Interview with Andre Dirrell: On Super Six, Pacquiao-Cotto, Mayweather-Marquez, Predictions and tons more!
By David Tyler, Doghouse Boxing (Aug 31, 2009) Photo © Tom Casino/SHOWTIME  
Andre Dirrell, one of the chosen six for Showtime’s upcoming Super Middleweight tournament. His next bout is against Britain’s WBC Super Middleweight Champion, Carl Froch. The fight takes place on October 17, 2009 in Nottingham, England.

David Tyler – Hi Andre, how are you?

Andre Dirrell –
Pretty good, just started training for my next fight.

DT – First week?

AD –

DT – Andre, do you train year round or just months prior to a fight?

AD –
I keep myself in good shape year round. In this business you have to be in shape. The days of only training a few months prior to a major fight are gone.

DT – So training camp is just sparring sessions?

AD –
A lot of focus on sparring and maintaining my weight and we go through the usual workouts for strength and speed conditioning.

DT – I have seen several of your fights on ESPN and you have been quite impressive displaying your boxing skills. You have very quick hands.

AD –
Thank you very much. I appreciate those comments.

DT – Let’s discuss your next bout with Carl Froch of Great Britain. Do you have a game plan for him?

AD –
He is a strong guy but I have fought a lot of tough boxers. He is a World Champion and I expect him to come at me the same way as he has fought other boxers. My game plan is fight my style by throwing a lot of jabs and find openings; he has a lot of openings. My timing will be on and my punches must be precise. I am positive I will be successful if I go in the ring and execute that game plan.

DT – I watched Carl Froch fight Jermaine Taylor and Taylor appeared to have the fight won until he got careless in the last round and was kayoed. Did you watch that fight?

AD –
Jermaine was not in condition enough to actually finish the fight. Froch is a big guy and he can turn a fight around quickly, especially if you don’t have a boxer’s chin. I am not worried at all about that problem. I am in great condition and my chin has been tested by some big punchers. If I stay within myself and execute the right game plan, then I will control the fight.

DT – What’s the right game plan?

AD –
Froch is not the type fighter that throws punches from angles. All of my punches come from angles and they are power punches. Froch is just a power puncher; I will take that away from him by making him miss. That’s what I mean by game plan, stick to boxing and not brawling, and maintain control of the fight.

DT – Was it your choice to fight him in Sherwood Forest?

AD –
It doesn’t matter where I fight him. Once I found out about the tournament, I wanted in. Every since I was a kid my goal was to be a World Champion. I have paid my dues, I have been on pace for this fight. The time is now and I will take advantage of this opportunity to capture the championship. The time has come and I did not pick him or the setting for the fight but it doesn’t matter, that’s already been determined. I want to be World Champion so I will go and take away the belt on his turf.

DT – Andre, other than yourself, who else will be in the finals?

AD –
I haven’t really thought about that but I would say that Andre Ward should be in the finals with me. I don’t think he should have a problem with Mikkell Kessler because Andre Ward is a very smart fighter. He just beat Edison Miranda who is a very physical fighter. He has very similar skills like me, he may not be as fast and as disciplined as I am. I see him being in the finals because we are both very smart fighters that bring our “A” games to every fight. I take nothing away from Kessler, he is a very smart fighter with lots of experience and if Ward is not careful I could see Kessler in the finals with me as well.

DT – Let’s discuss Arthur Abraham.

AD –
He is a very big puncher, and I will fight him second in the tournament if he beats Jermaine Taylor. He is a small guy that walks around about 190 lbs. and I maintain my weight at 172 lbs. so losing weight might be an issue for Abraham. He is a very smart fighter with a tough defense to break but if I stick to the game plan, then I don’t see any problems with him.

DT - If Andre Ward can make it to the finals then we would have two American Olympic Medalist fighting for the Supper Middleweight Championship of the world.

AD –
Exactly, both of us have great skills and the one that wins the tournament will be a superstar.

DT – Andre, you beat Carl Froch and you’re a true champion, that alone makes you a big star in this sport. Andre, have you seen the Ring Magazine list of top ten P4P?

AD –
No, not really because I don’t subscribe to the magazine. Occasionally I may see a copy in the Gym and read some articles but I have not seen their most current list.

DT – The reason I asked that question is that Oscar doesn’t have a super middleweight on the list, does that surprise you?

AD –
Not really, after Joe Calzaghe retired that left a big void in this division. It would be a big surprise if I’m not on the list after winning this tournament.

DT – Yep. Let’s discuss some of the mega fights coming our way soon. Your thoughts on the Mayweather/ Marquez fight?

AD –
Mayweather will win. He is one of the best fighters out there, he is accurate with his punches, works out very hard in the gym. I feel that Mayweather will win by a unanimous decision.

DT – Next up, Pacquiao/ Cotto?

AD –
This could be a good fight but maybe Cotto is too slow for Pacquiao. I have never seen anyone get in and out as well as Pacquiao during his fights, very quick speed. Give Cotto credit because he does have the power to knock out Pacquiao but I don’t see it because Pacquiao will get his punches in and get back out very quickly. Cotto probably doesn’t have the speed to cope with Pacquiao.

DT – Prediction?

AD –
Pacquiao by Knockout if not, Pacquiao by a unanimous decision.

DT – Andre, Let’s project on into 2010. How do you see a possible Mayweather/ Pacquiao fight unfolding?

AD –
I just can’t pick a winner in that fight. Pacquiao is in his prime and Mayweather would still be undefeated. I wouldn’t bet money on either one of them. A very solid match-up probably a toss-up.

DT – And if someone put a gun to your head and said pick one?

AD –
Floyd Mayweather

DT – One of my favorites is Paul Williams. How do you see the bout between him and Kelly Pavlik?

AD –
Paul Williams is a tough fighter with lots of speed with those long arms. He would be moving up in weight but still matches up good with Pavlik. Paul Williams will jab him forever and the only way Pavlik wins is if he gets in a big shot and knocks out Williams, Pavlik will not be able to outbox Paul Williams.

DT- Andre you’re from Michigan, a Wolverine?

AD –
I just don’t pay much attention to college football. I’ve been boxing since I was about five years and that’s my main interest. My Father always kept me in the gym and I guess I started taking the sport very seriously when I was around 10 years old.

DT – Andre, Thank you very much for this interview. I wish you all the best in the upcoming super middleweight tournament.

AD –
Thank you, my pleasure and if I can answer any more questions you know how to contact me.

Andre Dirrell is a very bright and serious young man. He should do very well in Showtime’s Super Middleweight tournament.

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