By Scott Gilfoid: More than anything right now, top five ranked 168lb contender Andre Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) wants a rematch against IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) so that he can avenge his very, very close and some say controversial 12 round unanimous decision loss that he suffered on May 23rd last month in Boston, Mass.
Dirrell says he’s willing to travel to the UK in order to face DeGale again. In a show of class, Dirrell says he’d be willing to give DeGale a rematch straightaway if it were him that lost the fight and wanted a rematch instead of the other way around.
Dirrell wants the rematch so that he can either establish that he’s better than DeGale or if he’s not as good as the British fighter. If Dirrell loses a second time, he would no doubt give DeGale the proper credit for being the better fighter. But with the way their fight ended up, you can’t call DeGale the better fighter because Dirrell won most of the rounds apart from the one legitimate knockdown and the bogus one.
Dirrell lost the fight by the scores of 114-112, 114-112 and 117-119, but many boxing fans say that if not for the two knockdowns that Dirrell suffered in the 2nd round, he would have won the fight. That was a round that Dirrell was winning at the time he was hit by a shot he didn’t see coming for a flash knockdown. DeGale then pushed Dirrell to the canvas directly in front of referee Leo Gerstel, who promptly blew the call by scoring it as a knockout. Sometimes referees blow it, so you can’t blame this guy for giving DeGale credit for shoving Dirrell to the canvas instead of landing a punch that caused him to go down.
I want that title and I’ll prove how much I want it. If I have to go over to the UK, it’s not a problem at all,” Dirrell said via Fighthype.com. “James DeGale is the guy I’m eyeing for. I don’t want to even talk about anyone else.I want it bad, and yes I am willing to travel overseas; 02 Arena or whatever arena he feels comfortable or he sees fit. It’s a marketable fight.”
Dirrell will need some help from his adviser to get him the rematch against DeGale, because right now it looks like DeGale will be fighting either Mikkel Kessler or Lucian Bute this summer. After that, DeGale will be looking to fight the winner of the Badou Jack vs. George Groves fight.
There’s also the possibility of former IBF/WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch facing DeGale during the next six months. Froch already said on Tuesday that he wants to fight DeGale. We may even see that fight rather than Froch risking his hide taking on the talented knockout artist Gennady Golovkin. Froch understandably so seems to be more excited facing DeGale rather than Golovkin.
Dirrell says that if he doesn’t get the fight against DeGale, then he wants a rematch against Froch. Dirrell says “Froch has been ducking me. I feel like I have more chance of getting him now than I did before.”
Froch isn’t going to fight Dirrell now or ever. Let’s make that clear right away. Froch will never fight him again after the trouble he gave him six years ago on a cold, dark night in Nottingham. Dirrell fought well enough to deserve the win, and arguably found himself on the receiving end of what some boxing fans feel was an old fashioned hometown decision.
I do think Dirrell will eventually get another chance at fighting DeGale, but we’re probably talking about two or three years from now after DeGale has fought the likes of Kessler, Bute, Froch, Groves, Jack and whoever his promoter Eddie Hearn can dig up for him. Dirrell can certainly improve his chances of one day getting a rematch against DeGale by beating a number of top contenders in the next two to three years. It would also help if Dirrell become DeGale’s IBF mandatory challenger because that way he can’t be avoided.