Dirrell should agree to fight Ward in Oakland
By Scott Gilfoid: For the sake of breaking the impasse between them, I think Andre Dirrell (19-1, 13 KO’s) should just give in and agree to fight WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (21-0, 13 KO’s) in Oakland, California instead of insisting on Detroit, Michigan or a neutral venue. The fight will make more money in Oakland compared to Detroit and if they put it in a neutral venue, like Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham are doing with their October 2nd Super Six tournament fight, it will hurt both Ward and Dirrell because they’ll draw far fewer boxing fans to the fight.
But here’s the thing: Dirrell is more than talented enough to beat Ward in his own home town, and if he’s not, then it probably wouldn’t have any difference whatsoever if the fight were to be held in Detroit where it would likely draw less than 5000 fans. This is a do-or-die fight for both Ward and Dirrell, because Mikkel Kessler and Allan Green are both out of the Super Six tournament because of Kessler’s eye injury.
As such, the Ward-Dirrell fight is now a semifinal fight where neither of them can afford to lose. If Dirrell beats Ward, Dirrell will have an identical 2-1 record as Ward, but his win over him will give Dirrell the nod to get to the finals against the winner of the Abraham vs. Froch bout. It’s likely then that Dirrell could be facing Abraham again for a rematch of their March fight. Dirrell beat Abraham in an impressive fashion by an 11th round disqualification.
But first things first, Dirrell has to agree to fight Ward in Oakland so that they can end this impasse and still fight on September 25th. What they don’t need is both Ward and Dirrell being stubborn about it and causing the fight to be postponed. We’ve already had too many postponements and this would be silly.
If Dirrell isn’t good enough to beat Ward in Oakland, then it doesn’t matter where the fight would take place. I don’t see Dirrell ending up a victim of a home town decision in Oakland. I think the judges will get the scores right if it goes to decision.
The only thing that Dirrell would have to deal with is the large amount of boxing fans that would be cheering for Ward in this fight. But Dirrell needs to shut that out and just focus. He can win if he uses his speed and feet. I think the bigger crowd would be better for the fight than if the bout were to be put in a much smaller venue like Detroit.