Can Dirrell Beat Abraham?
Tonight American Andre Dirrell (18-1, 13 KOs) will attempt to get his first win in the Super Six over current tournament leader Arthur Abraham (31-0, 25 KOs).
Abraham came out with guns blazing in his first bout by viciously knocking out Jermain Taylor in the 12th round. That crushing defeat made Taylor withdraw from the tournament and possibly may be his last fight.
Dirrell lost a hotly disputed decision to Carl Froch on the same night in his first title bid for the WBC strap. Dirrell performed good in spots, landing sharp counters and befuddling Froch with speed and movement. But the young fighter was many times reluctant to throw, and allowed Froch to bully him against the ropes and take rounds on sloppy aggression.
To get his first win, Dirrell will have to turn in a flawless performance against a powerhouse that has not learned yet how to lose. There are 2 flaws that stand out in Abraham as a fighter: his tendency to drop early rounds feeling out his opponent, and not being able to transition smoothly between his offense and defense.
Its essential that Dirrell pile up a decent lead in those early rounds, when Abraham will be content to let him work away while he holds firm behind a peek a boo defense. Arthur is too strong on the inside, so Dirrell will want to make it an outside fight where Abraham has to lunge and chase after him.
When Abraham puts the heat on in the middle and late rounds, we will learn if Andre Dirrell has the heart and toughness to be a champion. If he goes into a shell, holds, and complains like he did against Froch, hell likely be knocked cold.
If he stays composed, and strategically stands his ground and throws hard shots when Abraham is on defense, Dirrell could take a close but clear decision.
Because hes on American soil, Abraham should put the pressure on from the beginning. The crowd will cheer everything Dirrell does and the hometown fighter will get the benefit of the doubt in close rounds. Early pressure will reveal if Dirrell can stay focused for 12 rounds.
Dirrell could pull out a performance like Andre Ward did on Mikkel Kessler, but the safe bet is on Abraham. Because his back is against the wall, Im going to take a chance on the underdog and go with Dirrell by a split decision in a fight thats tactical early, and heats up over the last 4 rounds.
Allan Green Calls Ward Injury Suspect
Andre Ward wont face Allan Green on April 24 due to issues with a surgically repaired knee. But Super Six newcomer Allan Green remains skeptical of the timing of Wards injury.
In an interview with Big Dog Radio, Green questioned how Ward could announce he would be out at least 6 weeks before completing an MRI.
I just find the situation kind of odd, before he even got an MRI done it was said that he needed to be out for 6 weeks. I am like how do you know that with your knee just being inflamed, Green detailed. I am not saying it is true or untrue, I just dont know why the fight has to be postponed for so long To me it is bogus, but whatever, he will have to get in the ring sooner or later and when he does I will take his title and become champion, simple as that regardless of when it is.
Green also remains baffled that he was left out of Six Super tournament initially in favor of former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor. When Taylor withdrew following his second KO loss, Green was given a shot as an alternate.
I couldnt understand it, I came off a devastating knockout over Carlos De Leon Jr. Jermain came in after getting knocked out, we were on the same card, and I heard about the tournament and I was left out, Green fumed. I really cannot cry over split milk, I am in the tournament now, but I was confused and I really didnt understand it. But me being in the tournament changes everything.
To Andre Ward, I respect him, he won the title from Kessler, he is religiously grounded kid and all of that is good, but however, this is boxing and when you become a champion, you have to fight everybody. You cannot pick and choose to fight whom you want to fight, and I am not saying that is even you, but if it is stop being like that, and if it is not, dont turn into that guy. Step in the ring when it is time for you and me to get it on, no games no nothing, no more hurt knees no more hurt pinkies or whatever, lets just get it on period.
At press time, the new fight date is June 19.
Erik Morales Makes Return on PPV
Future Hall of Famer Erik Morales wants one more shot at glory and fights tonight on PPV after a near 3 year absence.
Moraless last win was in 2005, when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in a great shootout at super featherweight. In 2006, Morales was subsequently knocked out twice in rematches with Manny, and lost a controversial decision to David Diaz in 2007.
Turning 34 years old this year, Morales is going into uncharted waters at welterweight to face a journeyman in Jose Alfaro (23-5, 20 KOs). El Terrible reportedly had to drop a lot of weight to get to the 147 pound limit. Ring rust is to be expected, but Morales expects to have his experience to see him through.
