Former super middleweight world titleholder Anthony Dirrell has not fought in his hometown since 2011, but that is about to change.
Dirrell will square off with Denis Douglin in the scheduled 10-round main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on Nov. 17 (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 10:30 p.m. ET) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Center in Flint, Michigan, TGB Promotions president Tom Brown said Wednesday.
Dirrell, 32, knocked out 2000 U.S. Olympian Dante Craig in the fifth round in Flint in 2011 in his last hometown fight. The bout will only be Dirrell’s third hometown fight since turning pro in 2005.
“Anthony Dirrell headlining in his hometown of Flint will be a great treat for boxing fans in the area,” Brown said. “This is something that Anthony Dirrell has wanted for a long time, and I’m sure that he is going to be at his absolute best and look to really impress in front of his fans on Nov. 17. He will have a tough challenge from the strong Denis Douglin, but if he’s able to get by him, we could see Anthony Dirrell fighting for a world title in the very near future.”
Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs) won a 168-pound world title by unanimous decision in 2014 against Sakio Bika in a rematch of their title fight that had ended in a draw. However, Dirrell lost his belt by majority decision in his first defense against Badou Jack in April 2015.
Dirrell has fought only three times since. But he won each bout.
“Douglin has fought a lot of good fighters and I respect him, but he’s standing in the way of my title shot,” Dirrell said. “This is a chance for me to showcase my skills. I’m going for a stoppage, and I think I’m going to get it in the middle rounds. I want to put on a great performance and give the fans something to see. I’m going to get the job done.”
Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs), a 29-year-old southpaw from Marlboro, New Jersey, has not fought since August 2016, when he suffered a 10th-round knockout to David Benavidez — who went on to win a super middleweight world title last month.
“I’ve taken a lot of fights on short notice and that’s hurt me in the past, but I’ve had ample time and a great training camp to prepare for this fight,” Douglin said. “I think Dirrell has a problem with guys who aren’t afraid of him and who will actually give him a fight. With my style and determination, I’m going to bring a lot more than he’s expecting. I’m going to bring it for 10 rounds, and I know I’ll have my arm raised at the end of the day.”
In the eight-round welterweight co-feature, southpaws Jamontay Clark (12-0, 7 KOs), 23, of Cincinnati, and Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs), 28, a Brooklyn, New York-based Ukrainian, will square off in a rematch of their action-packed eight-rounder on June 30, when Clark won a controversial decision. Clark was awarded the decision by scores of 77-75, 77-75 and a shockingly wide 79-73.
In an eight-round bout that will open the telecast, junior welterweight Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (14-1, 9 KOs), 25, of Houston, will face Kareem Martin (9-1-1, 3 KOs), 22, of Washington, D.C.