Leon Lawson, the uncle and trainer of switch-hitting supermiddleweight contender, Andre Dirrell, told RingTV.com that his nephew will return to the ring against southpaw Darryl Cunningham on the Showtime-televised Dec. 30 card that also features the comeback of former undisputed middleweight beltholder Jermain Taylor in Palm Springs, Calif.
The 37-year-old Cunningham (24-2, 10 KOs) was scheduled to fight 29-year-old former undisputed middleweight titleholder Kelly Pavlik (37-2, 32 KOs) in August before Pavlik cited issues over money for pulling out of the bout.
The 33-year-old Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs) will face 24-year-old Jessie Nicklow (22-2-3, 8 KOs) of Baltimore, who is 3-0-1, with one knockout since being stopped in the fourth round by Fernando Guerrereo (21-1, 16 KOs) December of 2009.
A 28-year-old former Olympic bronze medalist, Dirrell (19-1, 13 KOs) was last in the ring against 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.
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.
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