Nastiness at press conferences and weigh ins sometimes is just sound and fury, signifying mere nerves and posturing. At other times, that apparent animosity does indeed indicate forthcoming brutality.
On Thursday, Anthony Dirrell and Denis Douglin, repping Flint, Michigan and New Jersey, respectively, showed no love for each other, the day before they were to rumble on FOX Sports 1.
Dirrell is 33, holds a 30-1-1 mark and held a strap in 2015, at 168. He and bro Andre have been held back by inactivity, some injuries and lack of proper promotion, at various times, arguably.
Douglin, a 20-5 lefty, is trained by his mom. He's 29, has a toddler daughter, and is in a must win place, coming off a loss to David Benavidez. He hasn't banked those couple paydays to give him breathing room for the fam, and that could come with a win over Dirrell tonight.
Things got a little heated between Anthony Dirrell & Denis Douglin at their weigh in this afternoon. Big fight tomorrow night on FS1 from the Dort Event Center. @Anthonydirrell @DaMommasBoy @DortEventCenter #FlintMI pic.twitter.com/KfjR31KO9h— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) November 16, 2017
The TV portion from the Dort Arena in Flint, promoted by Dmitriy Salita and Tom Brown/PBC, kicks off at 10:30 pm ET.
So, that beef at the weigh in, what was that about?
"Nothin’. Him trying to intimidate me and hype himself up," Douglin told me. "And all it did was show me how soft he is. He was around me for a solid 30 minutes before the weigh in at the hotel lobby, then again at the arena before the weigh in and he didn’t even look at me.
“Now we’re in front of your family and your friends and you have people in front of you to break it up and you want to act tough. It is corny to me! Look at you, bro, you’re dehydrated and weak right now. Dirrell, you know good and well you don’t want a problem at all right now. So who are you fooling with the tough guy act, definitely not me! But I’m happy it happened, more attention on the fight!"
Dirrell didn't answer when I messaged him to ask what happened, for the record.
Promoter Salita explained what he saw. "This was a continuation of yesterday’s stare down at the press conference which was very intense. This fight could have taken place in Vegas, New York City but it’s taking place in Flint, Michigan, which because of their water crisis, deserves great things.
“Dirrell told him that he is going to hurt him and Douglin was basically saying the same thing to Dirrell. It was very intense and both guys are coming to fight!"
We shall see if all the barking is followed up by maximum biting. FS1 is the broadcast platform.