Andre Dirrell is confirmed and signed for a December 19 fight in Quebec City against Derek Edwards, which will air on Showtime as part of the Stevenson-Sukhotsky card from Colisee de Quebec.
Dirrell (23-1, 16 KO) returned to action on August 1 after another lengthy absence, stopping Vladine Biosse in five rounds. He then made a quick turnaround and was back on October 8, beating Nick Brinson in four rounds. Now, he's keeping up that pace, fighting again in December as he looks to get back into the mix at 168 pounds.
"I'm excited to be back on the fast track and I'm ready to show that this is definitely where I belong," Dirrell said. "It takes time to move back to the top, but I like to improve myself each time I step into the gym. I almost feel like I've been overworking myself in the gym to prove that I'm back.
"But I feel like I'm there and ready for a title shot. And, when the time comes to prove that I'm ready, I won't leave any doubt.''
Edwards (27-3-1, 14 KO) stopped Badou Jack in 61 seconds on February 28, about two months after he was stopped in nine rounds by Matt Korobov. Edwards, 34, is getting a return mostly because of the upset win over Jack, but he's really more on the level of Biosse and Brinson -- solid but well below elite opponents, as Dirrell stays busy and waits for an opportunity.
Dirrell is doing his best to sell Edwards as a power puncher thanks to the display against Jack.
"This guy may have power, but power-punchers are the best opponents for pure boxers, for slick guys like me," Dirrell said. "That's when I'm at my best. I'm not even looking at his power - his will and determination in the fight will be more important than his power.
"I know he's going to be at his best when he steps in the ring on Dec. 19. He's been in some tough fights, but I don't think we've seen the best from him yet. I'm not worried about anything but getting the job done and I know I will when the time comes."
Also on Dirrell's mind is Carl Froch, who scored a controversial decision over Dirrell in 2009 to open up the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Dirrell wants a rematch with Froch, who currently holds the WBA and IBF titles at 168 pounds, and with Andre Ward sidelined once again, is considered the best in the world at super middleweight.
"I know I won that fight against Froch," Dirrell said. "I think everyone knows I won that fight. He's the one opponent I want and the fact that he's a world champion again is just icing on the cake. I don't think I've ever been defeated and I want that title shot. Hopefully he doesn't retire because I know the world wants to see that rematch."
Dirrell says that he wants to be the king at super middleweight, but would step aside and move up in weight if brother Anthony, who holds the WBC belt, begins to take over the division.
"I want to fight the best at 168. I want to unify the division, but if my brother does that first then I will move up to 175. I have a lot of work to do in a little amount of time - I want to fight for about five more years - and if Anthony runs me out at 168 then I'll go up to 175."
Is the talented but erratic Dirrell, now 31 years old, finally on the right track? Have his past issues subsided?