Super middleweight contender (or should-be contender) Andre Dirrell says he'll be back in the ring on January 19 as he looks to start a new phase of his career with promoter 50 Cent and trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr, and that eventually, he wants a rematch with Carl Froch. Froch scored a controversial decision win over Dirrell in 2009 in the opening stage of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
Dirrell (20-1, 14 KO) tells Mike Coppinger that he was supposed to fight on December 15, but lost that date for unknown reasons (the fact there's no TV outlet open for him would be a good guess), and that after recovering from his "neurological injury," he's ready to go.
He also may be history's first boxer to claim that Al Haymon, the mega-adviser Dirrell parted ways with early this year, let him down:
"My camp had a problem with [Haymon] and there were a lot of things we were asking for that he wouldn't live up to. We decided to go our separate ways."
At the time Dirrell chose to leave Haymon and promoter Gary Shaw, he was being considered for a fight with Lucian Bute, then the IBF super middleweight cham. Froch wound up with that fight instead, and we all know how that turned out.
Dirrell has fought just one time since his DQ win over Arthur Abraham in March 2010. Last December, he returned along with Jermain Taylor on an unfortunately unforgettable episode of ShoBox, tearing through grossly overmatched Darryl Cunningham in two rounds. The hope was that he would fight again shortly, but that didn't happen. Instead, he made a seemingly unthinkable decision to drop Haymon, and go at his career alone.
That didn't last long, as he was signed with Yuriorkis Gamboa to 50 Cent's boxing promotional outfit. He still hasn't fought, and though he's targeting January 19 and a TV date, that date is booked on both HBO (Salido vs Garcia tripleheader) and SHO (Alexander vs Brook). Even NBC Sports is already running a card (Kovalev vs Campillo).
As for a Froch rematch, if Dirrell gets a decent win, it would make some sense. I scored the '09 fight in Dirrell's favor and really have no question he should have outpointed Froch. I can't say I'm all for it, though, since their first fight was godawful to watch. Dirrell says he's looking that way and not at Andre Ward, a longtime personal friend and some believe the real reason he dropped out of the Super Six, because he hasn't earned a fight with Ward, and it would only be the fans pushing him into that one.