Andre Dirrell has officially announced his signing with 50 Cent's TMT Promotions, and the 28-year-old Flint, Mich., native says that he's targeting the big dogs at 168 pounds, including his friend Andre Ward.
"They're giving me a date, but it's not etched in stone. They said Nov. 17 or Nov. 18, or something like that. It's pretty much set as far as the fight and the network. They're trying to get me right up in there with those big name fighters, like a rematch with Carl Froch, and a rematch with Arthur Abraham, any time, any place.
"Abraham and Robert Stieglitz, they're getting ready to fight for the WBO title [on Aug. 25,] and I could fight any one of them. Hopefully, after that, I could get that fight. Froch or Abraham, they're my two biggest targets right now, but my golden ticket is Andre Ward. I mean, after all is said and done, I can get two or three of these belts and then fight Ward."
Dirrell (20-1, 14 KO) last fought on December 30, easily disposing of club fighter Darryl Cunningham. It was Dirrell's first fight since a DQ win over Arthur Abraham in March 2010, and after the Cunningham bout, Dirrell ditched Al Haymon and Gary Shaw, saying he planned to promote himself.
Obviously, that didn't pan out, and until now, we'd heard pretty much nothing from Dirrell. Now with 50 Cent, he's saying the right things, but I believe it remains to be seen how serious this is. A November return -- I assume this would be paired with a Yuriorkis Gamboa fight, and on HBO, since Dirrell says the TMT team has met with HBO's Kery Davis -- probably wouldn't be any of those big fights he says he wants, and at the rate of some of HBO's matchmaking, it could be something like Dirrell vs Maxim Vlasov.
Also, if TMT lands the 11/17 date on HBO, keep in mind that would be the night of the next Manny Pacquiao PPV replay, which always gives a boost to the night's live fight.