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A rare slice of Sunday boxing

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By John J. Raspanti


A week before the NFL takes over Sundays with a slew of season-opening games, professional boxing will feature the return of former WBC super-middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell and a rematch between WBA bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell and Tomoki Kameda.

Michigan native Dirrell was last seen in the ring four months ago with a shocked look on his face. He’d lost his first professional fight to underdog Badou Jack, and relinquished his world title. But this is a guy who beat cancer in 2006 and survived a harrowing motorcycle accident (in 2012) six years later.

Determination is not a problem for the 30-year-old.


“I’m ready to get back in the ring and prove that I’m still one of the most dangerous men in the game,” said Dirrell (27-1, 22 KOs) last month at a press conference announcing his fight this Sunday with veteran Marco Antonio Rubio in Corpus Christi, TX.

“Rubio is a tough guy, but I’m coming to knock him out and eventually get my title back,” he said. ‘‘The Dog’ is coming to Texas looking to inflict some pain."

How tough Rubio (59-7, 51 KOs) is at this point in his career is open to interpretation. Gennady Golovkin walked him down and knocked the 35-year-old out in a little over four minutes last October. Getting stopped by Golovkin (20 in a row at last count) was hardly a surprise, but many felt Rubio would survive a few more rounds.

Rubio does hold a win over David Lemieux, who faces Golovkin October 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“I’m very excited to face Anthony Dirrell on September sixth,” said Rubio. “This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I’m going to leave it all in the ring. I promise a great fight for all the fans that come out in Texas.”

Speaking of leaving it in the ring, the rematch between McDonnell (26-2-1, 12 KOs) and Kameda (31-1, 19 KOs) could steal the show. McDonnell, a heavy underdog going into the first fight, rose from a third round knockdown to edge Kameda over 12 exciting rounds. His margin of victory was one point on all three judges’ scorecards.

McDonnell, 29, plans to get off to a faster start this time.

"I think it will be a fast-paced fight," McDonnell stated in an article on www.sportinglife.aol.uk.

"I started too slowly last time and I don’t want that to happen again. I believe I will stop him late. I took him into the trenches last time but I didn’t put it on him enough.”

Kameda, a former WBO bantamweight champion, is confident that he’ll get his revenge In this Sunday.

"I have a completely different team now with Ismael Salas and Angel Heredia and ’Stitch’ Duran as cut man," said the 24-year-old Kameda. "I feel much better going into this fight with better sparring and preparation and it will show in the fight. Salas has a great game plan and I can’t wait to perform it.

"McDonnell is tall, so getting inside his jab took some extra work."

- TO WRITE FOR DOGHOUSE BOXING: E-mail John now at: marlow_58@hotmail.com
John J. Raspanti responds to all his emails. Please send all questions and comments to John at: marlow_58@hotmail.com



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