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Anthony Dirrell another option for Canelo Alvarez’s next fight

Anthony Dirrell Canelo Alvarez

By Dan Ambrose: The recently knocked out 35-year-old Anthony Dirrell is now reportedly another option that Golden Boy Promotions are looking at for their flagship fighter Canelo Alvarez to fight in September.  @MikeCoppinger is reporting that Dirrell is now option #2 for Canelo’s next fight.

Dirrell looked feeble, old, and completely over-the-hill in his loss to David Benavidez last September. It was hard to watch that fight because it was so one-sided.

Hopefully, for Golden Boy’s sake, they go in a different direction for Canelo’s next fight because Dirrell will bring in very few subscribers to DAZN. Fans don’t want to see Canelo fight Dirrell because he’s had too many poor performances in the last five years against these fighters:

  • Badou Jack
  • Avni Yildirim
  • Denis Douglin
  • David Benavidez

Canelo with nothing to gain fighting Dirrell

For Canelo to be looking to face Dirrell after that performance, it’s surprising. It would be one thing if Dirrell lost a controversial decision and was competitive, but he wasn’t. Benavidez had an easy time beating him.
Canelo-Dirrell would be a real reach on Golden Boy Promotions’ part to drag in Dirrell for Canelo’s next opponent.

If the idea is for Golden Boy to get a fighter that they can get at a bargain discount rate due to the lack of money because of the pandemic, then some fans might understand this choice. But if Canelo is going to be fighting at 168, he needs to aspire to greatness by taking on the talented guys like David Benavidez and Caleb Plant.

Those two stand out head and shoulders above the rest of the mediocre opposition in this weak division. After you get passed Plant and Benavidez, the talent drops off the side of a mountain to where you get lesser guys like Callum Smith and then arguably at the bottom is Billy Joe Saunders, who Canelo, not surprisingly, wanted to fight on May 2.

Canelo vs. Dirrell would have been a good fight six to eleven years ago when the Flint, Michigan native was at his best, but not now.

Anthony Dirrell Canelo Alvarez

Anthony Dirrell coming off TKO loss to David Benavidez

Dirrell has looked like an old-timer in his losses to Badou Jack and David Benavidez. Further, he struggled against Avni Yildirim and Denis Douglin. The Dirrell-Douglin fight took place in 2017, and Dirrell looked shot even back then.

Yesterday, the big news was Sergiy Derevyanchenko being under consideration for the next fight for the 29-year-old Canelo Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) at 168.

The fans on social were in favor of Derevyanchenko being the net guy for Canelo, but it’s a different story with Dirrell. There’s less interest from boxing fans in seeing Canelo face former WBC super-middleweight champion Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs).

One reason for that is Dirrell is coming off of a ninth-round TKO loss to David Benavidez last September at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Benavidez wore down Dirrell, cut him over his right eye, and forced the stoppage.

Canelo vs. Dirrell = tough sell

In Dirrell’s fight before that, he beat Avni Yildirim by a 10th round technical decision last year in February 2019. The battle was stopped due to Dirrell having suffered a bad cut over his right eye from a clash of heads in round seven.

At the time of the stoppage, Yildirim was coming on and making Dirrell look like an older man ready for retirement. Had the injury not occurred, there’s a good chance that Yildirim would have come on to stop or out-point Dirrell.

“Derevyanchenko matchup is interesting. Sergiy arguably beat GGG, is a pressure fighter, and gave Daniel Jacobs a good challenge, too. Dirrell is a hard sell,” said @MikeCoppinger.

“Sources tell The Athletic another opponent being considered for Canelo Alvarez on Sept. 12 is Anthony Dirrell, the former super middleweight titleholder coming off a stoppage loss to David Benavidez. Sergiy Derevyanchenko is the other option at the moment for Alvarez at 168.”

The fans want to see Canelo fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) next, as he’s still in his prime. He looked great in his recent loss to Gennadiy Golovkin on October 5 and should have won the fight. However, Derevyanchenko suffered a bad cut in the battle, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be ready to go by September against Alvarez.

Anthony Dirrell Canelo Alvarez

Derevyanchenko’s body punching would give Alvarez problems

It would be surprising if Canelo agrees to fight Dirrell rather than Derevyanchenko, but perhaps he wants another easy fight.  After the performance that Devevyanchenko put in against GGG, he might have scared away Canelo.

The Mexican star must know from watching that fight it won’t be a walk in the park in facing Derevyanchenko, who will press him and attack his body as no one has done before. Austin Trout hurt Canelo with a body shot in their fight in 2013.  After getting beaten by a body shot, Canelo spent the last five rounds against the ropes, playing turtle.

Canelo likely to face the least expensive opponent

Golden Boy will likely aim for the cheapest of the two – Dirrell and Derevyanchenko – and go from there for Canelo’s next fight. The bad thing about DAZN giving Canelo a huge 11-fight, $365 million deal is it takes away the incentive for him to fight the best. He can fight anyone and make the same amount of money.

With Canelo getting paid the same amount of money for each match, he can fight guys like Rocky Fielding and Anthony Dirrell for the same amount as he would against a good fighter like Derevyanchenko.

If it’s just about money with Canelo, then it won’t be surprising if he ends up with someone entirely different than Dirrell or Derevyanchenko. There’s a lot of contenders in the 168-pound division, which Canelo and Golden Boy can get a low price. I don’t know that the boxing public will be eager to subscribe to DAZN to watch Canelo fight the weaker opposition, but maybe that’s not a concern for him. It should be a concern for DAZN that Canelo fights the best possible opponent for his next fight.


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