Dirrell, 23-0 (20), a no-nonsense switch-hitter, slowly stalked his opponent in the first round, inching his way forward and landing hard, proving shots as Engel looked to fight back unsuccessfully.
The house came down on Engel in the second round as Dirrell opened up, landing a big right hand upstairs, toppling Engel to the canvas.
Gamely beating the count, Engel would see Dirrell all over him, getting smacked hard from all angles. Engel found himself bleeding from the nose and bruised around an eye before a low blow would send him to a knee. Referee Dr. Lou Moret stopped the fight at 1:44 of the round.
Although the fight was stopped in the wrong instance, one could clearly see that Engel was way over his head and it would have not taken much longer for the stoppage to come anyway.
In the co-featured bout, welterweight Aaron Martinez, 15-1-1 (3), scored the biggest win of his career thus far by dropping previously undefeated Joseph Elegele, 12-1 (10), at the of the first round, pounding him in spots before a gruesome cut caused by an accidental headbutt in the eighth frame sent the fight to the scorecards.
The shorter Martinez found himself tied up in the first round, with Elegele holding his left arm in the clinch. Martinez would be correctly allowed by referee Tony Crebs to use his free hand to punch, which Martinez did, hitting his foe with head shots and short uppercuts. Elegele found himself reeling, getting nailed after letting Martinez go and sent to the ground. Elegele was barely able to beat the count, with the bell saving him to end the round.
Martinez came out charging in the second frame before an accidental headbutt caused a cut on the side of Martinez’s left eye. Martinez seemed to lose focus, allowing Elegele, who was under shaky legs for the rest of the fight, to get back into it in spots during the next few rounds.
Elegele found some success in the middle rounds, using punches in bunches while Martinez was reduced in spots, trying to land a counter bomb, which never quite landed.
However, Martinez did do enough damage on Elegele through the seventh round to keep his edge. Every time the latter was hit with a decent shot, his legs would buckle and would be on the verge of going down again.
The end came as Elegele lead with his head in the eighth round while trying to land a shot, clashing violently against Martinez’s bald dome.
Both men would be cut, with the fight immediately getting stopped by the ringside doctor upon a brief look at a ghastly cut on Martinez’s head. The cut was so deep, you would swear you caught a glimpse of his skull as his corner tended his injury. One of the worse cuts I’ve seen in a long time.
After several minutes, the decision came back, reading 76-75 and 77-74 (twice), all for Martinez.