By Scott Gilfoid: Andre Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) still doesn’t believe that he lost the fight last Saturday night to James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) in their fight on Premier Boxing Champions, but Dirrell is still willing to travel to England for a rematch so that he can avenge the loss.
Dirrell understands how it goes. He technically lost the fight, and he’s willing to travel to the UK to fight DeGale on his own home turf if he has to in order to get his rematch with the 29-year-old IBF super middleweight champion. The main thing is, Dirrell wants a chance at the IBF belt that he feels should rightfully be his.
Dirrell appeared to win most of the rounds against DeGale, but the 2 knockdowns he suffered in the 2nd round were a killer for his hopes. On replay, it shows clearly that the second knockdown was a shove by DeGale, but the referee Leo Gerstel mistakenly ruled it a knockdown. Having that point really helped DeGale because he won the fight by the scores of 114-112, 117-109 and 114-112.
“It was a tough loss, and I totally understand I’ll just have to take it, but I’m up for a rematch,” Dirrell said via Premierchampions.com. “DeGale might want it in England, and I’m willing to go over there and fight him for it. I’m ready to fight yesterday. I want to get back in the gym in about three weeks, and then be back in the ring in the next four months. I definitely want a rematch. I’m eyeing that all the way.”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for Dirrell, but he’s not going to get a rematch. DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already said that he’s going to move DeGale forward and match him up against a big name in September or October, and then look to match him up against George Groves if he wins the WBC super middleweight title this summer in his fight against Badou Jack.
Besides this mystery big name and Groves that Hearn wants to match DeGale up against, Hearn also said he wants to match DeGale up against Carl Froch, Robert Stieglitz and Andre Ward. I’m sure a rematch with Dirrell might happen, but we’re talking years down the road, aren’t we? It’s not going to happen until at least DeGale has gone through six or seven fights at the minimum.
Given that DeGale will likely be fighting only two times per year now instead of his normal three times, Dirrell will probably not get a rematch against DeGale until at least 2018 or 2019. Those are conservative estimates because Hearn may look to throw in some lower ranked contenders along the way to help DeGale milk his IBF title, and he could look to match DeGale repeatedly against Groves if their fight makes a bundle. In that case, Dirrell’s chances of ever getting another fight against DeGale drop off to pretty much zero because the fight would be pushed to as last 2022 or later, and by that time Dirrell will be 38-years-old, and it’s hard to picture him still fighting. DeGale will be a shot fighter by that time as well because he’ll be 36. I can’t imagine DeGale still one of the top super middleweights at that age.
“I was going forward and catching him with shots,” Dirrell said. “I thought that I won every round after the third or fourth except maybe the 11th. My whole team thought that I won the fight. My biggest concern was that it was a draw. We all thought that worse-case scenario, it would be a draw.”
I agree with Dirrell. I had him winning the fight, but under a worst-case scenario, I thought you could score it a draw if you had every close round going to DeGale instead of Dirrell. But as far as Dirrell getting a rematch against DeGale, it’s not ever going to happen. The only way it happens is if DeGale holds onto his title long enough for Dirrell to become his IBF mandatory, and even then, I see it being stretched out into the future at least three to four years while DeGale gets permission to bypass his mandatory defense so that he can fight Groves over and over again.