Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell have a little bad blood left over from their draw last December in Brooklyn, and the two got in a bit of last-minute trash talk at today's weigh-in in Carson, California. They'll meet again for Bika's WBC super middleweight title tomorrow night on Showtime.
"It's gonna be an easier fight," said Dirrell (26-0-1, 22 KO). "Nothing's really changed, just tuning up a few things. It's gonna be an easy fight for me."
Asked if he thinks he needs to knock out Bika (32-5-3, 21 KO) to lift the belt, he said, "I am going to knock him out. I don't think I'm gonna do it, I am gonna do it. It's gonna be a knockout."
Bika, making the second defense of his title belt, accused Dirrell of running in their last bout, and challenged him to fight toe-to-toe tomorrow night.
"The guy is always talking," Bika said. "If he feels he's going to knock me out Saturday night, you don't need to run away. You don't need to run all the way around the ring. He was running. On Saturday, come in the ring and see if you can fight."
During his interview, Bika jawed a bit back-and-forth with members of Dirrell's camp, who chimed in while he was speaking to the Showtime cameras.
Dirrell, 29, is looking to become the second fighter in two weeks to both beat cancer and then pick up a world title in professional boxing. This past weekend, Daniel Jacobs dominated Jarrod Fletcher on Showtime, winning a paper version of Gennady Golovkin's title.
Dirrell was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2007, and underwent chemotherapy. He began boxing again in October 2008 after completing the treatments.
"It would mean a lot, not just to me, but all the cancer survivors, all the people who have cancer," Dirrell said. "My city, my family, it would mean a lot. I can't even express it right now."
But the 35-year-old Bika has no plan to help Dirrell achieve his dream. "I will beat him. I will keep my belt. If I can, I will stop him. He can't just run away."