By Luis Sandoval
The formation of TMT (The Money Team) Promotions created a buzz and excitement in the sport that resonated with a lot of fans as the thought of a new company headed by boxing’s biggest star Floyd Mayweather Jr was a breath of fresh air. Nobody was more excited than Super Middleweight contender Andre Dirrell who was one of the first fighters signed to TMT Promotions last month.
The Flint, MI native has been out of the ring for quite some time with just one fight in the last 2 and half years. A head injury in 2010 during his fight with Arthur Abraham sidelined him for over a year as he recovered and was evaluated. In addition, Dirrell severed ties with then promoter Gary Shaw and in a move the surprised most, he also ended his professional relationship with the very powerful Al Haymon.
According to Dirrell it was a decision he made with his Grandfather and Uncle Leon Lawson Jr. Al Haymon is recognized as one of the most influential and powerful people in the sport of boxing and it’s a decision Dirrell now recognizes probably wasn’t in his best interest.
“It was a bit of a regret because I know how powerful he is in the sport. And I wasn’t looking to be black balled or nothing like that. I’m a firm believer if you give respect you’ll get it. So I left him respectfully. We still maintain a good relationship. I still talk to him. But at the end of the day I said to myself it’s really time to bite down and figure out what I’m going to do with my career” expressed Dirrell.
Sometime after that occurred, Dirrell ended up connecting with Floyd and in time was proposed the opportunity of joining Mayweather’s and rapper 50 Cent’s upcoming entity. The rest as they say was history and Dirrell is more than thrilled at the opportunity to be working with both.
“Floyd just really put me on that pedestal. He really did. He just really has me on another level. Watching him train, I never seen it done like that before. I know what has to be done” said the 2004 Olympics Bronze medalist. “He really sat me down and just talked to me about the game. It was a beautiful thing and it just put me on a whole other level mentally”.
Even though he hasn’t fought under the TMT banner just yet, working along Mayweather and 50 cent has really given Dirrell a different experience and in many ways a fresh start. Everything that has happened in the past doesn’t matter anymore as he now feels he’s with the right vehicle that will take him to the next level.
“I’m on a perfect pedestal. Now all I have to do is live up to my talents and [Floyd’s] expectations and my expectations. It’s all hard work no play. There’s no fighter out there that will have a chance with Andre Dirrell when it’s time to step in the ring and I promise you that”.
Dirrell will be working out of the Mayweather boxing gym in Las Vegas, NV and expects to be back in the ring in November with an opponent yet to be determined.
You can listen to Andre Dirrell’s interview in its entirety by listening to The Boxing Lab podcast: http://tobtr.com/s/3505313
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.