Tonight at 10 pm ET, PBC returns to FS1, with Anthony Dirrell facing Avni Yildirim for the vacant WBC super middleweight title in the main event from Minneapolis.
Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KO) is a former titleholder looking to get back on top. He’s won five fights in a row since losing to Badou Jack back in 2015, most recently dominating Abraham Han over 10 rounds in April 2018.
Yildirim (21-1, 12 KO) is coming over from Turkey for this fight. He’s also a winner of five straight, following an Oct. 2017 dismantling and stoppage at the hands of Chris Eubank Jr.
The co-feature is a 10-round welterweight bout between hometown favorite Jamal James (24-1, 11 KO) and Colombia’s Janer Gonzalez (19-1-1, 15 KO). James, 30, has won four straight following a 2016 loss to Yordenis Ugas, bouncing back nicely and keeping himself at least in the mix at 147. Gonzalez ran up an undefeated record at home, and is 1-1 outside of Colombia, winning a fight in Mexico in Sept. 2017 before a loss in the United States two months later to prospect Radzhab Butaev. He hasn’t fought since that Nov. 2017 fight.
Wil Esco will be on the call tonight.
- ANTHONY DIRRELL def. AVNI YILDIRIM by TD (96-94 Dirrell, 98-92 Yildirim, 96-94 Dirrell)
- JAMAL JAMES def. JANER GONZALEZ by TKO (End of Round 6)
- JEISON ROSARIO def. MARCOS HERNANDEZ by TKO (2:45 of Round 9)
ROUND BY ROUND
ANTHONY DIRRELL vs AVNI YILDIRIM
Round 1: Dirrell starts with a couple of jabs, then lands one to the body. Yildirim tries to press forward to get in range but so far Dirrell is picking him off at range. Yildirim gets Dirrell to the ropes but can’t sustain his attack as Dirrell fires off shots. Left hook to the body land for Yildirim. Yildirim tries a combination as Dirrell covers up and then Dirrell explodes with a powerful combination that gets Yildirim’s attention. Dirrell 10-9.
Round 2: Dirrell flashes the jab again to start the round, Yildirim tries to get in one downstairs. Both fighters exchange punches and Yildirim gets a left hook to the body to work for him. Jab to the head and body lands for Yildirim. Left hook to the gut lands for Dirrell this time. Dirrell counters Yildirim’s attack off the ropes with a few body punches. Yildirim steps in behind a few jabs and tries a right hand. Better round for Yildirim. Yildirim 10-9.
Round 3: Yildirim comes out aggressive and pumps a number of jabs before falling into a clinch. Hard right hand lands for Dirrell, knocking Yildirim into the ropes! Now Dirrell gets back to the jab, to the head and body. Yildirim gets Dirrell to the ropes but can’t get in any effective shots as Dirrell is able to counter. Yildirim leans on Dirrell’s head during a clinch but DIrrell finishes strong. Dirrell 10-9.
Round 4: Yildirim begins with a jab to the body that falls short. Check left hook partially lands for Dirrell. Yildirim continues to press forward but needs to find a way to do it without taking punches on the way in. Dirrell covers up on the ropes and waits for counter opportunities. Short uppercut lands for Yildirim on the inside. Jab lands for Dirrell, Yildirim still walks him back to the ropes. Dirrell fighting off the ropes and Yildirim turns and throws three short left hooks. Overhand right from Yildirim glances off Dirrell’s head. Body shot followed by a left to the body lands for Yildirim. Two more punches land for Yildirim. Yildirim 10-9, 38-38.
Round 5: Yildirim tries to pick up where he left off by pressing Dirrell and pushing him back to the ropes. Yildirim misses on three big hooks once he got Dirrell in the range he wanted. Overhand right partially lands for Dirrell, but Yildirim walks forward and throws a combination. Yildirim gets Dirrell back on the ropes and tries to work the body. Check hook lands for Dirrell. Yildirim falls in behind a wild right hand but then follows it up with a long combination at the bell. Yildirim 10-9.
Round 6: Dirrell starts out with a stiff jab but takes a Yildirim right hand. Uppercut from Dirrell just misses Yildirim, then he winds up in a clinch. Right hand lands upstairs for Yildirim. Dirrell tries to counter to the body with a couple of punches, then rattles off two more to the head. Jab to the body lands for Dirrell. I think Dirrell edged this round. Dirrell 10-9, 57-57.
