Anthony Dirrell TKO's Injured Renan St. Juste In Four

By Jake Donovan

Anthony Dirrell is now in line for a future title shot, on the strength of a solid performance in an inconclusive fourth-round stoppage of Renan St. Juste in their Showtime televised main event Friday evening in Santa Ynez, California.

The official time was 2:59 of the fourth round in their Shobox headliner. 

An injured left shoulder did in St. Juste, though Dirrell was in control for however long the fight lasted. The bout was hardly competitive as Dirrell was constantly scoring with counter hooks and avoiding most of the incoming. 

The fight was well on its way to being a virtual mismatch until a bizarre fourth round cut short what should have been a defining moment for the unbeaten Dirrell. 

An attempted overhand left by St. Juste came just as Dirrell was caught with a headbutt and attempted to clinch while wincing in pain. St. Juste’s punch was thrown over Dirrell’s right arm, popping his left shoulder out of place as a result.

He tried to let on that he was injured, but referee Jack Reiss instead called time to draw attention to the accidental headbutt which left Dirrell squinting and holding his head while trying to regain his senses.

Dirrell came roaring back the moment action resumed, though unaware he was now up against a one-armed fighter. St. Juste no longer seemed interested in fighting back, for good reason in retrospect. A leaping right hook by Dirrell missed, allowing his wounded opponent to clinch in his best efforts to catch an unofficial time out. 

The moment St. Juste got his wish, he dropped his shoulder and screamed to anyone who would listen that he was no longer able to continue. Everyone at ringside finally got the message loud and clear as the fight was stopped on the spot.

Dirrell improves to 24-0 (21KO) with the win, his sixth straight since returning to the ring last September following the second extended layoff in his young career. 

The 2004 U.S. Olympic boxer – serving on the team along with his brother Andre Dirrell – was first forced out of the pro ranks in early ’07 after a bout with Lymphoma. Dirrell received chemo treatment and was able to return to the ring in 2008. Six wins followed before being forced out again in Aug. ’09, but has come on like gang busters since returning to the ring. 

A once promising prospect in his own right, St. Juste’s career is now in a tailspin. The super middleweight heads home to Canada having now lost two of his last four as he falls to 23-3-1 (15KO). 

While St. Juste recovers, Dirrell now waits out the Dec. 17 Super Six World Boxing Classic championship between Froch and Ward, to see who winds up with the tournament trophy and – more germane to his career – the alphabet title for which he is now the mandatory challenger. 

Andre Dirrell was a former member of the tournament, but dropped out after complaining of severe head trauma following his March ’10 disqualification win over then-unbeaten Arthur Abraham. Dirrell was next slated to face Ward – a close friend and former Olympic teammate who captured a Gold medal – but instead provided medical evidence of his inability to fight on. 

The younger Dirrell is now in a position to avenge his brother’s name. A fight with Ward would represent a showdown on which Andre was never able to follow through, while a title fight against Froch would be his chance to avenge the controversial split decision his older brother suffered in the opening round of the Super Six, serving as his only loss.

In the televised co-feature at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, CA, Jhonatan Romero recovered from an opening round knockdown to rally back and top Chris Avalos via split decision. 

Scores were 96-93 and 95-94 for Romero and 95-94 for Avalos in their 10-round bout.

Momentum was strictly a rumor in the all-action super bantamweight bout. Avalos appeared to be well on his way to an early night (the only way he knows how to win) after flooring Romero midway through the opening round, but failed to preserve his early lead.

Romero came roaring back in the second and third rounds, going punch for punch with the free-swinging Avalos and getting the best of every exchange. Neither fighter won more than two rounds in a row, as a rally seemed to surface every 30 seconds with the action swaying back and forth all evening. 

Avalos came on strong in the middle rounds and was on his way to surging ahead, but Romero closed the fight strong, particularly in a power punching ninth round. The tenth and final round was befitting of a fight that was truly on the table, but not enough for Avalos to snatch the ‘0’ from his visiting Colombian opponent. 

Romero picks up by far the biggest win of his young career as he improves to 20-0 (12KO). Avalos snaps a three-fight win streak with the heartbreaking loss as he falls to 19-2 (15KO).

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Follow Jake on Twitter @JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by nycsmooth on 12-03-2011

In the Romero fight the judge connelly must've been looking somewhere else for a few rounds as w/out the KD Avalos was a bigger loser than the cards but it was a good bout...

Comment by sd southpaw on 12-03-2011

congrats Dirrell now fight a live body!

Comment by Carlos Alberto on 12-03-2011

Wow, what a bad decision this was. Avalos clearly has defensive issues but he definitely won this fight!!!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Roach: Linares Has Fight Left in Him; Might Be Too Old for Loma Photos: Antonio Lozada Drills, Stops Felix Verdejo in Shocker Photos: Joe Joyce With Crushing One-Punch KO of Donnie Palmer CompuBox: Jose Ramirez's Pressure, Power Shots Was Difference Robert Helenius Wins Split Decision Over Yury Bykhautsou Gvozdyk: I Want The Stevenson vs. Jack Winner in My Next Fight! Giovanni Cabrera Mioletti Shocks Ray Lampkin With KO in Two Lozada: I Knew I Would KO Felix Verdejo, I Went For it in Tenth Cristian Mijares Gets Stoppage Win Over Fernando Saucedo Jaime Munguia Knocks Out Johnny Navarrete in The Third Roach: Ramirez Won Every Round, 2 Judges Should Be Investigated! Don King: Imam Didn't Throw Enough, Ramirez Was Relentless Michael Conlan Demolishes David Berna in Two Rounds Jose Ramirez Lands Gold, Decisions Amir Imam For WBC Title Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gvozdyk Wins Tough Decision Over Amar, in Line For WBC Shot Ramirez: I'm Ready To Fight Best, No Matter What Critics Think Yeison Cohen Passes Away After KO Loss Earlier This Month Antonio Lozada Drops, Stops Felix Verdejo in Tenth Round Joe Joyce Destroys Donnie Palmer With Big Knockout in One Christopher Diaz Wins by TKO, Rodriguez Suffers Hand Injury Jose Pedraza Sheds Rust, Pounds Out Decision Over Rodriguez Whittom Dies After Being in 10 Month Coma Following KO Loss McKinley: Ramirez Doesn't Have Power, Imam By Far Best Opponent Danny O'Connor, Steve Claggett To Collide at House of Blues Roach: Imam Isn't Anything Special; Ramirez Should Stop Him Virgil Hunter Hospitalized Due To Health Scare, Recovering Jose Ramirez: I Learned So Much Working With Pacquiao, Cotto Sam Maxwell Moves To 6-0, Returns In Belfast Next Month Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam: Stats & Stakes Prograis Leaning Toward Ramirez Over Imam in '50-50 Fight' Don King: Imam Will Knock Out Ramirez; Give Us Pacquiao Next Luis Ortiz Coach Talks Loss, Confident Wilder is KO'd in Rematch Daily Bread Mailbag: Canelo, Mikey Garcia, PEDs in Boxing, More Frank Warren Talks Sadam Ali vs. Liam Smith Showdown Kal Yafai Wants The Chocolatito Showodwn, Then Sor Rungvisai Linares: Lomachenko is Fast - But He Does Not Have My Punch! Jeff Horn Warns Crawford: I'll Expose That Lack of Toughness! Roberto Arriaza Crushes Sammy Valentin With Knockout in One Kemahl Russell Drills Michi Munoz in The Second Round

Latest Active Forum Threads