NEWARK, New Jersey – Andre Dirrell re-started his comeback in the light heavyweight division in what amounted to a walkout bout Saturday night at Prudential Center.
The former IBF interim super middleweight champion dropped Christopher Brooker three times and beat Brooker by third-round technical knockout. FS1 televised Dirrell’s victory, which took place in an almost empty arena.
Referee Ricky Gonzalez stopped their scheduled 10-rounder at 2:58 of the third round, as soon as Brooker went down for the third time in that round.
The 37-year-old Dirrell, a southpaw from Flint, Michigan, upped his record to 28-3 and recorded his 18th knockout. Philadelphia’s Brooker slipped to 16-7 (6 KOs).
Dirrell fought for the first time since December 2019, when the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist launched his comeback in the light heavyweight division following a technical knockout loss to Jose Uzcategui in their IBF super middleweight championship rematch in March 2018.
Brooker took a knee early in the third round, after Dirrell hurt him with a left hand.
Another left hand by Dirrell sent Brooker to the canvas a second time in the third round. Brooker held the back of his head after that second knockdown, though it didn’t seem as if Dirrell hit him behind his head.
Brooker got up again, however, only to have Dirrell drop him a third time. Gonzalez quickly waved an end to the fight once Brooker went down a third time.
Dirrell nailed Brooker with a straight left hand toward the end of the second round that made Brooker hold him. Brooker was cautious throughout that second round and didn’t give Dirrell much to think about.
There wasn’t a lot of action in the opening round, until Dirrell drilled Brooker with two straight left hands toward the end of it. Brooker didn’t muster much offense in those first three minutes.
Following Dirrell’s TKO win, Quadir Albright beat Jared Tallent by second-round technical knockout in the actual walkout bout.
Albright (2-0, 2 KOs), a tall junior welterweight from Chester, Pennsylvania, dropped Tallent with a left hand in the second round. Tallent got off his gloves and knees, but Albright attacked him and Gonzalez stepped in to stop the bout with Tallent still on his feet.
Tallent, of Norton, Kansas, made his pro debut. He landed several clean shots on the significantly taller Albright, but he ultimately was overpowered.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.