The Premier Boxing Champions series will kick off the month of September with an interesting doubleheader on Sunday, September 6th at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. In the main event former WBC Super-Middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell will return to the ring for the first time since losing his world title in April this year in a razor thin twelve round majority decision to Badou Jack. Dirrell will face longtime Jr. Middleweight and Middleweight contender Marco Antonio Rubio in a fight scheduled for ten rounds.
Dirrell (27-1-1, with 22 Knockouts) has gone 1-1-1 in his last three fights including a draw and winning his world championship in two fights against former WBC champion Sakio Bika. In his last fight Dirrell came out on the losing end of a fight that could have gone either way in losing a twelve round majority decision to Badou Jack. In what was an extremely close fight that was very difficult to score Jack was able outwork Dirrell to earn a victory that some considered an upset.
Coming off of that loss Dirrell, who will come into the fight ranked number five by the World Boxing Council (WBC) in the Super-Middleweight division will look to get back in the win column when he takes on Marco Antonio Rubio. Rubio, a veteran of sixty-seven professional fights will be returning to the Super-Middleweight division where he is undefeated in three previous bouts in the 168lb. weight class.
In his last fight in October of last year Rubio was knocked out in two rounds at the hands of unified WBA/IBO Middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin. Some readers may recall following that fight this observer speculated that if Rubio, who failed to make weight for the fight with Golovkin that it would be interesting if Rubio could no longer make the 160lb. Middleweight limit if he would see what potential options would be available to him in the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division.
The question I have coming into this fight centers on what Marco Antonio Rubio has left to give as a fighter. At thirty-five years of age and having competed in sixty-seven professional fights in his career one may be justified in wondering what Rubio (59-7-1, with 51 Knockouts) will have to offer in this fight. It is important to remember that Rubio has fought for a world title three times in his career. Rubio certainly has more than enough experience against top level opposition including a knockout win in 2011 against recently crowned IBF Middleweight world champion David Lemieux.
Rubio however, was unable to provide much resistance in his fight against Golovkin. Although Rubio was able to land some offense against Golovkin he was not able to land anything that prevented Golovkin’s consistent pressure and punching power. Although Rubio lost that fight he is a fighter that has compiled a career knockout percentage of 76% in his career and should still be considered a dangerous fighter even coming off of a knockout loss.
For Anthony Dirrell it will be interesting to see if he will attempt to pressure Rubio from the outset and test whether the loss to Golovkin has had any effect on Rubio’s ability to take a punch. Dirrell has scored twenty-two knockouts in his twenty-nine professional fights and has a career knockout percentage of 76% in his own right. It will also be interesting to see if this fight goes into the middle and late rounds whether Dirrell will be able to maintain a consistent work rate throughout the entire fight. An argument can be made that although his fight with Badou Jack was very close that one thing that may have worked against him in that fight was the inconsistent work rate he put forth in the first half of that fight.
If Dirrell manages to look impressive in this fight and can get himself back in the win column it is not difficult to envision a potential rematch with Jack at some point in the near future. For Marco Antonio Rubio however, this could be a “Must Win” scenario at this stage in his career.
Also on this card there will be a rematch between former Bantamweight world champions former IBF world Bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1, with 12 Knockouts) and former WBO world Bantamweight champion Tomoki Kameda (31-1, with 19 Knockouts) in a twelve round bout to determine interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s Bantamweight ratings. In their first fight in May of this year McDonnell overcame a third round knockdown to win a twelve round unanimous decision winning the fight by just one point on all three official judges scorecards.
The first encounter between the two was an extremely close fight that could have gone either way. It will be interesting to see whether the rematch will resemble the first fight in that Kameda seemed to have the edge in the early rounds, but it was McDonnell who was able to come on in the middle and late rounds to win the fight. Although opinions differed among Boxing fans and experts alike as to who won the first fight between the two, it was a highly competitive battle that shined the spotlight on a weight class, the 118lb. Bantamweight division that does not always receive the kind of exposure in the United States as compared to other weight classes.
As was the case with the first fight, the rematch will be televised as the co-feature of a Premier Boxing Champions card on CBS in the United States. No matter what happens in this fight the increased exposure for one of Boxing’s lower weight divisions, but an extremely competitive division should be viewed as extremely positive for not only the fighters themselves, but the sport overall.
An interesting doubleheader featuring two compelling storylines. A former world champion in Anthony Dirrell looking to get back in the win column going against a grizzled veteran in Marco Antonio Rubio who may be fighting for his career. The second storyline a compelling rematch between Jamie McDonnell and Tomoki Kameda, two former world champions in a fight that for the winner could lead to a potential world title opportunity down the line.
We will see what happens on Sunday afternoon.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Premier Boxing Champions: Dirrell-Rubio/McDonnell-Kameda II takes place Sunday, September 6th at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. The card will be televised in the United States by CBS at 4PM Eastern/ 1PM Pacific. Check your listings internationally.
For more information on the Premier Boxing Champions series please visit: www.PremierBoxingChampions.com
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