Purse bid decided for Dirrell Vs DeGale
By TOM WATT on March 11 2015
Today we learned that Warriors Promotions had beaten Matchroom Boxing in the Purse bid for the IBF Super-Middleweight Title fight between Andre Dirrell and James DeGale with a bid of $3.1m from Warriors eclipsing the $2.105m offer from Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom.
What this means is that if James ‘Chunky’ DeGale wants to win his first World Title then he will have to emulate fellow Brit and stable-mate at Matchroom, Kell Brook, who himself had to go over to the States to win his Welterweight World Title from ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter at the StubHub Centre last year. Where this situation is slightly different is that this is for a vacant title whereas Brook was the Challenger that night – a night where Andre Dirrell’s brother, Anthony Dirrell, won a World Title from Australia’s Sakio Bika in a messy brawl of a fight. Earlier today Kell Brook tweeted T2TBoxing to say “I believe James can do the same”.
Andre will be looking to do the same as his Brother in being victorious but this fight is likely to take on a much different look. Firstly, there is no animosity between fighters (yet) and secondly, both Andre Dirrell and James DeGale are very talented, technical boxers. This promises to be an exciting and even match-up between two very closely matched guys and will no doubt be described as a ‘pick-em’ fight as we draw closer to the event. I would expect DeGale to be favoured by the bookmakers in the UK and Dirrell to edge it in America and this shows just how close this fight will be.
Having watched DeGale come up through the ranks in the UK and without doubt paying his dues, there can be no question that ‘Chunky’ is deserving of his World Title shot, aside from his loss to George Groves DeGale has never really been challenged in the ring and has continued to improve fight on fight – showcasing his immense natural talent in 2014 with convincing wins over highly-rated Brandon Gonzales in 4 rounds at Wembley and then over former World Title Challenger, Marco Antonio Periban in 3 rounds in November. These victories underlined what many people in the UK already knew, James DeGale is ready for the World Stage.
On the other side of the coin we have Andre Dirrell, a fantastic amateur talent that took home the Bronze medal at the Olympics in 2004 and has only suffered one loss in his professional career to Carl Froch in the popular ‘Super 6’ tournament. Since then Dirrell has had to battle through injuries but has notched up 6 straight wins on his way to being mandated for a World Title Shot. Dirrell felt his Split-Decision loss to Froch would have been a different result had the fight not taken place in the UK and was determined for his latest shot at the Title to be in his home country of America – DeGale for his part was keen to fight in front of a home crowd but the mammoth bid from Warriors Promotions has secured the former's wishes.
So that leaves us with a mouth-watering clash in America to look forward to at the end of April or early May, probably as part of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series on NBC in America – offering both fighters the chance to become a household name in America. Another interesting side-story to the whole affair is that long-time DeGale rival, George Groves, is number 1 contender for Andre’s brother’s WBC belt so, should the 2 Brits manage to be victorious then we have a huge unification fight in the UK to look forward to and all the bravado that comes from James DeGale and George Groves. That is all pipe dream stuff at the moment though, the task at hand is by no means an easy one for ‘Chunky’ but if he continues to deliver the kind of performances we have seen over his last few fights then I’m tipping the Brit to take home the famous red belt.
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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