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Bika says no to Stevenson fight; Dirrell next to be offered fight

Andre Dirrell Sakio BikaBy Dan Ambrose: Once beaten super middleweight contender Adonis Stevenson (18-1, 15 KO’s) and his promoter Yvon Michel are having a really tough time trying to get a contender to face the 34-year-old Stevenson for an IBF super middleweight eliminator bout on August 11th at the Bell Centre, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Sakio Bika was the latest fighter of a long list of top contenders that have declined a fight against the hard hitting Stevenson. Others who has said no are as follows: Kelly Pavlik, James DeGale, Thomas Osthuizen, Edwin Rodriguez and Mikkel Kessler. Andre Dirrell, ranked #11 IBF, is the next one to be asked. According to ESPN, a letter has been sent to Dirrell by the IBF.

Dirrell hasn’t fought since last December and could really use a fight right now. However, don’t expect him to say yes to the Stevenson fight, and if he doesn’t then they’ll keep working down the list to #12 IBF Don George, #13 Rowland Bryant, #14 Librado Andrade, and #15 Benjamin Simon.

According to Dan Rafael, Bika couldn’t come to an agreement with Stevenson’s promoter because he didn’t want to fight in Montreal, wanted a neutral venue, neutral judges & referee, and then he finally decided there wasn’t enough time to be ready for the August 11th fight.

The winner of the IBF 168 pound eliminator bout will become the mandatory challenger for IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch. It would be perfect for Dirrell, because he’s been talking about wanting to avenge an earlier loss to Froch in 2009. All Dirrell would have to do is beat the hard hitting but very limited Stevenson and he’d have the fight. Andre’s brother Anthony Dirrell would likely jump at the chance if he weren’t injured from a motorcycle accident, and I’d give Anthony an excellent chance of beating Stevenson by a knockout. Anthony Dirrell punches almost as hard as Stevenson, but he’s a lot better defensively and is a more composed fighter.

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