Anthony Dirrell becomes a two-time WBC champion via technical split decision
Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24KO) reclaimed the WBC super middleweight world title against Avini Yildirim (21-1, 11KO) of Turkey. Dirrell, who’s a Detroit native, has shown great resolve both in and out of the ring.
He has survived both, cancer and a near fatal motorcycle accident. He’s earned his reputation as one of the toughest fighters mentally in the sport with how he’s handled adversity.
Yildirim has fought mostly journeymen. He does have a couple of names on his resume in Glen Johnson, Derek Edwards, and Marco Antonio Perriban. His lone blemish is a knockout loss to Chris Eubank Jr as part of the WBSS.
To start the fight, both men stayed true to form. Yildirim coming forward looking to pressure the former champion and Dirrell was rather nonchalant, however, did land several eye catching uppercuts. At the start of round three, Dirrell switches to southpaw and lands some clean jab/straight combinations.
Yildirim actually responded well, pushing the former champion to the ropes with his activity.
While it was very clear Dirrell was the better technical fighter, the Turkish brawler simply used his pressure and activity to stay in the fight. In round seven, the former champion would receive a cut to his left eye from a headbutt. This would serve to play a major role in the fight.
At this point, the two men were standing toe-to-toe and the fight was up for grabs!
A Sudden Turn of Events
Dirrell seemed to start to pull away after round seven when there was a sudden halt to the bout midway into the tenth round. A secondary clash of heads in the previous round extended the length of the gash on the eye of the favorite.
The ringside doctor would take a brief look and stop the fight due to the visibility of muscle tissue. A scrum would ensue with some pushing and shoving as both camps waited for the technical decision.
The scorecards would read 98-92 for Yildirim and 96-94 twice for the Michigan native. Dirrell would take home the WBC super middleweight title for a second time in his career!
As for what’s next, a rematch would seem most fair. However, Dirrell seems more interested in unifying the division as he mentioned Caleb Plant who sat ringside.
Based on the rules of the organization, he will most likely face David Benavidez if the latter defeats J’Leon Love March 16. Benavidez is currently “Champion in Recess” which means he will be the immediate mandatory for Dirrell.
As for Yildirim, he showed that he belongs among the top fighters at super middleweight and shouldn’t have a problem getting a named opponent.
By: Corey Cunningham