By Jake Donovan
While news broke on Friday afternoon of Andre Dirrell leaving advisor Al Haymon and de facto promoter Gary Shaw in favor of guiding his own career, one question remained unanswered.
What happens to his brother, unbeaten rising contender Anthony Dirrell?
The Dirrell brothers signed with advisor Al Haymon shortly after turning pro in early 2005, following Andre’s successful amateur run that included a bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
They have been with him for their entire career and with Gary Shaw brought in as the promoter of choice for the dynamic duo, though hired on retainer from their advisor as opposed to the traditional promoter-fighter relationship.
That script changed for older brother on Friday, when his uncle and trainer Leon Lawson Sr. decided it was best to take control of his career and start up his own company.
While the temporary name contains the family name (‘Team Dirrell Promotions’), there remains one Dirrell missing from the equation for the moment.
“I hate to say that he’s not with us – but right now, he’s not with us,” Dirrell said of his 27-year brother, who remains unbeaten (24-0, 21KO). “He’s still in deep thought over what to do with his career, but we leave that decision entirely up to him.”
The younger Dirrell (24-0, 21KO) last fought in December, scoring a 4th round injury stoppage over Renan St. Juste in a Shobox-televised performance. The win earned the Flint native the mandatory ranking to one of the alphabet belts currently in possession of unbeaten lineal super middleweight king Andre Ward, who is on the shelf until at least late April with a hand injury.
There stands a chance that he could wind up fighting for a vacant title, should Ward choose to pursue bigger and better opportunities. Or he could eventually land the dream fight against Ward, who deserves a step back from the A+ level of competition he has faced for the past two years.
Whatever turns out to be the case, older brother Andre will make sure as his brother to ensure that his best interests are continued to be looked after.
“Anthony takes charge of his own career,” Dirrell insists. “As a team, as a family and as a unit, we will do everything we can to make sure everything is up to par, even if he chooses to stay with Al and let Gary promote his fights. They’ve both done a wonderful job for us and I take nothing from them.
“No matter what Anthony chooses, we’ll still push each other like brothers should. We’ll still root for each other to go all the way to the top.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]