Well, we've got a nice talking fight going on now if nothing else. Almost three months away from their fight, both Andre Dirrell and WBC super middleweight titlist Carl Froch are trading verbal flurries. Dirrell said yesterday in a press release by Hennessy Sports that Froch would be his "easiest" foe to date. Now, Froch has fired back in kind.
"I've heard all that kind of talk before, so it doesn't bother me. It's Dirrell who has to worry about backing up that big talk. I actually believe he's quite nervous about the series, so he's trying to talk himself up. When he turned up at the media tour last week, I think the realization of what he'd got himself into actually hit home, and I think he was a little overawed by the occasion.
"If he's nervous about getting his photo taken alongside the likes of like myself and Mikkel Kessler, how's he going to feel when he actually has to step into the ring with us?"
Dirrell is one of those guys whose personality is hard to read, and Froch might well be right. Froch-Dirrell is without question the greatest test of Dirrell's boxing career. Dirrell is unbeaten and highly regarded as a prospect, but Froch is an undefeated world titleholder who has bucked the odds and become a genuine player, when many thought he was too slow or too basic to beat guys like Jermain Taylor and Jean Pascal (the latter was a toss-up fight to most, though).
Froch also promises to give Dirrell a gut check:
"He's got fast hands, but I don't see any evidence that he's a big puncher. He likes to switch hit, changing from southpaw to orthodox, but I'll find his weak side and bash him up. Let's see how he reacts with being taken into the trenches."
If there's anything Froch has proven in his biggest fights, it's that he tests the will of his opponent at some point. He out-warred Pascal and out-gutted Taylor. He's right that Dirrell has never been in a competitive fight, and he's right that it's up to Andre to prove he belongs with these fighters.
Personally, I think that Dirrell will prove himself quite worthy of the tournament, even if he loses to Froch. But that's why they hold the fights. They can talk as much as they want to, but on October 17 they have to face off.