Anthony Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs) was on the wrong end of Saturday night’s loss at Staples Center in Los Angeles, being stopped in the ninth round of his WBC Super Middleweight title defense against David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs).
The fight started to cause for concern when Dirrell, who was game but being beaten by Benavidez in the sixth round, when a nasty cut came over the right eyelid of Dirrell. Eye wounds are no stranger to Dirrell as he sustained a nasty gash that stopped his fight to obtain the vacant WBC title against Anvi Yildirim by technical decision back in February.
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— Anthony Dirrell (@Anthonydirrell) September 29, 2019
Dirrell after the fight explained the impact the cut over the eyelid had on him in the ring.
“He hit me with a clean shot,” said Dirrell after the fight. “That’s my first time ever being cut by a punch. It opened up. There was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t see the whole fight after that. My corner did a good job on it, but I really couldn’t see.”
The contest could have been stopped earlier round once the cut opened up in the sixth round. However, after multiple checks by ringside physicians, the fight continued. During the ninth round, it was clear that the eye was impacting Dirrell, as Benavidez was smashing Dirrell with punches to the head and body. The officials signaled to the referee and the contest was finally halted.
When asked if this was the sign of retiring for “The Dog”, Dirrell has no plan of stopping just yet.
“I would have kept going in there,” said Dirrell. “I’m not quitting against anybody. Everyone saw I didn’t go down. My legs were still strong, but I couldn’t do anything about it.
“We’re going back to the drawing board. I’m still fighting. We won’t end on a loss. You can put anybody in there with me.”