“Losing so much weight in recent months isnt going to affect me. For 2 ½ months we worked a lot on the technical issues but we also made the best effort trying to achieve peak physical condition, Morales stated at his open workout. I also mean that I was six months into the plan to establish a steady weight loss and here are the results. We planned to work hard to get into top form and I reached it. We know that he is very strong, but thats why we wanted to fight someone like him. I will not defraud anyone, let alone myself, and this is the optimal test. I will be the strongest, smartest and most experienced in the ring against Alfaro.”
The card, named The Champion Returns, begins tonight at 9PM for $29.95. It is also available at www.GoFightLive.TV
Joan Guzman Fails to Make Weight Again
Joan Guzman has once again put another fight card in doubt by coming in 9 pounds overweight for his rematch with Ali Funeka.
For the scheduled lightweight (135 pounds) bout this evening, Guzman weighed in yesterday at 144 pounds. Funeka made the lightweight limit.
To salvage the fight, promoters scrambled and made a new contract. Under the revised terms, Guzman must undergo a second weigh-in and not come in over 150 pounds. Funeka cannot weigh more than 145 pounds, and will still be allowed to claim the IBF title should he win.
But the fight remains uncertain since the IBF would not guarantee that Guzmans ranking would not go down should he lose.
Funeka previously decided to fight an overweight Nate Campbell, and lost a close decision. Last November, many feel Funeka was robbed by receiving a draw in his first fight with Guzman.
More than likely, HBO will make sure the fight goes on because of the money theyve invested. As of last night, the network was still advertising the show.
Also on the card, Marcos Maidana will seek to build on his upset TKO of Victor Ortiz last year with a bout against Victor Cayo.
David Haye Must Get Through Ruiz Before Klitschkos
After failed negotiations with both Klitschkos in 2009, David Haye plans to use veteran John Ruiz as a stepping stone to a big money showdown later this year.
Haye gave up over 100 pounds to Nikolai Valuev in his last fight, who he beat in a tactical, boring fight to win the WBA heavyweight title.
With that in mind, Haye has promised to wage war with Ruiz.
Its going to be more of a slugfest and Im expecting to take some abuse in this one, so Im just preparing my body for the worst, Haye told Sport Magazine. His whole career has been boring up to now. I know hes going to be there after 12 rounds, I know Im going to be there for 12 rounds so youre going to get a really explosive fight. Youre going to get fireworks, thats 100%.
The Klitschkos have been ruling the heavyweight division with iron fists, with younger brother Wladimir scoring a brutal KO last week over Eddie Chambers.
Still, Haye claims the brothers are ready to be taken.
Wladimirs more vulnerable as hes been knocked out a few times, whereas Vitali hasnt, he said. But then Vitali is older and has well documented knee problems, so hes not as mobile as his younger brother, but hes tougher. Theyre both beatable. The plan is to get John Ruiz out of the way, get the fights with the Klitschko brothers, then unify the titles.
Haye-Ruiz is scheduled for next Saturday (April 3) in Manchester, England.
News and Notes
– Edwin Valero is facing charges for allegedly assaulting his wife. Medical reports state she suffered bruises and a collapsed lung from a punch to her ribs. Valeros made his network television debut last month with a emphatic corner stoppage over Antonio DeMarco
– Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz will rematch later this year. Marquez won their 2009 bout by TKO in what was widely considered the Fight of the Year. Both men have lost their last fights: Marquez to Floyd Mayweather, and Diaz to Paulie Malignaggi.
– Antonio Margarito will return to the ring on May 8 against Robert Garcia (28-2, 21 KOs) in Mexico. Margarito has been unable to regain his license after being suspended for attempting to load his gloves with plaster-like substance against Shane Mosley in January 2009. Mosley dominated the fight and won by a 9th round TKO.
– Next week, be on the lookout for extensive coverage of Hopkins-Jones II, including an insightful, exclusive interview with Bernard Hopkins. The Executioner gives his thoughts on Hip-Hops materialism issues, what Jones has left, and how hed fare against other all-time greats.
Weekend Fight Predictions
Dirrell vs. Abraham- Dirrell SD
Maidana vs.Cayo- Maidana TKO6
Funeka vs. Guzman- Funeka UD
Morales vs. Alfaro– Morales UD