For 2004 Olympic Boxing Medalists, Amateur Ties Run Deep
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – When 2004 Olympic champion Andre Ward (Oakland, Calif.), the last boxing gold medalist, took the ring for his first world title fight in November, he enjoyed a familiar face sitting ringside. Ward’s Olympic teammate and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, Andre Dirrell (Flint, Mich.), traveled across the country to Oakland for Ward’s WBA title bout with Mikkel Kessler (Denmark) in November to show support for Ward’s biggest professional bout. “You did it in Athens and you’re going to do it again tonight,” Dirrell told Ward before the fight as the two visited before Ward headed to the arena..
Article posted on 26.03.2010
Tomorrow night, when Dirrell steps through the ropes for his super middleweight clash with Arthur Abraham (Germany), Ward will return the favor, journeying to Detroit for Dirrell’s big night. The 2004 Olympic gold medalist believes Dirrell will rise to the large stage he is stepping onto on Saturday night. “I look for Dirrell to have his coming out party,” Ward said.
The two Andres are now potential future competitors as participants in the SHOWTIME Super Six World Boxing Classic, which once again pits them against international foes similar to their Olympic experience. For now, however, their amateur bond supersedes a possible future match-up between the duo, and the two are supporting one another as they rise through the professional ranks.
In addition to the two Andres, Dirrell reached out 2004 Olympic flyweight Ron Siler (Cincinnati, Ohio) offering him the opportunity to compete on the card, which will take place on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
When many professional boxing fans tune in to watch the current stars of the sport, few know the lifelong bonds and friendships that the boxers have with their fellow boxers, which many have known since they were as young as eight-years-old. The sport of amateur boxing provides not only a learning and education process in the boxing ring, but also the chance for young men and women to develop relationships and friendships with their peers despite their addresses spanning the country. For those boxers who competed on national teams and traveled the world together as amateur boxers, the bonds they forged and memories they created stay with them for a lifetime.
Dirrell will face Abraham on Saturday, March 27 at Joe Louis Arena, and the bout will be broadcast on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). This weekend, SHOWTIME is offering a free preview and will therefore be available to those who don’t currently subscribe to the network. Tickets for the event, start at only $28 and can be purchased through www.tickemaster.com.
USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). It is responsible for the selection and management of the United States Olympic Boxing Team, and for the governance and oversight of USA Boxing’s national organization of 38,000 members, 1,400 individual boxing clubs, and 1,600 sanctioned events annually.
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