Boxing


Andre Dirrell: “I believe Abraham is easily beatable”

Andre Dirrellby Geoffrey Ciani & Jenna J - This past week’s edition of On the Ropes featured exclusive interviews with Andre Dirrell, Kevin McBride, Vivian Harris, and Michael Oliveria. Highlighting this episode was a nice conversation with Super Six participant, Andre Dirrell. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Regarding his injury that delayed his upcoming fight with Arthur Abraham three weeks:
“Well, it’s fine. The past week I sustained a back injury and I didn’t want to risk the fight so that’s the reason why it was postponed. I went to the doctor to make sure everything was okay. I just pretty much threw my back out and we’re working on that right now.”

On whether or not he believes he will be prepared on March 27 with the injury:
“I’m hoping that will be the case. I know for certain this fight will go on but I’m hoping that’s the case. I’m hoping we can get in there as soon as possible because I’m in shape, I’m working hard, and I’m ready to show the world what I can do..



Regarding his controversial split decision loss against Carl Froch in round 1 of the Super Six:
“The decision still bothers me a little. I have that loss on my record, you know. I look at it, and I move forward with confidence. Like everyone says, most people believe I won the fight and I do as well. I put in the work and I put in the time, but unfortunately I did not come out with the victory. I’m moving forward now and the world’s going to see how I respond and I know it’s going to be with excellence.”

On what he could have done differently against Froch:
“Well I actually could have threw more punches on the inside. I was focused on making sure he didn’t get his punches in on inside and that was the major mistake that I actually made in that fight.”

Regarding whose first round victory most impressed him: Andre Ward or Arthur Abraham:
“Andre Ward—and I’m sure I speak for everyone in the boxing world when I say that. He showed an excellent performance, he went in there with a solid game plan, and he came out victorious. (Mikkel) Kessler was one of the favorites and Ward got in there and made him look like a little boy.”

On his scheduled third round match-up against Andre Ward:
“You have boxer against boxer. I take more chances, he’s more careful so we both go in there with a solid game plan but I believe it’s going to be an excellent fight and it’s something the crowd is going to be interested to see.”

His views on the upcoming fight between Froch and Kessler:
“I’m really not too focused on that fight but I said that before I fought Froch that I don’t believe he’s going to beat Kessler. He has a better chance against Abraham if you ask me but I don’t see him beating Kessler. Kessler’s a great boxer, still, and his confidence is still going to be through the roof knowing what’s at stake in this tournament. Everybody’s coming a little bit stronger and a little bit harder. I’m not counting Froch out at all, but I believe Kessler’s just the better man.”

His views on the upcoming second round fight between Andre Ward and Allan Green:
“Allan Green’s coming in this tournament full-fledged. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He knows this is a gift, so I’m thinking he’s going to take it and run with it—not the victory. I believe Andre Ward will come out with the victory, but who knows, simply because the determination that Allan Green has coming into this tournament is through the roof. I know he’s going to come hard, I know it’s going to be a great fight, but I do see Ward pulling off a slight victory.”

His views on Abraham’s victory against Jermain Taylor:
“It was good. It was Arthur Abraham. You see him every fight fighting the same way. He’s a careful puncher, he has great defense—it’s really hard to break, but if you make all the right moves and you utilize the ring then I believe he’s easily beatable. Not just with me, but with any boxer who’s disciplined enough to get in there and be able to handle that style for twelve rounds. I thought it was a good performance from Jermain Taylor as well, and unfortunately, the reason why Jermain got knocked out as we all know is that he stood right there like he was stuck on the mat. He stood right in front of him before the knockdown. He wasn’t supposed to give him that opportunity. If he wouldn’t have gave him that opportunity it would have been a decision for Abraham, but he stood there and gave Abraham the shot and that’s what caused Jermain Taylor’s demise.”

On what he perceives as an advantage in his fight against Abraham:
“Quickness and my ability to counter punch two or three times better than any opponent he’s ever faced. I’m going in there with confidence, like I said, and I’m just ready to get in there and show the world what I can do.”

On what he considers to be Arthur Abraham’s greatest asset:
“He’s explosive. I mean he’s explosive and he’s undefeated, so he’s super confident. He hits hard, he’s explosive. Any one punch can end the fight—I know that won’t happen. You don’t fight too many fighters with the explosiveness that Arthur Abraham has. He knows how to come out of that shell real fast, he’s quick with the hooks he throws, and he’s definitely an explosive fighter so you have to be careful.”

