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Anthony Dirrell: I’m going to KO Bika and bring the WBC belt back to Flint

Anthony Dirrell Sakio BikaBy Scott Gilfoid: #5 WBC Anthony Dirrell (26-0-1, 22 KOs) realizes the mistakes he made the last time he fought WBC super middleweight champion Sakio Bika (32-5-3, 21 KOs) in their fight last December when the two of them fought to a 12 round draw.

Dirrell, 29, doesn’t plan on making those same mistakes when he faces the 35-year-old Bika in their rematch next month on August 16th at the StubHub Center, in Carson, California, USA. Dirrell found Bika too easy to hit the last time he fought him, and he went overboard after knocking him down in the 8th round with a huge left to the head.

From that point on, Dirrell kept waiting on landing the perfect knockout blow instead of using his jab to keep him on the outside and throwing combinations.

“We knew what he was going to do, so it really wasn’t tough, we went to the gym and did what we planned but I didn’t execute it like I was supposed to,” Dirrell said. “I got out of it when I saw that I dropped him and I knew I could hurt him, so that’s all I was going for was just to get him out of there and wasn’t staying focused, but I really feel that I will knock him out this time and really bring that belt back home to Flint.”

Dirrell was at his best in that fight when he would throw flurries of 4-6 punches and then get out. But after he knocked Bika down, he began to throw just one punch at a time in hopes of knocking Bika out. It didn’t work and Bika was able to come back in the last part of the fight to get a draw out of it.

It was Dirrell’s fight to win but by standing in one place, usually against the ropes, he made it easy for Bika to win rounds against him. Dirrell’s brother Andre would have never fought Bika that way. He would have stayed on the move, jabbed and worked him over with fast combinations and then getting away before Bika could land. Anthony chose to stand in one place and look for a single shot.

It might be better if Dirrell focus on boxing Bika instead of looking for a knockout. Bika has never been knocked out before during his career, and I suspect it’s not going to happen on August 16th unless Anthony comes after Bika in waves where he’s throwing 8-10 punch flurries.

If Dirrell has the gas to attack Bika with 4-5 sustained flurries were he doesn’t stop punching until he’s thrown at least 10 punches, he’ll likely get Bika out of there, because Bika doesn’t have the hand speed to stand up to Dirrell when he’s letting his hands go with sustained combinations.

We saw that last December. Dirrell dominated Bika when he was putting his shots together. Where Dirrell went wrong was when he stopped throwing combinations and started loading up on single shots. Bika is good at fighting guys that fight him at a slow pace, but less effective when they unload on him.

If Dirrell stays off the ropes and keeps the action in the center of the ring, he should win either easy decision or a knockout.

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