Switch-hitting supermiddleweight contender Andre Dirrell will return to the ring against an opponent to be determined on the Showtime-televised Dec. 30 card that also features the comeback of former undisputed middleweight beltholder Jermain Taylor in Taylor’s hometown of Little Rock, Ark., Dirrell’s uncle and trainer, Leon Lawson Jr., told RingTV.com on Saturday.
A 28-year-old former Olympic bronze medalist, Dirrell (19-1, 13 KOs) was last in the ring against Arthur Abraham in March of last year.
That bout ended in controversy when Abraham punched Dirrell — who was far ahead on the cards — while he was down in the 11th round and was disqualified.
Prior to facing Abraham, Andre lost a split-decision to current RING No. 2-rated WBC supermiddleweight beltholder Carl Froch (28-1, 20 KOs), who will face RING No. 1-rated WBA titleholder Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KOs) on Dec. 17 in the final bout of the Showtime Super Six Super tournament.
Dirrell is the older brother of unbeaten super middleweight contender Anthony Dirrell (23-0, 20 KOs), who will face Canadian southpaw Renan St. Juste (23-2-1, 15 KOs) on Dec. 2 in a WBC elminator bout for the right to challenge Froch.
The hard-punching Anthony Dirrell is coming off a second-round stoppage of Kevin Engel on July 22, which was his eighth straight knockout win, his second fight within a 20-day period and his fifth ring appearance within a 10-month stretch. Dirrell had stopped Dante Craig in the fifth round on July 2.
St. Juste (23-2-1, 15 KOs), who is 39, never has been stopped, has won two straight bouts and is coming off an eight-round unanimous decision over Jaudiel Zepeda in July.
A boxer-puncher, Anthony Dirrell returned to the ring in October of 2008 from a 26-month ring absence that resulted from a 2007 diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Anthony was diagnosed shortly after he stopped James Hopkins in December 2006 and didn’t return to the ring until October 2008, when he decisioned Andy Mavros over four rounds.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com