Andre Dirrell vs. James DeGale possible for April 25th for IBF 168lb title
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch’s time as the IBF 168 pound champion is nearing it’s end. He’s expected to vacate his IBF title before its stripped from him by the International Boxing Federation for Froch failing to defend it against his mandatory challenger James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs).
DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn then expects #1 IBF DeGale to face #2 IBF Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) in for the vacant IBF super middleweight title in a fight on April 25th at the O2 Arena in London, UK, according to ESPN.co.uk.
Hearn would like to match DeGale up with the recently twice knocked out George Groves in a rematch in the UK this year. However, that fight will depend largely on the outcome of the DeGale-Dirrell fight. If DeGale gets dominated and beaten badly by Dirrell, then it obviously will make no sense at all for Hearn to try and match DeGale up with the Sauerland promoted Groves.
The problem is that DeGale would likely be licking his wounds after the Dirrell fight, and he’d need to go back into another rebuilding stage like the one he went into after his loss to Groves in 2011. It took DeGale three rounds to come back from that loss, and we could see a similar number if/when DeGale loses to Dirrell.
Dirrell is coming off of an impressive win over Derek Edwards in his last fight in an IBF eliminator bout. Edwards took awful punishment to the head in a fight that arguably should have been stopped early on due to the one-way beating that Edwards was absorbing. His trainer let him stay out there, but it was no use.
Edwards didn’t have the talent to compete with Dirrell, and all he did was absorb one-way punishment for 12 rounds. The thing is Edwards is a good fighter who’d recently picked up a nice 1st round knockout win over Badou Jack in his previous fight, but he couldn’t touch Dirrell with his shots.
Before his fight with Edwards, Dirrell defeated Nick Brinson and Vladine Biosse both by knockouts. Dirrell has now won three fights since coming off of a long year and a half layoff.
Thus far, Dirrell is fighting like he was never away, as he looks as sharp as he was when he was fighting in the Super Six tournament and getting the better of everyone he faced, including Froch. Dirrell lost a controversial decision to Froch in the British fighters’ own hometown, but many boxing fans saw Dirrell winning.
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