Round 7: Both fighters trade to start the round, trying to break the other’s will. Jab lands for Dirrell, then a short uppercut on the inside. Yildirim lands a left hook to the body, then tries to loop one to the head. Dirrell counter with a couple of shots. Yildirim pushes Dirrell’s face with his glove to set up a shot and the referee warns him for it. Uppercut on the inside lands again for Dirrell. Dirrell lands a series if hard hooks to the body, then places a couple upstairs. Dirrell has a cut over his left eye, it’s ruled the result of a head clash. Dirrell 10-9.
Round 8: Dirrell starts with a left hook to the body, knowing he stunned Yildirim in the last round. Yildirim mounts an attack with several shots, but they’re mostly glancing. Jab lands for Dirrell. Hard left hook lands upstairs for Dirrell, then a counter uppercut to the body. Now Yildirim lands a couple of clean shots and we have a dogfight! Three body shots come in succession from Dirrell, Yildirim tries to land an overhand right. Dirrell is making a steady effort to the body but Yildirim fires back with several more shots to the head. Both fighters standing in the phone booth and trading shots. I think Dirrell takes this round ever so slightly. Dirrell 10-9, 77-75.
Round 9: Dirrell throws four jabs to start the round but Yildirim pushes him straight back to the ropes anyway, only to fall into a clinch. Yildirim comes bright back forward after the break and lands a jab on the inside. Two punches upstairs land for Yildirim. Yildirim tries a couple more hooks but Dirrell is able to defned them pretty well. Now Yildirim has Dirrell back on the ropes again and throws both hands. Several more hooks partially land on the inside for Yildirim. I think Yildirim outworked Dirrell in this round. Yildirim 10-9.
Round 10: Yildirim tries a jab to the body. Dirrell’s cut over his eye is pretty bad and there’s been talk from the doctor about stopping the fight. Combination lands for Dirrell as he catches Yildirim off guard. Dirrell taunts Yildirim, playing the matador after he makes him miss on a couple punches. Referee calls timeout to look at Dirrell’s eye. Doctor waves it off and Yildirim humps on the ropes thinking he won a stoppage. The cut was ruled as a result of a head clash so we’re going to the cards...BLH has Dirrell up 96-94, giving the partial 10th round to Dirrell.
JAMAL JAMES vs JANER GONZALEZ
Round 1: James measures before flicking the first jab which Gonzalez catches on his guard. Hard straight right hand lands upstairs for James! Gonzalez tries a looping right hand that misses. James tries another right hand but can’t land this one. Now James gets into a quick skirmish with Gonzalez and the crowd gets excited. Another right hand lands across Gonzalez’s chin, but he’s taken those punches well so far. James 10-9.
Round 2: Another jab leads the round for James. Gonzalez tries three punches that are largely blocked. Three jabs come from James as Gonzalez goes for a right hand to the body. Left hook to the body partially lands for Gonzalez. Gonzalez throws two hooks that fall short. James misses on a couple of jabs but Gonzalez can’t find the counter to land. Better round for Gonzalez but I still think James edged it. James 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: James measures with several jabs but can’t quite find the mark. James is able to keep Gonzalez on the end of his longer punches when he’s active with his jab like he is now. Overhand right misses for Gonzalez. James tries a three punch combination that is mostly blocked. Hard left hook to the body lands for Gonzalez. Now Gonzalez lands a jab followed by a left hook. Good end to the round for Gonzalez. I think he stole this round. Gonzalez 10-9.
Round 4: James lands a jab but falls in to smother his follow up attack. Right hook to the body lands for James. Gonzalez hides behind a tight guard for a stretch of time before forcing James to take the lead. Grazing right hand lands for James. Gonzalez tries to throw some power shots just before the bell but I don’t think it’s enough. James 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Gonzalez laying back and making James take the lead so he can find counter opportunities. James probes with his jab again and then Gonzalez get’s warned for a low blow. Now both fighters trade right hooks to the body. Combination from James lands well to the body and head. Right hand lands for James over the top as Gonzalez smirks at him. James 10-9.
