Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Andre Dirrell wants a rematch with Carl Froch




Super middleweight title challenger Andre Dirrell is “excited to be back on the fast track” toward a title shot and claims he “won’t leave any doubt” on Dec. 19 against Derek Edwards in an IBF title eliminator bout.

Taking place at the Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Canada in support of the light heavyweight main event between RING champion Adonis Stevenson and Russian Dmitry Sukhotsky, Dirrell-Edwards serves as an eliminator for the No. 2 spot in the IBF’s rankings behind England’s No. 1-rated James DeGale, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist who is THE RING No. 5-rated super middleweight.

The IBF’s titleholder, Carl Froch of England, is THE RING’s No. 8-rated fighter pound-for-pound as well as its No. 1-rated 168-pounder behind RING champion Andre Ward.

By facing Edwards (27-3-1, 14 knockouts), Dirrell (23-1, 16 KOs) is returning to Showtime for the first time since appearing in the “Super Six World Boxing Classic” super middleweight tournament in 2010. It was at that time when Dirrell suffered his lone defeat in his opening tournament bout to then-WBC titleholder Froch by split decision in October 2009.

“I know I won that fight against Froch. I think everyone knows I won that fight. He’s the one opponent I want,” said Dirrell, 31, who will be after his sixth straight victory against Edwards.

“The fact that he’s a world champion again is just icing on the cake. I don’t think I’ve ever been defeated and I want that title shot. Hopefully, he doesn’t retire because I know the world wants to see that rematch. I want to fight the best at 168.”

A switch-hitting 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, Dirrell is coming off last month’s fourth-round stoppage of Nick Brinson, representing his fifth straight win and his third stoppage during that run.

Dirrell is the older brother of WBC 168-pound titlist Anthony Dirrell, 30, who dethroned Sakio Bika by unanimous decision in August for the his belt.

“I want to unify the division but if my brother does that first, then I will move up to 175,” said Andre Dirrell. “I have a lot of work to do in a little amount of time. I want to fight for about five more years and if Anthony runs me out at 168 then I’ll go up to 175.”

Nicknamed “The Black Lion,” Edwards, 34, is 2-3-1 with one knockout in his past six fights.

“This guy may have power but power-punchers are the best opponents for pure boxers, for slick guys like me. That’s when I’m at my best. I’m not even looking at his power. His will and determination in the fight will be more important than his power,” said Dirrell.

“I know he’s going to be at his best when he steps in the ring on Dec. 19. He’s been in some tough fights but I don’t think we’ve seen the best from him yet. I’m not worried about anything but getting the job done and I know I will when the time comes.”

Edwards is coming off a 61-second knockout over previously unbeaten Badou Jack in February to rebound from a ninth-round stoppage loss to Matt Korobov last December.

“I’m definitely confident going in against Andre. He’s a different fighter than Jack. He had a good amateur background and fought some of the best super middleweights in the Super Six but I see some things I can exploit in Andre. I know I’ll need to force the action on him and be the aggressor,” said Edwards.

“A win like this would put a lot of other fighters on notice and let guys know that I can deal with the speed of a fighter like Andre and the power of a guy like Jack. And it would give me the confidence to fight anyone. I’ve never been this motivated for a fight. A win like this would put a lot of things on the table, open up a lot of doors and opportunities.”

Edwards has also lost consecutive fights to Marcus Johnson by unanimous decision in April 2010 and third-round knockout to Adonis Stevenson in his following fight in April 2011.

“This is definitely the biggest fight of my life. There’s no tomorrow,” said Edwards. “It’s just one night. I need to seize the moment and lay it all out on the line. This is my one big shot.”

Also the WBC titleholder, Stevenson was last in action for a unanimous decision over Andrzej Fonfara in May and is 14-1 with 13 knockouts in his past 15 fights.

A southpaw, Stevenson, 37, said that he hurt his left hand in the second round against Fonfara.

Sukhotsky has won four straight bouts since losing a unanimous decision to Cornelius White in July 2012. Prior to that fight, Sukhotsky, 33, stopped current No. 9-rated light heavyweight Nadjib Mohammedi, the mandatory challenger to IBF/WBA/WBO titleholder and RING No. 1-rated 175-pounder Sergey Kovalev.

The event will include Russian 175-pound prospect Artur Beterbiev against Jeff Page Jr. as well as a welterweight rematch between Kevin Bizier and Jo Jo Dan.

In his last fight, Beterbiev, 29, scored a second-round knockout of former IBF titleholder Tavoris Cloud and still has not gone beyond four rounds.

Coming into the bout, , Page, 24, has scored four straight knockouts as well as five stoppages in his past six fights but has never fought outside of the Midwest. Page was last in action for last month’s fifth-round knockout of Maxell Taylor.

Bizier will be after revenge against Jo Jo Dan, who defeated him by split decision last November.

The Dan-Bizier fight is an eliminator for the right to face IBF welterweight titleholder Kell Brook, who won the belt in a majority decision win over Shawn Porter in August.

Note: Quotes from a release.