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Andre Dirrell and Julian Williams to return on Morrell vs Yerbossynuly prelims

Veterans Andre Dirrell and Julian Williams return to the ring on Saturday.

Andre Dirrell will return to the ring this Saturday against Yunieski Gonzalez
Andre Dirrell will return to the ring this Saturday against Yunieski Gonzalez
Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Veterans Andre Dirrell and Julian “J-Rock” Williams will both be back in action on Saturday, and their fights will air on the Morrell vs Yerbossynuly prelims stream on Showtime’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

The stream will also feature a third fight between Kent Cruz and Enriko Gogokhia, a rematch of a draw they had in February.

The 39-year-old Dirrell (28-3, 18 KO) hasn’t had a really serious fight since 2018, when he lost to Jose Uczategui in a rematch, the fight stopped after eight rounds. He and his team sort of disgraced themselves after that one, too, but no one much cares about that stuff. The bigger thing is Dirrell has not seemed particularly interested in having a career where he’s trying to do much in years, but he has won his last two, and was last seen in a July 2021 win over Christopher Brooker.

This will be a tougher matchup, as Dirrell will be facing Yunieski Gonzalez (21-4, 17 KO) in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Cuba’s Gonzalez is 37, so he’s similarly old, and was last out in Dec. 2018, giving Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez a fight but also clearly losing, and getting stopped in round 10. Notably otherwise, he was trounced in three by Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2017, and lost back-to-back fights to Jean Pascal and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in 2015. But he’s a legit 175 lber, and he can punch.

The 32-year-old Williams (27-3-1, 16 KO) won three 154 lb titles with an upset over Jarrett Hurd in 2019, but immediately lost them in an upset to Jeison Rosario eight months later at the start of 2020. He didn’t fight again until Oct. 2021, when he returned and was upset again by Vladimir Hernandez.

“J-Rock” will be trying to get right against Rolando Mansilla (18-11-1, 8 KO), a 36-year-old from Argentina who has lost two straight and four of his last six, and has no really credible wins in his career. Williams vs Mansilla will be set for eight rounds at middleweight.

Kent Cruz (16-0-2, 10 KO) is a 29-year-old from St. Louis, a junior welterweight who is neither prospect nor contender, really, taking the return bout with 31-year-old Georgian (country not state) Enriko Gogokhia (13-0-1, 8 KO), who is also neither prospect nor contender. But it’s well-matched; they had the draw on the Thurman vs Barrios prelims earlier this year, and this should at least be competitive again.

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage for Morrell vs Yerbossynuly on Saturday, Nov. 5, with the main card starting at 9 pm ET on Showtime, and the prelims beginning at 6:30 pm ET on social media, live and free.

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