much of an offense. Clark, meanwhile, was effective with his jab but not landing anything super flush on the elusive target. In the second round Clark was able to keep the distance effectively and started landing more of his quick, sharp punches. He even appeared to score a knockdown to my eyes late in the round when he landed a right to the temple that caused Dolton to lose his balance and go to the canvas. It was one of those instances where it did appear legs were tangled but I saw a punch to the temple land that put his legs out of position in the first place. In any case, he rose and the round was over shortly thereafter. Dolton was not deterred but what I witnessed is a guy who looks very good - very balanced, moves well, throws straight punches, is athletic, etc. But Doltons problem is that he simply does not have enough tools or tricks up his sleeve to change things up when they are going his way. Clark was still firing straight lefts and easily stepping backwards and firing when Dolton came inside exactly the same way every time - without coming in behind anything. In the fourth round Clark suffered a cut above his right eye due to an accidental clash of heads. It was a bad one that was pouring into his lead eye. Dolton had success in the remaining half of the fourth round due to Clark being blinded by the blood. The fight turned sloppy, as Clark could not keep the range anymore likely due to the cut suffered. For the remainder of the fight it was pretty sloppy work by both fighters - with Clark not really able to do anything clear cut like he was earlier in the fight due to fighting with blood in his eye from the accidental butt. Dolton, meanwhile, was still pretty ineffective with his aggression but was getting his style of fight on the inside. The cards would come in 76-76, 78-74, 77-75 a majority decision draw for Clark.
The main event featured Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24KO's) vs Denis Douglin (20-5, 12KO's). The referee was Frank Garza. In the first round Dirrell slowly found his range on Douglin, landing a right hand at the end of the round that took Douglins legs away. He held and made it through the round, coming out in the second round completely recovered. The problem Douglin was having is finding the mark with his offense. Dirrell is just sitting back and waiting to counter Douglin and seemingly having a very easy time doing so - letting Douglin give him openings. This continued until in the fourth round Dirrell started to press Douglin harder, buzzing him with powerful punches as he appeared to have his man on the verge of going out. Dirrell continued pressing the fight as he was in total control and it was only a matter of time before he got his man out. Douglin did not want to back down, however, and was docked a point in the sixth round from holding but it obviously did not matter at this point since he has not won a second of any round. Dirrell also suffered a cut above his left eye in the sixth round that was pouring straight into his eye. The fight would then go to the scorecards due to the cut and Dirrell would win the decision.