Friday, February 6, 2015

Ahmed Elbiale VS Dustin Echard: A Mess of a Stoppage From Referee Bill Clancy

The Setup:

Two undefeated prospects with similarly and understandably soft opposition so far took to the stage as the opener for ESPN's Friday Night Fights. West Virginia's Dustin Craig Echard came in 10-0 with one No-Contest and all concentrated into West Virginia and the neighboring state Ohio. The hotter prospect, Ahmed Elbiale, from Egypt, having been on Friday Night Fights before and scoring a flashy KO at the time, came in 8-0 with all knockout victories. They meet just above the Light Heavyweight limit. It's technically at Cruiserweight but with a contracted catch-weight of 178 pounds. Echard reportedly had a little trouble making the weight and came in less than a pound over for this one and while Boxrec does not reflect it, he did hit the sauna and come in within the contracted limit, though Boxrec still currently lists the initial weigh-in. Echard contested his last couple fights at 10 and 14 pounds heavier than he was for tonight, and he looks to have a very top-heavy build. It might be significant. The bout is scheduled for six rounds and regardless of any issues with the weight, they both look in immaculate shape.

The Action:

With a likely-ill-fated nickname, Dustin "The Clean Coal Assassin" takes his first defeat via second-round TKO. He started well, and landed a handful of significant shots against Elbiale. The first round was highly competitive. It didn't begin with the appearance that they shouldn't be in the ring together. But Elbiale's killer instinct and power seem very considerable. It wasn't long before Elbiale put Echard down with a crushing overhand right to the jaw that initiated it and sent Echard sliding underneath the bottom rope and outside the ring.

This is where it gets dodgy. Echard looks confused and to be directed back into the ring by his corner, as Teddy Atlas points out. He doesn't look to have his feet or his wits. Upon replay, I think he seemed to think the fight was either over or they were on a break. Elbiale comes in with the anxiousness of a man who smells nothing but blood. He wades in behind a fury of punches and Echard is not able to defend himself. I think Echard even exclaimed "Hey!" as if to ask why he was getting attacked. Referee Bill Clancy steps in and I think it's over but then he lets it continue. I thought straight away that this would be a mistake. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas had talked about seeing Bill Clancy officiate several times before and how good of a referee he was. But this was, as I said, where it got dodgy.  He can't move anywhere and can only offer a rudimentary guard. He's close to helpless at this point.

Elbiale comes in again, just as furious, and after eating some more shots, Echard, if I'm not mistaken, actually shouted "What are you doing?" I could be wrong, but if he did, he seems completely confused and unable to even know why the fight is continuing at this point. It's like he thinks they're on a break and Elbiale is attacking him for no reason. As he tries to ask what's going on, as best as I can here, Elbiale's assault is finally ended by Bill Clancy and the fight is called. This was probably about three spots too late to stop it. I was very puzzled by Clancy letting it continue where he did. Ahmed Elbiale wins, and by very messy TKO2, over a brave but confused Dustin Echard.

What it means to me:

For Echard, little can be said. He got his shot, started well, then got blown out. For Elbiale, some of the punches he was caught with, even with his big finish, were a concern. But with such little fight against such an unknown name, little can be said for him either. Only that he's a fun fighter with power and a genuine killer instinct. We have to wait to know anything more than that. I look forward to his next appearance. This was a good choice by ESPN, if not so much by Referee Bill Clancy.

Work that bag,
 Basement Gym Boxing

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