By Eric Duran
On April 25, WBC Super Middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell will defend his title against Badou Jack live from the UIC Pavilion Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Warriors Promotions in association with Mayweather Promotions will collaborate with Spike TV for a night of World Championship boxing live on American basic cable and satellite programming. Dirrell is represented by Al Haymon while Jack is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.
Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1, 22 KOs), 30, of Flint, Michigan, will make his first title defense of the WBC strap. Dirrell defeated Sakio Bika by 12 round unanimous decision in August of 2014. It was a rematch to their action-packed, back and forth, draw in 2013. Although a close fight, Dirrell felt he edged Bika for the title.
In their rematch, Dirrell used his superior boxing skills to defeat Bika by unanimous decision. Bika, the rough and rugged fighter that he is, was deducted a point in round eight for a low blow. It was an emotional victory for Dirrell, after beating lymphoma cancer in 2008 and provided a climax to a long, battled tested road to a championship.
Badou Jack (18-1-1, 12 KOs), 31, comes from Stockholm, Sweden, and now resides in Las Vegas, NV. Jack represented his father’s home country at the 2008 Olympics. Jack was considered one of boxing’s biggest prospects heading into 2014. However, 2014 didn’t start off well for the fighter as he was stopped in the first round against Derek Edwards.
In the Edwards fight, Jack was caught with a short, counter right hand just 30 seconds into the round. Jack was able to beat the count and continue but he was visibly still shaken from the knockdown. Moments later, Jack was lying face first on the canvas via another short right hand. After stumbling to his feet, referee Charlie Fitch had seen enough, stopping the bout at 1:01 of the first round. Jack has since racked up back to back victories, defeating Jason Escalera and Francisco Sierra.
The winner of Dirrell vs Jack will be required to make a mandatory defense against Britain’s George Groves. Dirrell was given an extension to defend his title, as long as he did so by April. Groves is 2-2 in his last four fights, including back to back losses to WBA and IBF Super Middleweight World Champion, Carl Froch.