Anthony Dirrell knocked out overmatched Kevin Engel in the second round Friday in Cabazon, Calif., his sixth victory in the past 10 months and 11th consecutive win since returning to the ring after a bout with cancer.
Dirrell (23-0, 20 knockouts) stopped Engel (18-5, 15 KOs) with a body shot at 1:44 of the second round of the scheduled 10-round light heavyweight bout.
Replays showed clearly that that punch landed below the belt. But it might’ve saved Engel – who has now been stopped three times in four fights — from considerable punishment. Dirrell was dominating the fight.
The brother of Andre Dirrell has stopped eight consecutive opponents.
"Everything that Anthony threw was landing, and the guy was taking a lot of punishment,” said Dirrell's uncle Leon Lawson Jr., the fighter's co-trainer with his grandfather, Leon Lawson Sr. “Anthony was working on his precision for this fight, and as you could see, he was as sharp as ever.
"I think that we'll probably try to get him back in the ring in about a month and a half. You know, we just feel like he's ready for whomever."
Dirrell, who is from Flint, Mich., didn’t take long to inflict damage on his opponent. He caused almost immediate swelling over the left eye of Engel, largely the result of crisp right hands that complemented his jab.
In the second round, a right hand to Engel's jaw dropped him and bloodied his nose. Engel got up but took another right hand, which sent his mouthpiece flying from the ring.
Engel hit the canvas one last time because of the low blow, which referee Lou Moret missed. He pleaded his case on all fours as he was counted out, ending the mismatch.
Dirrell is considering a drop down to middleweight (160 pounds), Leon Lawson Jr. said. He weighed in at 169 for the fight against Engel. Meanwhile, Andre Dirrell plans to stay at super middleweight.
"We have to sit down and talk about that a little more, but more than likely, that's what is going to happen,” said Lawson Jr. “It's starting to get in the way having both of them in the same weight class. We have some time to think about him dropping to 160, but we feel like that's something that should not be a problem for him."