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James DeGale vs Andre Dirrell fight discussed for April 25

James DeGale has a date set for April 25 in London, and Eddie Hearn thinks he can bring Andre Dirrell over for a vacant IBF title fight.

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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

James DeGale is going to fight again on April 25, and promoter Eddie Hearn says it's likely that Carl Froch will have to vacate the IBF super middleweight title due to his recent training injury. That means that DeGale, the IBF mandatory challenger, could fight for the vacant title in London against the next-highest rated contender.

That would be Andre Dirrell, and Hearn believes they could make that fight happen at the O2 Arena.

"I think he may not have any choice. 50-50 split, what draw has he got in America versus James DeGale's draw here? I don't see how we can't win the purse bids for that fight. I think he's a cast iron favourite to have the fight in England, we've got April 25 booked at the O2 and that's where we want to do the fight."

Dirrell (24-1, 16 KO) absolutely is not a gate draw (or even a TV draw), but he does have the backing of Al Haymon, so if his team wanted to badly enough, they could certainly win a purse bid. They would probably have to take a loss on that investment, so it would be a question of whether or not they would deem it a worthy enough fight.

Of course, Dirrell would have to actually want the fight, and run the risk of going to the United Kingdom if it did go to purse bid. Dirrell, 31, has said he wants a world title fight, but he really wanted a rematch with Carl Froch, and that's simply not happening. He's five in a row since his comeback in December 2011, and went 3-0 from last year, fighting in August, October, and December, so he's finally truly active again.

DeGale (20-1, 14 KO) was hoping to fight Froch, but that doesn't appear as though it's going to materialize. If Dirrell doesn't want the fight, the next two highest-rated IBF contenders are Gilberto Ramirez, the Top Rank prospect, and George Groves, DeGale's old rival. The biggest of the fights for Hearn would be DeGale-Groves II, but Groves, who is now with Sauerland Event, may not want that fight at the moment as he rebuilds his career following two losses to Froch.

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