StubHub Center, Carson, California - Unbeaten Anthony "The Dog'' Dirrell (27-0-1, 22 KOs), of Flint, Mich., became the second cancer survivor and 55th alum of ShoBox: The New Generation to capture a world title when he out-mauled, out-brawled and unanimously outpointed defending champion Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika (32-5-3, 21 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, to take the WBC Super Middleweight World Title in a grudge rematch.
Dirrell won by the scores of 117-110, 116-111, 114-113 in a fight that, like almost every Bika fight, featured lots of takedowns, elbows, low blows, holding but mostly lots of scolding from referee Jack Reis. The fighters, particularly Bika, were warned repeatedly for illegal tactics. Reis finally deducted a point from Bika for a low blow in the eighth.
Dirrell was overcome by emotion and cried in the ring.
"This journey has been amazing and I can't even fathom it,'' Dirrell told SHOWTIME's Jim Gray afterward. "I already overcame the biggest fight of my life by beating cancer. I can't see anything being bigger than this. I was never close to giving up. I stuck to it and now I'm WBC world champion.
"This means the world to me, what else can I say? After beating cancer, making it back from a motorcycle accident and getting a second chance at boxing, I just knew I was going to make the best of it.
"Tonight the referee did a wonderful job. Bika is rough, he's a helluva fighter. But I'm glad to finally have him in my rearview mirror. I'm not gonna complain about the close scores. I got a unanimous decision and I couldn't be happier.
"The difference between this fight and our first one is that I wasn't on the ropes this time. I came out and boxed. But I know I got his attention at the start.''
Said Bika: "I fought very hard. He was a better fighter tonight. I'm going to go back to the gym and come back stronger. This (losing) happens.''