Dirrell title defense on hold for now
Current World Boxing Council (WBC) Middleweight titleholder Anthony Dirrell is still on the road to recovery as he still sidelined with an eye injury.
In an interview with Mlive.com, Dirrell while attending a celebration honoring undisputed women’s world champion Claressa Shields this past weekend stated that his return to the ring won’t be back more than likely until September. He had won the vacant title back in February on a controversial technical decision from an accidental headbutt against Avni Yildirim.
That fight against Yildirim was stopped in the tenth round because of a nasty gash above Dirrell’s left eye. The cut happened in the seventh round by an accidental head butt but the gash worsened as the fight went on, forcing the referee to stop the bout and to be settled by the judges. The judges had it 96-94,96-94 for Dirrell, while Yildirim was winning on one card 98-92.
ICYMI: Anthony Dirrell reclaims WBC Super Middleweight World Title with a hard-earned technical decision win over Turkey's Avni Yildirim last night in an exciting 168-LB scrap at @ArmoryMn in Minneapolis, MN on #PBConFS1. #DirrellYildirim
READ RECAP ?: https://t.co/xUvo444M5Z pic.twitter.com/QsXNmfUbgG
— PBC (@premierboxing) February 24, 2019
“We’re still trying to let my eye heal,” Dirrell told MLive. “I want to let the scar tissue and everything that’s in the eye heal properly before I get in there and fight but we’ll have something soon.
The WBC has ordered Dirrell to face David Benavidez next. However, any unification bout would take precedence over the mandatory defense based on rules by the WBC. It has been well speculated that Dirrell would take on current International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Caleb Plant, who was on hand working the broadcast of his fight against Yildirim that aired on Fox Sports 1.
In regards to who is next up for him to face, Dirrell isn’t sure what that will be as of yet.
“You think of the fight ahead of you,” he said to MLive. “I don’t even know who I’m fighting yet ahead of me. After that fight, you think of the next guy. You don’t look past that.”
We’ll find out who down the line who but as he assured MLive, “The money’s got to be right.”