Anthony Dirrell vs. Callum Smith likely for June
By Scott Gilfoid: TGB Promotions, the promoters for #2 WBC Anthony Dirrell, have won the purse bid for his fight against #1 Callum Smith for their fight for WBC super middleweight championship. TGB Promotions won the purse bid with a bid of $1.603 million. The bid outdid the $1.201 from Don Majeski, who reportedly is representing Smith’s promoters at Matchroom Sport.
It’s surprising that Matchroom was outbid because it’s a promotional company in the UK with a massive amount of top fighters. The date for the Smith vs. Dirrell fight hasn’t been determined, and neither is the venue. The date must take place within 90 days of the purse bid, according to Dan Rafael. That means we’re looking at early June for the Smith-Dirrell fight.
With Dirrell’s promoters winning the purse bid, it means that Smith fight will almost surely be staged in the U.S some place. That’s going to make it hard for Smith, because he’s always been fighting in front of fan-friendly crowds in the UK. It might be a tough transition for Smith to deal with if he’s not given applause each time he lands a shot. However, U.S audiences just want to see action, period. I don’t think they’ll mind whether Smith or Dirrell are landing shots. They’ll cheer the action rather than it being a situation where their rooting one particular fighter.
The hard hitting Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs) and the 26-year-old Smith will be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Council 168 pound title that was vacated recently by Badou Jack. The body punching Jack was having too many problems making weight for the super middleweight division, so he moved up to light heavyweight to go after the big names in that division. The move was one that was long overdue, as Jack had been struggling to make the 168lb weight class for some time. The bad news for Callum Smith is that instead of him fighting Jack in what would have been a close range dog fight, he now has to fight the 32-year-old Dirrell, who is arguably a tougher fight for him. Dirrell is a fighter with a lot of power and experience going for him.
Dirrell is especially dangerous at medium range, and he’s very good at putting together combinations with major power. The 6’3” Smith is going to have problems with Dirrell’s power. That’s kind of a given.
It’s going to be awfully tough for Smith to handle the punching power of Dirrell. You have to remember that Smith’s best opponents thus far have been Luke Blackledge, Christophe Rebrasse, Rocky Fielding and Hadillah Mohoumadi. Smith hasn’t been in with anyone good as of yet, so it’s going to be a considerable leap up in competition for him in having to face Dirrell. Smith’s boxing support won’t be there in large numbers. If he’s going to win the fight, then he’ll need to do it without a bunch of cheering and back slapping.
Dirrell has a nice 3-fight winning streak going for him since he suffered a 12 round majority decision loss to Badou Jack in 2015. Dirrell last fought in January in defeating the capable Norbert Nemesapati by a 6th round stoppage. Before that, Dirrell beat Caleb Truax and Marco Antonio Rubio.