Boxing


Detroit Ring Legend Tommy Hearns Is Supporting Dirrell, Buts Says Tonight's Fight With Abraham Could Go Either Way

abraham dirrellby James Slater - Though Andre Dirrell hails from Flint, Michigan, and will box his Detroit debut tonight, The Motor City will surely accept him as their newest boxing hero if he manages to defeat the mighty Arthur Abraham in the latest instalment of the "Super-Six" super-middleweight Boxing Classic tournament.

Having trained for tonight's big fight at the legendary Kronk gym, the gifted switch-hitter who goes by the nickname of "The Matrix" has also enjoyed some support and encouragement from two Kronk heroes of yesteryear - the legendary Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns and William "Caveman" Lee.

Hearns was at the weigh-in for the big fight and, after being given a rapturous round of applause and briefly speaking about how much the city of Detroit means to him, the former multi-weight world champion gave his take on Dirrell Vs. Abraham..

"It will be real close," Hearns told The Detroit Free Press. "I like both fighters, but I've got to go with Andre. He's got the skill and moves. But anyone can win this. You've got to come and fight the right fight."

Hearns, looking great in a smart suit, also recalled his own initial world title-win, when he made Detroit so proud by blasting out the fearsome Pipino Cuevas to win the WBA welterweight crown in August of 1980 - a win that both thrilled and served to restore pride to The Motor City. Can Dirrell score a great win of his own in the city tonight?

One other Detroit legend who thinks so is Caveman Lee; who said he also expects a good fight, but a wining one for "The Matrix."

"It's going to be a good fight," said the man who once challenged middleweight king Marvellous Marvin Hagler. "Abraham is a slugger and is very strong. But I like the home team. Andre will outbox him. I think it will be Dirrell by decision."

As for the two fighters themselves, both men are full of confidence and are assuring victory. Can Dirrell, with his tricky style, offset the bigger puncher, score punches of his own to get respect and come on to win on points? Or will the physically stronger Abraham prove to be way too powerful, too rock solid and too determined to allow the local man to box his fight?

In a few hours, we will have our answer!

One thought that did occur to me, when reading about the great Hearns, though, was how superb a "Super-Six" tournament would have been had there been one back in Tommy's 168-pound days. Imagine "The Hitman," who battled guys like Sugar Ray Leonard, James Kinchen and the like at the weight, going up against Abraham, Dirrell, Carl Froch and the other Boxing Classic entrants. How would Hearns have done against today's best 168-pounders? I have my opinion, and I think Tommy would have done pretty well to say the least.

Article posted on 27.03.2010



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