Dirrell is out for BLOOD. pic.twitter.com/MD8nsFhNsr— PBC (@premierboxing) February 24, 2019
It had been a long four years for Anthony Dirrell, but after everything he’s endured outside of the ring, the Flint, Michigan native can finally call himself world champion again.
Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) outslugged Turkey’s Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) in a hard-fought scrap for nearly 10 rounds in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Fox Sports 1 Saturday night to win the WBC super middleweight title. The two combatants fought in a virtual phone booth for the vast majority of the contest, both landing clean punches to the head and body in scattered bursts of action inside the Minneapolis Armory in Minneapolis.
Dirrell suffered a nasty laceration above his left eye late in the ninth round after the two accidentally clashed heads [Dirrell was already cut around that same eye earlier in the contest]. Sensing the fight was in jeopardy from the gash, “The Dog” jumped on his figurative bike in the 10th, but the referee eventually halted the contest to have the wound examined. The ringside physician deemed the cut too severe and called off the fight, which sent the duel to the judges.
The fight was as close as they come, and the official verdict mirrored that. One judge saw it in favor of Yildirim 98-92, but that tally was offset by the other two officials who both had it 96-94 for Dirrell. The technical split decision win allowed Dirrell to recapture the WBC super middleweight title, a belt he won in August of 2014 but lost the following April.
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