Dirrell says rematch against DeGale is big possibility

By Boxing News - 07/13/2015 - Comments

dirrell55665By Scott Gilfoid: #8 IBF 168lb contender Andre Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) says his adviser Al Haymon is telling him that a rematch with IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) is a big possibility. DeGale, 29, has been out of the ring for three months since his very, very close 12 round unanimous decision win over Dirrell last April, and he still hasn’t fought an opponent.

DeGale’s promoter Eddie Hearn was hoping to get him back into the ring by September or October, but thus far he’s come up empty in terms of opponents. Mikkel Kessler and Lucian Bute were two of the names that had been floated around for DeGale’s first title defense, but Kessler has retired and Bute is scheduled to fight on August 15th.

With those guys off the shelf, a rematch against Dirrell might be something that Hearn would consider if the money is right.

“I talked with Al Haymon and he said [the rematch] is a big possibility. I’m actually working and back in the gym for a good week strong now. I know my time will come, but if I can get in there with DeGale then the sooner, the better,” Dirrell said via Thaboxingvoice.com.

There really needs to be a rematch between DeGale and Dirrell, because their fight was too close for DeGale to walk away from it with kind of sense that he was the better man. DeGale won the fight by the scores of 114-112, 117-109 and 114-112. But if you take away the two knockdowns that DeGale scored in the 2nd round, Dirrell would have won the fight. I mean, it was a case of Dirrell not seeing the punch coming and getting put down briefly on his backside. But the second knockdown was a clear shove by DeGale, and the referee blew it by counting a shove as a knockdown.

In a rematch, you could expect Dirrell to be a lot more defensive, and more on guard to take away DeGale’s lead left hand that he was landing repeatedly in the fight. Dirrell would have to keep his guard up, use his jab more, and focus on single shots to avoid getting hit with DeGale’s counter right hand. Dirrell would also need to stay off the ropes completely, because that’s where he was getting nailed from time to time.

“That’s the upside is that I have two people to chase now, Dirrell said. “I know no one can ever say that Andre Dirrell got his butt beat in that ring. I had two great fights that were two losses, but now I can chase Carl Froch and James DeGale at the same time. Both of them are a big possibility. We have the network, and we have the people to move and make it happen, so I’m just hoping it will one day soon.”

I agree with Dirrell. He’s got Premier Boxing Champions, Al Haymon, and NBC to put together a nice rematch with him and DeGale. Unless Hearn has his mind made up that he wants to get in an easy defense for DeGale by putting him in with a bottom feeder, I think the smartest thing for Hearn to do would be for him to stage a rematch between the two fighters pronto. Hearn can’t wait too much longer before he schedules DeGale’s next fight because he’s already been out of the ring for the past three months now.

I don’t know what Hearn is waiting for. At this point, it looks like DeGale will miss at least six or more months before he finally defends his title. What good is that? The idea of being a champion is to get as many title defenses as possible so that you can make the green.

DeGale isn’t making money sitting on his backside waiting for Hearn to schedule him a fight, Dirrell is there and waiting for the rematch. Hearn needs to make the move to give the boxing fans the fight that they want to see.

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