Watching the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight, it became painfully apparent how Andre Dirrell can deal with Arthur Abraham.
For those of you who haven't seen Abraham in action, he uses a "peek-a-boo" style defense for the first 4-5 rounds of a fight. Clottey looked like a mirrored replication with his defense against Pacquiao, and Pacquiao dealt with it beautifully.
He continually used sharp angles to swing around and hit behind Clottey's elbows, attacking the ribs. He rarely stood straight in front of Clottey and used outstanding head movement.
The key, as stressed by HBO's announcers, is moving side to side and going for the body.
Using the style of defense that both Clottey and Abraham employ, it's very difficult to protect both the ribs and abdomen. It requires that the fighter continually twist his body and adjust his elbows.
The offense to combat this is simple and requires constant movement, adjusting punches so they're never in the same place, and changing direction.
It's not a difficult offense, yet I've never seen anyone execute it against Abraham.
Dirrell is the perfect fighter to pull it off.
He's quicker than Abraham, has exceptional footwork, and good head movement.
He's not a banger, but a boxer who should rely more upon his hand quickness than going toe-to-toe with anyone.
He didn't fight his fight against Carl Froch and he paid the price. He should have pecked Froch to death and used his footwork to stay out of harm's way.
Instead, he held continually and complained to the ref about Froch hitting the back of his head.
The key to beating Abraham is stay away from him. He's very big, very strong, and he will probably dominate anyone at the Super Middleweight division who goes toe-to-toe with him.
Dirrell has the skills to win this fight, I just don't know if he has the boxing intelligence.
The HBO announcers went on and on about Pacquiao's and Roach's boxing intelligence, about how they immediately adjusted once they saw what Clottey was trying to do.
I love Andre Dirrell, he's an exciting fighter who has the natural ability to dominate the division.
I honestly hope he doesn't get beat by Abraham, because I'm not sure what two straight losses would do to his confidence.