By: William Holmes
On Sunday afternoon former Super Middleweight title holder Anthony Dirrell will look to rebound from a tough loss to Badou Jack against former middleweight title challenger Marco Antonio Rubio. This bout will be featured on CBS as a part of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series and will take place at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Jamie McDonell and Tomoki Kameda will open up the televised portion of the undercard in a rematch of the scintillating bout in which McDonnell barely edged out Kameda for the WBA Bantamweight title.
The following is a preview of both of the televised bouts.
Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1) vs. Tomoki Kameda (31-1); WBA Regular Bantamweight Title
These two met in the ring in May of 2015 in which McDonnell was able to come back from a third round knockdown to edge Kameda by one point in all three scorecards. It was an action packed bout that featured over 800 power punches thrown by both men combined.
McDonnell will have a three inch height advantage and a large six inch reach advantage over Kameda. Kameda does have an edge in age and power. He’s five years younger than McDonnell and has nineteen stoppages, while McDonnell has only stopped twelve of his opponents. However, McDonnell has stopped four of his past five opponents while Kameda has only stopped one of his past five opponents.
Kameda has the edge in amateur experience, as he was training for the Beijing Olympics but was considered too young to compete in the Olympic Qualifier. He also comes from a strong boxing family, as his two brothers, Koki Kameda and Daiki Kameda, are championship caliber boxers. Tomoki Kameda also traings out of Mexica and has been training there since he was fifteen years old.
Prior to his fight with Kameda, McDonnell has spent his entire career fighting in the United Kingdom. His list of notable defeated opponents include Javier Nicolas Chacon, Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat, Julio Ceja, and Stuart Hall.
Kameda is a world traveler and has fought all over the globe. He has fought in the United States, Mexico, the Philippines,and Japan. He has defeated the likes of Pungluang Sor Singyu, Immanuel Naidjala, Paulus Ambunda, and Alejandro Hernandez.
This should be another bout that features a high volume of punches and a knockdown or two, but the reach of McDonnell gave Kameda problems in their first bout and it’s likely to happen again. If Kameda shows problems with the reach of McDonnell early on, it’s going to be a long fight for him.
Anthony Dirrell (27-1-1) vs. Marco Antonio Rubio (59-7-1); Super Middleweights
Anthony Dirrell is the younger brother of Andre Dirrell and both are talented boxers, though Anthony has slightly more power.
Dirrell had a successful amateur career and had over 190 amateur bouts. He also recovered from non-hodgkins lymphoma and completed chemotherapy in 2008.
Dirrell and Rubio have similar stoppage percentages. He has twenty two knockouts but only one of his past five fights ended by stoppage. Marco Antonio Rubio has fifty one knockouts, and three of his past five fights resulted in a stoppage, but they came against inferior competition.
Dirrell will have about a four inch height advantage and three inch reach advantage on Rubio. He also has the edge in hand speed and defensive boxing skills.
Rubio has been in three world title fights, but has never won one. His big wins have come against David Lemieux, Jorge Vaca, Frankie Randall, and Carlos Baldomir. His notable losses were to Kassim Ouma, Kelly Pavlik, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and he got crushed by current middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
Dirrell’s lone loss was a close majority decision loss to Badou Jack in April of this year. He has defeated the likes of Sakio Bika, Anthony Hanshaw, Renan St. Juste, and Kevin Engel.
Rubio has a better resume as a professional than Dirrell, but he loses nearly every fight in which he had stepped up in competition. Rubio is also thirty five years old, has spent most of his career fighting in the smaller divisions, and is coming off of a devastating stoppage loss.
This fight is Dirrell’s to lose, but Rubio has the experience to keep Dirrell on his toes.
Here is what the participants had to say Thursday:
“Training was great. No complaints. It was a fantastic camp and all the hard work is done.
“I know Rubio is a great fighter. He’s fought the big names and he’s a great veteran. I’m excited to get in the ring with him.
“I was flat last fight. No excuses. Everyone has their days. You can’t pick and choose, it just happens. Anybody that knows me knows that I don’t fight like that. It’s in the past and I’m ready to fight Rubio.
“I did some more sparring earlier in the camp and that got me into a good rhythm. I’m sharp now and our plan has worked great. Now it’s just about bringing it to the ring on fight day and putting on a show.
“I’m looking to go out there and do what I do, which is send people to the doghouse. Whether it’s a statement or not, I just want the victory.”
MARCO ANTONIO RUBIO
“I have put all my effort into this training camp. We’re prepared to fight Dirrell. He’s tall, he’s strong and he’s very difficult in the ring. I have prepared the way I was supposed to. I love the challenge of a tough opponent.
“I was physically tired after my last fight after so many years in boxing. I always knew I would come back, because boxing is my life. I’ve been working for 5 months to get back in shape and I am in great shape.
“It was hard to make 160 for the last two or three fights. I left too much in the sauna to make weight. But now at 168 I feel great. This won’t affect my punching power. It’s something new that I’m looking forward to.
“I’ve had the right sparring partners this camp. I’m in good shape and I definitely have the right strategy for this fight.
“I am coming back at full strength. I see more big fights in the future. I feel great and ready to take on all other fighters.”