Anthony Dirrell and Humberto Soto Win Major Saturday Night Bouts
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Anthony Dirrell, in his self-proclaimed final year of boxing, won the vacant World Boxing Council World Super Middleweight title by a controversial 10 round technical split decision over Avni Yildirim in the FS1 PBC main event at Minneapolis Armory, Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Saturday night, February 23, 2019.
Dirrell, 33-1-1 with 24 knockouts, Flint, Michigan, sustained a deep gash from an accidental head butt over the right eyebrow with muscle showing, ending the fight midway through round 10. Yildirim, 21-2 with 12 knockouts, felt he won the bout, and one judge thought he did. It was a close, hard-fought power punch and jab scrap. If Yildirim had won the last two rounds on the 96-94 scorecard he was trailing on, he would have drawn the bout on the scorecards, so he could not win one way or the other.
Result: Anthony Dirrell Technical Decision 10 Avni Yildirim, Super Middleweights Dirrell wins vacant WBC World Super Middleweight title
Ringside doctor stops contest after accidental butt led to cut above Dirrell’s left eye
Referee: Mark Nelson
Meanwhile, 38-year-old Humberto Soto won a fantastic welterweight comeback upset in the twilight of his career, scoring a 12 round unanimous decision over Brandon Rios before a hometown Tijuana Mexico crowd. Soto, also known as ‘The Crafty Fox’, 69-9-2 with 27 knockouts, who has held WBC world and regional titles at featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight and super lightweight, took Rios to task with a brilliant power shot war, giving taking, and countering, with jabs too, and would not go away against Rios, 35-5-1 with 26 knockouts, Oxnard, California. Would the scorecards have been different in California? Not really. Soto clearly won this bout. Soto traded punches with Rios consistently all night, and gave it everything he had. Scoring appeared neutral and fair, but perhaps was a bit closer than the scorecards indicated. Real Combat Media scored the bout 117-113 for Soto.
Result: Humberto Soto Win 12 Brandon Rios, Welterweights
Scoring: 119-111, 118-112, 118-112 Soto. Referee: Fernando Renteria