Anthony "The Dog" Dirrell and Anvi "The Robot" Yildirim fight for the vacant WBC super middleweight title this Saturday
By Nicholas Phillipowsky
This Saturday fight fans can expect a highly contested super-middleweight bout between Anthony “The Dog” Direll and Avni “Mr.Robot”Yildirim.
The fight will be televised beginning 10:00 PM EST/7:00 PM PST on FS1 and FOX Deportes. The contest will be for the vacant WBC super middleweight title.
In September 2018, the WBC vacated the title from who at the time was the youngest active title holder in boxing, undefeated David Benavitez of Phoenix, Arizona. Benevitez was scheduled to face Direll in a WBC mandatory, until Benavidez was randomly tested by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) and tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the key ingredient in cocaine. The WBC promptly stripped Benavidez of the title and sanctioned a fight between two of the top contenders in the division.
Anthony Direll (32-1-1-24 KOs) of Flint, Michigan has had a long road to the top. Direll has overcome major obstacles throughout his career and personal life. Direll made his pro debut on January 27, 2005 against Henry Dukes, who he easily stopped in the first round. Shortly after establishing himself as a bright young prospect, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After successfully completing chemotherapy, he was cleared to box again in 2008. After racking up 14 consecutive wins, Direll was given a title shot with Sakio Bika. The two fought a very competitive fight to a 12 round split draw and Bika retained the Super Middleweight belt. Shortly after, an immediate rematch was announced, but this time Direll won the title unanimously. Direll’s title reign was over in his first defense, losing the title to Badou Jack. He is looking to become a two-time super middleweight champion on Saturday.
Avni Yildirim(21-1-12 KOs) is a super middleweight contender from Istanbul, Turkey. Yildirim captured the boxing world’s attention after winning a unanimous decision against the veteran Marco Antonio Periban. The surprise victory launched him into a fight against Chris Eubank Jr. In the opening two rounds Yildirim was a game opponent for the much more experienced Eubank Jr., however by the third round, the speed and slickness of Eubank Jr. prevailed resulting in a stoppage. Since tasting his first defeat, Yildirim has rebounded with five consecutive wins. Saturday will be his first shot at a title.
Anthony Direll has the obvious edge in experience and power, however he doesn’t have the best of jabs, which may play perfectly into Yildirim’s style. Direll also has the habit of throwing hooks without jabbing and is not always aware of the counters coming back. Yildirim is more of a technical fighter, while still being quite capable of fighting on the inside if need be. Yildirim has a good jab, and has enough power to back up his opponent and stop them if the opportunity presents itself. I personally believe Yildirim has issues with more elusive, fast fighters like he did with Eubank Jr. In my opinion, if Direll cannot hurt Yildirim, then it will be a late stoppage or decision for Yildirimin a competitive fight.
Look forward to an excellent fight between two men that are looking to prove themselves worthy of the WBC super-middleweight title.