Anthony Dirrell and Anvi Yildirim battle for vacant WBC title
By Bill Tibbs
There are chilly winter climes in Minnesota but world championship boxing will once again be heating up Minneapolis when former super middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1, 24 KO’s) gets another crack at a world title when he battles contender Avni Yildirim (21-1, 12 KO’s) for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Championship.
Dirrell and Yildirim will be the main event of the Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday, February 23 from The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Dirrell first contested for the WBC world super middleweight title back in 2013 but was held to a draw by Sakio Bika. So, they rematched 8-months later and Dirrell walked away a world champion after a unanimous decision win. He lost his title in his first title defense by majority decision to Badou Jack in April of 2015 but closed out the year with a win over former world title challenger Marco Antonio-Rubio.
In 2016, he picked up a TKO win over former world champion Caleb Truax and since then has put together 3 wins over 2017 and 2018.
In pre-fight pressers both fighters expressed confidence heading into the bout. Dirrell has been a champion and likes the view from the top and Yildirim is anxious to prove that he too is one of the best 168-pounders in the world.
“This is just like every other fight where we’re going to work on a game plan and execute that game plan in the ring,’’ said Flint, Michigan’s Dirrell. "I saw him fight Chris Eubank and it showed me some things. He’s a come forward fighter. That’s the kind of guy I like to fight. He’s tailor-made for me. I’m going to do what I do best and that’s fight. I’ve been keeping my mind, body and soul together and staying focused to know what I have to do to become two-time WBC champion," he said.
Istanbul, Turkey’s Yildirim, a 5-year pro, is very excited to get into the ring with Dirrell and is clearly ready to do what it takes to win and return home a champion.
"I’m very thankful to everyone who helped me get this opportunity and I know that I have all the tools to beat Anthony Dirrell," said Yildirim. "Dirrell is a good fighter, but I believe I bring more to the table than him. I’m coming to win and bring the belt home to Turkey. I waited all my boxing life for this stage and I am ready to give him a war."