At the Dirrell vs DeGale weigh-in, Boston, Massachusetts, both fighters managed to come in under the 168-pound limit. One day ahead of their anticipated clash – for the vacant Super Middleweight title – mutual respect seemed to dissipate when their eyes met for the stare down.
The colorful language seemed to finally spill following a build up of pressure over the past several weeks. And perhaps that’s a good thing. Both fighters have spent a long time rebuilding their careers in wake of unwelcome defeats, and have a lot to prove in this high-exposure event.
On the scales, 29-year-old James DeGale came in at 167.2 lbs. Nicknamed ‘Chunky’, the Olympic Gold Medalist will enter the ring with a record of 20 wins, 1 loss, 14 knockouts.
Andre Dirrell, 31, came in slightly north of that number at 167.8 lbs, and will enter tomorrow’s headlining bout with 24 wins, 1 loss, 16 knockouts. The Michigan-native, wearing ‘The Resurrected’ alias, is also no stranger to Olympic success, having picked up a bronze medal.
On paper, the sensible money belongs on Dirrell due to experience with superior opposition. Though DeGale’s record pales slightly in comparison, the Brit has nonetheless clocked up some notable wins in recent years. They include Brandon Gonzalez (TKO 4) and Marco Antonio Periban (TKO 3).
In addition to top-level ring smarts, it’s Dirrell’s and DeGale’s sole losses that seem to unite them in this bout. Their unbeaten records were blemished by razor-thin/disputed decisions a few years back.
In 2009, Dirrell was beaten by England’s Carl Froch in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. The decision was considered controversial in some boxing circles, to say the least.
DeGale also suffered a similar blow when he was beaten by George Groves in 2011 by remarkably close scores of 115-115, 114-115 twice. The verdict was less controversial, but of course still came as a major setback.
If the pre-fight script is to be trusted, boxing fans should be in for a competitive, intriguing match up between two quality operators. Both are supremely confident, slick movers who can bang when necessary.
Also to feature on the Premier Boxing Champions card is Rodriguez vs Baker. Edwin Rodriguez weighed in at 176, and Craig Baker 175.6 ahead of their Light Heavyweight encounter at the Agganis Arena.
You can catch all the action on NBC in the US, and Sky Sports 1 in the UK.
What’s your thoughts on the Dirrell vs DeGale weigh-in and their looming clash? Is this a sure-fire win for the Michigan-native, or is Britain’s DeGale about to outshine his foe on the biggest stage of his career? Let us know in the comments!
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