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Dirrell vs Douglin: Fight preview and matchup

Anthony Dirrell meets Denis Douglin this Friday on FS1.

Anthony Dirrell

Anthony Dirrell v Norbert Nemesapati Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Record: 30-1-1 (24 KO) ... Streak: W3 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 8-1-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 6'2" / 74½" ... Age: 33

Thoughts: Former WBC super middleweight titleholder Anthony Dirrell enters his fourth straight disappointing matchup since dropping the title to Badou Jack in 2015, not facing contenders as he looks to be considered one himself.

Dirrell was slated to face Callum Smith in the summer for the vacant WBC belt, but Smith entered the World Boxing Super Series instead. He was then set up to face David Benavidez for the vacant belt, but withdrew from that fight and was replaced by Ronald Gavril.

So here’s Dirrell, now 33 and not getting younger, facing a guy coming off of a loss a year and change ago. Not exactly what anyone was hoping to see, to say the least.

Dirrell can fight, no one’s questioning that, and he’s always seemingly had more “Dog” in him than brother Andre. But his career is stalling — at the very least, he’s fighting, but he’s not taking risks, and taking risks is what fans reward.

Denis Douglin

Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew - WBO & WBA Intercontinental Cruiserweight Title Fight Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Record: 20-5 (13 KO) ... Streak: L1 ... Last 5: 3-2 ... Last 10: 6-4 ... Stance: Southpaw ... Height/Reach: 5’8" / 73" ... Age: 29

Thoughts: Douglin is a former prospect whose bubble has long since been burst. He was stopped in the third round by sub-.500 journeyman Doel Carrasquillo in 2011, then lost to Jermell Charlo and Jose Angel Rodriguez in 2012-13.

Most recently, he lost to George Groves in 2014 and David Benavidez in his last outing, in August 2016.

In short, Douglin’s career never really got out of the blocks. He’s got talent, but it’s just not there, and it’s almost certainly not going to happen now. He is a stay-busy type opponent for Dirrell, who has been “staying busy” for two years now.

Matchup Grade: D. What more can be said? Dirrell should win, and likely will. A Douglin victory would be a pretty major upset. The good news is it might be perfectly watchable for what it is. Maybe Douglin will surprise us — he’s a likable fighter, and that’d be nice, because it would also mean we get a better than expected fight.


  • Jamontay Clark vs Domonique Dolton: Clark (12-0, 7 KO) is a welterweight prospect from Cincinnati, 23 years old and nicknamed “The Quiet Assassin.” In his last fight, he beat fellow undefeated prospect Ivan Golub via eight-round decision, and looked like a promising talent. Dolton (19-1-1, 10 KO) is not quite in the position that Douglin is, but similarly, he is a former prospect who has not succeeded in steps up. He drew with Oscar Molina in 2015, and lost to Justin DeLoach in 2016. He’s won two straight. But he’s a nice next step for Clark, and he could be more than that. Matchup Grade: C+.
  • Ryan Karl vs Kareem Martin: Karl (14-1, 9 KO) is an all-action fighter, a ton of fun to watch, great TV entertainment. He also got smoked this past February, when he faced Eddie Ramirez. That talent level was simply too much for him. He did bounce back in July with a get-well win. Martin (9-1-1, 3 KO) is also 1-1 in his last two, with a loss in August 2016 to David Grayton. He’s a 22-year-old prospect from Washington, DC. Basically, these two are fighting to keep getting chances on TV. Matchup Grade: C.

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