Former world champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) had a successful return to the ring in his hometown as he won a technical decision over Denis Douglin (19-6, 12 KOs) in the main event of a special Friday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes from Dort Federal Credit Union Center in Flint, Michigan. Photos by Sylvia Jones/PBC.
"I wanted to pressure him and test myself," said Dirrell. "He was wearing down and then the head butt came. I told the doctor that my vision was blurry and he decided not to let me continue."
The fight was stopped in the sixth round after an accidental clash of heads left Dirrell's left eye badly cut. The ringside physician deemed Dirrell unable to continue and the fight went to the scorecards where Dirrell won a technical decision by scores of 49-46 and 48-47 twice.
Fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2011, Dirrell came out fast and appeared to have Douglin in trouble in round one with a flurry of hooks. Douglin was able to survive the round and had successful moments landing left hooks to Dirrell's head.
Douglin was aggressive throughout but was unable to stop Dirrell from mounting his own offensive surges. Dirrell scored to the body often and was able to work through any difficult moments.
"I was going for the knockout," said Dirrell. "I wanted to get him out of there. I was getting hit and I got frustrated occasionally. I need to stick to the game plan a little better and make sure I'm doing what I want to do in the ring."
Dirrell and Douglin continued to trade blows until the decisive clash of heads that led to a premature end of the fight and Dirrell taking home the decision victory.
"I'm right there with anyone in this division," said Dirrell. "I was getting ready for a title fight and I hurt my back but I'm ready now. I want to face anyone with a belt or whoever will step up to the challenge."