Veteran boxer Andre Dirrell returns to the ring on Saturday for the time since March 2018.
Dirrell, a veteran contender in the 168-pound division, holds a 33-2-1 record with 24 knockouts. The Flint, Michigan native also won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics.
The southpaw who is the brother to two-time champion Anthony Dirrell sat down with me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast and discussed a myriad of topics including he and his family’s relationship with late great Muhammad Ali, as well as his thoughts on Mike Tyson’s legacy and Sporting News’ Women’s Boxing Athlete of the Decade, Claressa Shields.
Andre Dirrell vs. Andre Ward: The Fight That Should Have Been
Ward was one of the best to ever do it. He retired with an undefeated record and held multiple world titles in two weight classes, including the unified WBA (Super), WBC, Ring magazine, and lineal super middleweight titles between 2009 and 2015; and the unified WBA (Undisputed), IBF, WBO, and Ring light-heavyweight titles between 2016 and 2017.
During his reign as light heavyweight champion, Ward was ranked as the world’s best active boxer, pound for pound, by The Ring magazine and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB). He was also labeled as the world’s best active boxer in the division by The Ring, the TBRB, and BoxRec.
Ward retired with a 32-0 record with 16 knockouts. Ward and Dirrell had a chance to fight in 2010, but it wound up never happening.
Dirrell says that it’s a regret that he still has. We discussed it at length.
Check out a snippet from our conversation below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: In 2010, October 7th you were apart of the super six boxing classic. You declined to face eventual super six winner Andre Ward because of neurological issues. That’s your friend, I imagine it’s difficult to go against a friend. You understand the strengths and weaknesses of each other. Knowing family and some more. Does that bother you that you didn’t get a chance to fight in the super six in 2010?
Andre Dirrell: “It does. Mainly because the world wants to see it and unfortunately it didn’t happen. At that time, Andre Ward and I weren’t as close as everybody presumed we were. It was just that I had to realize the issue and found it important at the time. I’ve grown to be that friend to Andre Ward and vise versa. Always giving me advice, we’re always on the phone. He’s a great guy and that definitely would’ve been a performance to see from both of us. Something that I’m pretty pissed off I missed out on myself.”
How Would Andre Ward vs. Andre Dirrell Fight Play Out?
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: In your mind, it’ll be an easy journalistic question as to who would win. If I asked him who’d win, he’d say he will. If I ask you who’d win you’d say you would. More of a complex question: If you guys fought, how do you see it playing out? Would it go 12 rounds? How would it happen?
Andre Dirrell: “If me and him (Andre Ward) were to step in the ring, I would believe you guys be amazed at both of our performances. I was a technical boxer at the time, and so was he, a technical boxer, up until his retirement. I learned a lot from him, watched him grow to be the man that he is today and I want to pay homage to his career. To not be able to step foot in the ring with him is a disappointing moment on my part. It’s more on me than him (Ward) – he’s accomplished so much.”
“So when it comes to speaking on who’d win or how the fight would go I don’t really want to speak too much on it. I just want to say that he’s been a very helpful friend with a very luscious career. I’ve had a blessed career myself and God has given us our path we have chosen them. We walk with pride.”