If you are like most of the world’s boxing fans, you’re waiting with anticipation for next weekend’s middleweight title pay-per view card featuring Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan (or just waiting for it to be over). Nine days is still a long time to wait, but this is a weekend filled with a few super-middleweight contests in the mean time to keep you occupied. Let’s take a look at these bouts that will have to satiate or boxing taste buds.
- Friday night (4/29), Spike TV will be airing a card featuring Flint Michigan’s Dirrell brothers.Andre Dirrell (24-2 16KO) will be taking on Australia’s Blake Caparello (22-1-1 6KO) in a 10 round bout. Caparello comes into this fight on a three fight win streak following the only loss of his career against Sergey Kovalev in a match at the light heavyweight division. After the loss, Caparello made a move down in weight and looks to put himself into world title contention with a win over Dirrell. On his end, Dirrell breaks almost a year of inactivity to get back in the win column after a loss to IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale. The winner of this contest will find themselves in a good position for a higher profile fight, and potentially a title shot.
- In the feature bout, Anthony Dirrell (28-1 22KO) will be taking on former middleweight world title challenger Caleb Truax (26-2-2 16KO). Dirrell looks to build off of his win over Marco Antonio Rubio towards another world title shot. Last April, Dirrell narrowly fell short in his world title bout against Badou Jack. Truax is new to the super-middleweight division and wants to make an immediate statement with a win.
Saturday, Showtime is airing the world titlists of the super-middleweight division in separate fights.
- First, we have IBF champion James “Chunky” DeGale (22-1 14KO)making his way from England to defend his belt against Mexico’s Rogelio Medina (36-6 30KO). The Champion enters the ring on a twelve fight win streak, including recent wins over Lucian Bute and Andre Dirrell. The challenger, Medina, is on a four fight streak himself, sporting an impressive knockout over J’Leon Love.
- The main event features WBC champion Badou Jack (20-1 12KO) defends his belt against former champion Lucian Bute (32-3 25KO). Jack won the title in April of 2015 against Anthony Dirrell, and has since made a successful defense against England’s George Groves. Bute managed to look so impressive in his last fight, a decision defeated to James DeGale, that he managed to land in this title bout (only in boxing). Bute has had a rough few years in his career, and this may be his final chance to get another belt.
While none of these fights look extremely competitive on the surface (save Jack vs. Bute) they all have the potential to be entertaining. The winners of Friday’s fights could find themselves in a position to challenge the winners of Saturday’s bouts (or optimally, we will see them in a unification bout). This time around, I will have to go with the crowd and predict wins from Andre Dirrell (Dec.), Anthony Dirrell (KO), James DeGale (KO) and Jack (Dec.). The Jack/Bute bout however, has the potential to be an interesting fight depending on how much Bute has left in the tank.
Also Saturday night on Fox, Victor Ortiz will take on Andre Berto in a welterweight rematch. This fight may be fun to watch, and is a true tossup in my opinion, but I don’t view either fight as a major player in the world scene at Welterweight. I’ll call this one for Berto by knockout.
Do you agree with my predictions, or do you think we will see an upset? Indulge me with your opinions and predictions on Twitter @TheGreatToddMan or comment below.