In one of the more memorable boxing matches that El Paso has ever wittiness, the 'Sun City Warrior,' Abie Han put his heart and soul into his super middleweight title elimination bout against former world champion Anthony Dirrell on Saturday evening.  The co-main event, which was nationally televised as part of Premier Boxing Champions card, did not disappoint, despite Han losing a unanimous decision.

All three judges scored the fight for Dirrell, 100-89, and 99-90, as he was simply too big for Han to handle.  Han, who's record is now 26-4-1, noted after the fight that, "I went into the ring probably at 172 and he was probably at 190."  Final punch count showed Han throwing 408 punches, but only landing 73, while Dirrell threw 543 punches and landed 205.  Despite the loss, Han proved to every one that he is tougher than nails by taking Dirrell's best power shots for 10 rounds, in an overall brawl.

Dirrell knocked down Han late in the first round, but after that the two went toe-to-toe for the remainder of the fight, with Han landing numerous power shots of his own, which had little affect on his stronger opponent.  Han's iron chin was impressive as he took numerous right hands and a few solid upper cuts by Dirrell, gaining a plethora of respect for holding his own throughout.

As the fight progressed Dirrell began to taunt Han, and eventually Han did the same, following the bout Han noted, "we were doing a lot of jawing, I'm disappointed that I let him get in my head."  The crowd continuously chanted "Abie, Abie, Abie" during the fight, but that certainly didn't affect Dirrell's dominate performance.  Han's left eye was swelling by the third round, and his gloves were low, but he continued to duke it out.

Like a street fight, these two continued to taunt one another in the fourth, and it became a true Rocky like spectacle as the round concluded and Dirrell wrestled Han down to the canvas and began hitting him while they were down.  It was surprising at that point that Dirrell was not disqualified for those shenanigans.  Fans certainly got their money's worth in this one, as it will go down as one of the best bouts in El Paso boxing history.

Photo by Brandon Cohn
Photo by Brandon Cohn

In the end, Dirrell who did a back flip in the ring after the final bell, was too much to handle for Han, but he proved that he can hang in their with any fighter, and despite the outcome, will forever be remembered as having the heart of a champion.


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