By Cliff Rold
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi - 30-year old Puerto Rican Jr. Lightweight Carlos Velasquez (18-1, 12 KO), 131 ½, of Miami, Florida, scored a knockdown in round one, could have been credited with a body shot knockdown (ruled a low blow) in round two, against 39-year old Jean Javier Sotelo (19-13-2, 10 KO), 131 ½, of Bogota, Colombia. Sotelo could not go on after the low blow, resulting in a stoppage at 1:38 of round two. The referee was Fred Steinwinder III.
24-year old Egyptian Light Heavyweight Ahmed Elbiali (7-0, 7 KO), 174 ½, of Miami, Florida, used right hands to the head and later to the body to score two knockdowns and ultimately the knockout to hand 20-year old Dakota Dawson (3-1, 2 KO), 171 ½, of Little Rock, Arkansas, at 1:10 of the first round. The referee was Fred Steinwinder III.
The televised opener highlighted a former Olympian looking to get his career on track.
31-year old 2004 US Olympic Middleweight Bronze Medalist Andre Dirrell (23-1, 16 KO), 169, of Flint, Michigan, made it 2-0 in his 2014 return to activity with a fourth round stoppage of Nick Brinson (16-3-2, 6 KO), 168 ¾, of Albany, New York, in Super Middleweight action.
Dirrell, an able switch hitter, fought largely from the southpaw position in the fight. Dominating with speed and skill, he lowered the boom in round four with a rattling left hand. Brinson was in big trouble as Dirrell poured it on and referee Keith Hughes stepped in for the stoppage at 2:12 of the fourth.
Interviewed in the ring after the fight, Dirrell was already looking ahead. “I’m looking for the big fights still. I know it’s coming. I’m gonna’ just keep working.” Speaking to the inactivity that has plagued his career, fighting only three times from 2010-13, Dirrell stated he’s like to fight again by December. Dirrell is currently rated ninth by the WBO at Super Middleweight.
Dirrell’s brother Anthony Dirrell is the current WBC titlist in the division.
In his third fight of the year, cruiserweight contender and former US Olympian BJ Flores (31-1-1, 20 KO), 203 ¾, of Chandler Arizona, scored a third round stoppage of Kevin Engel (20-11, 16 KO) of St. Louis, Missouri. Flores entered the bout rated ninth at Cruiserweight by the WBC.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]