Anthony Dirrell vs Avni Yildirim Preview Feb. 23rd
Former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell of Flint, Michigan will try to regain the title when he takes on Avni Yildirim of Turkey at the Minneapolis Armory in Minnesota this Saturday, Feb. 23rd. The 12-round bout can be seen live in North America on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes. Dirrell last fought in April of 2018 when he beat Abraham Han via a 10-round unanimous decision. Yildirim’s last fight took place in when he beat Lolenda Mock by a 12-round majority decision to retain his WBC International Super Middleweight Title.
Dirrell vs Yildirim Betting Odds
- Avni Yildirim +495
- Anthony Dirrell -620
The 34-year-old Dirrell will enter the ring with a fine record of 32-1-1 along with 24 Kos. He’s a good boxer, but not quite in the upper echelon or elite class at the moment. His best performances have come against Caleb Truax, Marco Antonio Rubio and Sakio Bika, who he fought on two occasions. Dirrell fought to a 12-round draw with Bika in their first meeting in December, 2013 and then took Bika’s WBC crown via unanimous decision the next time out in August of 2014. However, Dirrell then lost the crown to Sweden’s Badou Jack by majority decision in April of 2015.
His next fight was a 10-round unanimous decision over Rubio five months later. Dirrell is big for the 168 lb as he division stands just over 6-feet-2-inches tall and has a 74.5-inch reach. He’s beaten everybody he’s faced other than Jack and has an impressive knockout rate of 72 per cent. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma back in 2007 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments for close to two years before fighting again. Dirrell turned pro back in 2005 and has fought 140 rounds since then.
The 27-year-old Yildirim beat American Derek Edwards by unanimous decision last March for the WBC International Super Middleweight Title in Cologne, Germany. He enters the bout with a mark of 21-1 with 12 Kos. He was knocked out in the third round by former IBO Champion Chris Eubank jr. in the World Boxing Super Series in October, 2017 for the only loss of his career. Yildirim turned pro back in 2014 and has fought 122 rounds since then. He has decent good power with a current knockout ratio of 55 per cent, but has been taken the distance in three of his last four outings.
Yildirim stands 5-feet-11-inches tall with a reach of 70 inches so he gives up three inches in height and 2.5 inches in reach to Dirrell. He’s beaten the likes of Marco Antonio Periban, Glen Johnson, Zoltan Sera, Aaron Pryor Jr., Walter Sequeira, Schiller Hyppolite and Junior Jackson. His opponents haven’t been too bad experience-wise as some of them were pretty tough cookies. Yildirim had a decent amateur career and fought often as a light heavyweight. He appeared to own a good chin until Eubank caught him and has won several regional WBC titles since turning pro.
Yildirim will be stepping up in class again on Saturday when he meets Dirrell and I’ll give him a puncher’s chance, but Dirrell has shown he’s got a good chin up to now. Dirrell should also be motivated at this point in his career as this is likely his last shot to reclaim the title. Dirrell has a good knockout ratio, but isn’t the most exciting boxer to watch. However, if Yildirim can manage to rock him this could turn into a firefight. Look for Dirrell to retain his title as long as he finishes the fight on his feet.
Dirrell’s experience should be the difference.
Play: Dirrell -620 @ BetOnline.ag
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