On whether he intends to take advantage of Abraham’s notoriously slow starts:
“If that does come about. Who knows how he’s going to start when he gets in there and faces me. I’m young, he knows I have great foot movement, and he knows I can get out of there. So he might press his luck early and that’s what I’m getting prepared for. I’m not getting prepared for him for the last six rounds with Arthur Abraham, I’m getting ready for the full twelve.”

His prediction for his fight with Abraham:
“I’ll come out with the victory. That’s my prediction.”

***

We also a very interesting discussion with former Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin McBride. Here are some excerpts from that interview:

Regarding his future plans:
““I lost a few fights and like Cinderella Man, the movie Cinderella Man, I hope to make a big come back and fight this year and fulfill my dream and be the first born Irish heavyweight champion of the world.”

On his last fight with Andrew Golota:
“The first round I went in there and wanted to take care of business with Andrew Golota. After the first round, he wanted to quit on his stool I heard after that fight, but the result of the fight, I lost of course in the sixth round. I wasn’t in shape like I was when I fought Tyson but I gave it my best. I take my hat off to Golota, he won.”

Regarding his unusual tale during his encounter with Mike Tyson:
“I did what I had to do. I handled him. Even in the sixth round, he hit me so hard and I looked at him and said, ‘Is that all you got?’ and that’s when he got frustrated. He started head butting me and trying to break me down, and he actually tried to bite my nipple off, I don’t know what round it was….”

Resuming that previous thought after being interrupted for clarification:
“I had teeth marks on my chest. It was the most excruciating pain I ever went through in a fight. You know, I’ve been knocked down and knocked out and knocked on the ground, but that there in the fight—there’s no defense for biting.”

General views on his fight with Tyson:
“I had teeth marks on my chest. It was the most excruciating pain I ever went through in a fight. You know, I’ve been knocked down and knocked out and knocked on the ground, but that there in the fight—there’s no defense for biting.”

Regarding a potential fight against one of the Klitschko Brothers:
“I think the Klitschkos are remarkable fighters. They train hard, but also, they’ve been put to the floor as well. I believe that when I’m making a comeback that if Klitschko understands me, and if anybody understands me, let’s get that fight on, because I believe I have the power to knock Wladimir or his brother out.”

***

We also had an opportunity to speak with undefeated prospect Michael Oliveira who was widely viewed as the ‘heir apparent’ to fellow Brazilian pugilist Acelino Freitas. Here are some of the things Oliveira had to say:

On when he feels he will be ready for a major title shot:
“I see myself going for a title shot at most a year and a half, a year to a year in a half.”

His thoughts on Manny Pacquiao as a fighter:
“I think Manny Pacquiao in one of the greatest fighters we've seen, also his velocity , his strength—there are not many people that I think now in boxing will be able keep up with him.”

Regarding Pacquiao vs.Joshua Clottey:
“I think that Joshua Clottey does not know what is coming—what he's getting himself into. Everyone said Manny Pacquiao versus Miquel Cotto was going to be a pretty even fight and Manny Pacquiao made him look like he was beginning.”

His Prediction for that fight:
“I think Manny Pacquiao is going to win by knockout on the 6th round.”

***

Finally, we also had a good discussion with former WBA junior welterweight champion Vivian Harris. Harris was recently stopped in very controversial fashion last weekend in Mexico against Lucas Matthysse. Here are some things he had to say:

Regarding his controversial stoppage loss against Matthyssee:
“It wasn’t a punch that stunned me or nothing like that. It was just something that got threw and I tried not to get hit again with it and then the ref just got between us and stopped the fight. I didn’t even know what was going on when the referee stopped it.”

Regarding the outcome of the fight:
“They have to turn the decision around into a ‘no contest’ because that was definitely not a stoppage, it was not a knockdown, and I was not hurt. They have to overturn the decision and once they overturn the decision we can have the rematch.”

On the success he celebrated early in the 4th round:
“I think what I did is the same thing I did in the first round—boxing. You know what I mean? Moving around the ring—boxing, sticking the jab, and moving.”

***

If you missed last week’s special edition of On the Ropes, be sure to tune in and listen now!

***

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***

To contact Geoffrey Ciani or Jenna J:
ontheropes@eastsideboxing.com

To read more by Ciani or Jenna please visit The Mushroom Mag:
http//www.eatthemushroom.com/mag

Article posted on 27.02.2010



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