By Chris LaBate
Super middleweight Andre Dirrell is eager to step on the ring on December 30th in a Showtime televised fight from Palm Springs, California. Dirrell (19-1, 13KOs) will face veteran Darryl Cunningham (24-2, 10KOs), who was previously scheduled to face Kelly Pavlik in a failed match earlier this year. Dirrell has been inactive since March 27, 2010, where he suffered a neurological damage after Arthur Abraham struck him while he was down. Dirrell won by disqualification, but the injury inflicted by Abraham required months of rehab.
Dirrell expects some extra ring jitters from the long layoff, but he won't overlook the ability of Cunningham, undefeated since 2007. Dirrell wants to have a huge year in 2012, including a title battle with one of the reigning champions.
“Above all, I’m just happy I’m getting back in that ring,” said Dirrell to The Flint Journal. “I’ve been waiting for this for the longest and I know it’s been 17 months but its seemed like forever. I fell in and out of training camps and pretty much hope. The only thing I’m worried about is that I haven’t been there in 17 months so I might have the jitters a little more than I usually do but it won’t be nothing I can’t handle. I’m just more anxious than anything.”
“He’s somewhat of a boxer, he tries to brawl but he will be in a very dangerous situation when he does that and me being a slick boxer I think I’ll be able to outbox anyone especially the ones in the Midwest. I know I’ve got a lot in store for myself and 2012 will be a big year no doubt."yes