Round 6: Jabs come to the head and body for James, who tries to keep Gonzalez at his preferred range. Left hook partially lands for James. Now James sneaks in a little uppercut on the inside. Left hook lands to the body for James, who then rushes Gonzalez and knocks him to the canvas — it’s ruled a slip. Jab lands for James and Gonzalez gets in a short punch on the inside. Now James fires off a number of punches and hurts Gonzalez to the body. Gonzalez goes down! Gonzalez gets up and the bell saves him before James can follow up. James 10-8.
Gonzalez decides to call it quits between rounds. James TKO-6.
MARCOS HERNANDEZ vs JEISON ROSARIO
Round 1: Hernandez starts the fight with three jabs, then follows it up with a couple more. Rosario tries a jab to the body. Three punch combination lands for Hernandez, ending with a left hook to the body. Now both fighters trade and land clean shots on each other. Clean right hand lands upstairs for Hernandez. Two punches from Rosario stray below the belt. Hernandez fires back as Rosario hides behind his guard. I like Hernandez in this round. Hernandez 10-9.
Round 2: Referee warns Rosario again about keeping his punches up. Uppercut from Hernandez knocks Rosario back. Now Rosario lands a right hand on Hernandez. Hernandez doubles up on a left hook to the body and head. Rosario misses on a wide left hook but lands a jab moments later. Two shots land for Hernandez but Rosario gets in one back. Close round that I edge to Hernandez. Hernandez 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: One-two partially lands for Hernandez. Hernandez gets hit with another low blow and gets a moment to compose himself. Right hand lands for Rosario. Rosario tries to establish his jab at center ring and is keeping Hernandez on the outside. Now Hernandez lands a lead left hook to the head. Clean jab lands for Rosario. I think Rosario did a pretty good job with the jab this round. Rosario 10-9.
Round 4: Hernandez leads with several jabs that don’t land clean but keep Rosario occupied. Hernandez rushes in with several power shots now but only makes partial contact. Two more hooks from Hernandez land. Now the fighters trade shots with Hernandez getting in the best shot — a left hook. Another clean left hook snaps Rosario’s head around. Short uppercut on the inside lands for Rosario, but i think Hernandez did most of the best work in this round. Hernandez 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Both fighters try to jab to the body, but neither land clean. Now Hernandez tries to bring the jab upstairs. Rosario lands a left hook to the head, and the the fighters exchange blows at mid-range. Jab lands for Rosario who then steps in and tries to follow it up. Short right hand to the body lands for Rosario. Rosario throws a double jab, landing the second. Rosario 10-9.
Round 6: Both fighters trade shots to open the round. Left hand lands to the body for Rosario. Two more body shots come from Rosario, who then tries to get in even more as he finds himself on the inside. Clean right hand lands for Rosario. Rosario steps forward again and throws a combination as Hernandez ducks and weaves. Exchange comes at the bell, with Rosario looking like he got the best of it. Rosario 10-9, 57-57.
Round 7: Rosario takes center ring and is able to get off the first jab upstairs. Short combination comes from Rosario, partially landing. Another combination comes from Rosario and land a little better this time. Hernandez fires back a hook as Rosario attacks and both fighters eat some leather. Shot left to the body lands for Rosario. Hernandez now has a cut over his right eye. Another three-punch combination comes from Rosario. Hernandez isn’t fighting back as much, looking like he’s tiring. Rosario 10-9.
Round 8: Rosario starts with another jab to begin the round. Hernandez is able to land a little left hook after he flashes two jabs. Jab lands again for Hernandez. Rosario stalks Hernandez to the ropes and strafes him to the body and head with a number of shots. Both fighters exchange and both land on one another. Sharp jab lands for Hernandez now. Rosario tries to take the play away by getting his jab off first at range, and the lands a left hook. Rosario 10-9, 77-75.
Round 9: Rosario comes out quick with a combination before Hernandez can get started. Blood streams down Hernandez’s nose after Rosario lands another clean jab. Hernandez is trying to dig deep and throw punches but most of them are ineffective. Left hook to the chin lands clean on Hernandez, backing him up. HARD LEFT HOOK DROPS HERNANDEZ! Hernandez beats the count and wants to continue. Rosario humps on him with a flurry of punches and the referee jumps in to stop the fight. Hernandez collapses as he’s devastated by the stoppage loss. Rosario TKO-9.