This event is going up against a Canelo Alvarez world title fight which means there will be less eyes on this event.
The interesting part of this fight is that it’s a WBC title eliminator at Super Middleweight. This eliminator adds more confusion to the division. The winner of this Saturday night isn’t stepping into the ring with Canelo Alvarez anytime soon.
This doesn’t surprise me, nor should it surprise anyone in boxing as the career of Anthony Dirrell has been for the lack of a better word, weird. While it has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride, he continues to get these opportunities even at the age of 36 and well past his prime.
Dirrell, who debuted in 2005, racked up some wins and was afforded his first world title opportunity in 2013 against Sakio Bika. This is when the weirdness surrounding his career started to play out in front of our eyes. The fight was a rough one and well suited for the raucous crowd at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. There were no shortages of headbutts and low blows in this one and the champion Bika was warned about them. In the end, the fight was an all-out brawl and called a draw, which left Dirrell departing NYC without the WBC title.
The rematch occurred eight months later in the very appropriate “War Grounds” in Carson, CA. The fight again was a physical one that included some more low blows throughout the night. This time, Bika was penalized for the low blows during the fight. Dirrell later came away with the unanimous decision victory.
The very next fight was against the undefeated Badou Jack. This fight had plenty of pre-fight colorful action and comments that you probably wouldn’t let your kids witness. The fight occurred in April 2015 and Badou Jack handed Anthony Dirrell’s first career loss by way of a narrow decision. Badou Jack was coming up and eager to prove he was a legit Super Middleweight in the eyes of the general public. It was a good fight but Dirrell came up short that night.
The fight with Denis Douglin which occurred in November 2017 will be recalled as yet another Dirrell curveball ending. The fight was real chippy as expected and a cut developed over the left eye of Dirrell in the sixth. This cut forced the fight to go to the scorecards. Dirrell would win a technical decision but people started to wonder how he always ends up having something occur during his fights.
After fighting only once in 2018, Dirrell faced Avni Yildirim in February 2019. During this fight, there was a headbutt that occurred, which caused the fight to go to the scorecards. The fight was rough and Dirrell’s eye was cut in the seventh. The cut worsened and the doctor put a halt to the fight in the tenth. The scorecards were announced and Dirrell came away with a decision victory.
Dirrell then moved on and defended his newly acquired WBC title against David Benavidez. This one had the young bull Benavidez dominating Dirrell. In the sixth round, Dirrell suffered a nasty cut over his right eye which the ringside doctor closely monitored. In the ninth round, Dirrell’s corner threw in the towel, putting an end to the fight.
Some thought that this was going to be Dirrell’s last fight as no one had heard from him. With the PBC and Fox contract coming to an end soon, Anthony Dirrell gets the call for a fight.
It’s been a year and half since he last stepped into the ring. At the age of 36, what does Anthony Dirrell have left? This is why most will tune into Fox on Saturday night.
This title eliminator should have gone to some of the other fighters in the division and not an inactive one. Dirrell’s last fight was over a year ago and he lost. The sanctioning bodies have their ways, so here we are. David Benavidez is fighting in March and surely will be the mandatory for Canelo after that fight. What if Canelo’s title elevates to franchise and we get Benavidez vs. Dirrell II for the WBC regular title?
The million-dollar question on Saturday will be, what weird thing will occur during the fight? Is it going to be a headbutt that leads to a cut? Will it be low blows that lead to a point deduction? Will the decision be controversial?
Anytime you sit down to watch an Anthony Dirrell fight, you have to prepare yourself for anything. This isn’t a knock on him, it’s just that these things seem to follow him every time he steps into the ring. Let’s hope that this fight happens without any surprises. A victory can position Dirrell to another major payday but a loss should point him in the direction of retirement. Tune in or DVR the fight this Saturday night, live on Fox.
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