Lem Satterfield

Dirrell-Stevenson targeted for Aug. 11


Switch-hitting contender Andre Dirrell “will stop” southpaw knockout artist Adonis “Superman” Stevenson if they meet in an IBF super middleweight eliminator on Aug. 11, Dirrell’s uncle and trainer, Leon Lawson Jr., said on Tuesday.

“Andre will stop him. You will see a total difference in class,” said Lawson of Stevenson, who has scored five consecutive knockouts in as many straight wins since, himself, being stopped in the second round by Darnell Boone in April of 2010.

“Adonis Stevenson will be stopped. When the fight happens, you will see a total difference in the level of talent, and Adonis Stevenson will get knocked out.”

Dirrell (20-1, 14 knockouts) and Stevenson (18-1, 15 KOs) are the IBF’s top-ranked fighters for a clash that is being targeted for the undercard of a main event featuring IBF light heavyweight beltholder Tavoris Cloud and former RING and WBC titleholder Jean Pascal that is slated for the Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where Stevenson and Pascal are from.

Dirrell, 28, has recently signed with Mayweather Promotions, according to the company’s CEO, Leonard Ellerbe

“The next guy in line is Andre Dirrell, and he has confirmed through Leonard Ellerbe that he wants the fight with Adonis for the title eliminator. So in order to speed up things, we have requested that the IBF set up the purse bid, which they have done,” said Yvon Michel, who promotes Stevenson and Pascal.

“The purse bid will be on Friday, July 13, which, if we don’t come to an agreement and we win the purse bid, means that there will be enough time to have that fight on Aug. 11. The rule of of the IBF states that after the bid, the fight has to occur between 28 and 90 days after the bid.”

Michel said that Stevenson, 34, already is in training and “excited about the possibility to fight Andre Dirrell.”

The winner of Dirrell-Stevenson would be in line to face England’s Carl Froch (29-2, 21 KOs), whose fifth-round knockout dethroned southpaw Lucian Bute (30-1, 24 KOs) as IBF beltholder last month.

A loser of a disputed split-decision to Froch in October of 2009, Dirrell ended a 21-month ring absence with December’s second-round stoppage of southpaw Darryl Cunningham which snapped the loser’s 17-fight winning streak that had included seven knockouts.

A 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, Dirrell had previously been in the ring against Germany’s Arthur Abraham in March of 2010 in the second round of the Showtime’s Super Six World Super Middleweight Classic.

That bout ended in controversy when Abraham was disqualified after punching Dirrell — who was far ahead on the cards — while he was down in the 11th round. Dirrell then exited the tournament, citing neurological issues.

“That would be a beautiful fight to take place. I would love to take that fight because there is there is no way that he could beat me. No way. Believe me, I want this fight just as bad as he does, and I hope that the public isn’t taking this as he’s calling me out,” said Dirrell.

“It’s just that I’m the next in line because of the rankings, and I would get a chance to get back at Carl Froch. We’re in negotiations now, and if this fight is made under the right circumstances, then I’m all for it.”

If Michel wins the purse bid, and Dirrell is not ready to take the fight, then IBF Championships Chairman, Daryl Peoples, said that Donovan George (22-2-1, 19 KOs) is next in line to take the eliminator bout.

George, of Chicago, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Edwin Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs) in March that took place on the undercard of a main event featuring an 11th-round knockout by RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez over Matthew Macklin.

Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com



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