Andre Dirrell to fight Vladine Biosse
Former super middleweight world title challenger and 2004 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell, who has fought just twice since 2010, is making a comeback on Friday night.
Dirrell will face Vladine Biosse in a scheduled 10-rounder in the opening bout of "Friday Night Fights" (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, 9 p.m. ET) at The Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington, promoter Dan Goossen announced on Wednesday. The fight will be Dirrell's first in 18 months.
What does he have left after being so inactive for the past four-plus years?
"I think we'll all find that out on Friday night," Goossen said. "Biosse will be there to fight, so it's a great fight for Dirrell to come back for to get back into the ring."
Dirrell (21-1, 14 KOs), 30, of Flint, Michigan, has been penciled into the card for a few weeks, but he did not have a set opponent.
"I'm too excited on my return to the ring to make any predictions on the fight. I just want to hear the bell ring and get back to what I do best against a very tough Biosse," said Dirrell, who has split from promoter Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, the rap star, and returned to adviser Al Haymon, who worked with him for most of his career.
Dirrell was an emerging 168-pound contender when he entered the Super Six World Boxing Classic, a six-man round-robin tournament involving the world's top super middleweights, in 2009.
Dirrell, a southpaw, challenged Carl Froch for his world title in their tournament opener and lost a split decision on Froch's turf in England. In his second group stage bout Dirrell bounced back for a dominant performance against Arthur Abraham. He dropped Abraham and was on his way to a lopsided decision win when he slipped to the canvas in the 11th round and Abraham blatantly hit him while he was down, knocking Dirrell out cold and resulting in Abraham being disqualified.
Although Dirrell won the March 2010 fight against Abraham, he eventually dropped out of the tournament, claiming neurological issues stemming from the foul.
Dirrell has fought just twice since against low-level opponents, a second-round knockout of Darryl Cunningham in December 2011 and a 10-round shutout decision against Michael Gbenga in February 2013.
"Andre was an outstanding amateur and one of the top super middleweights in the world picked to be part of Showtime's innovative Super Six tournament," said Goossen, who promoted Dirrell earlier in his career. "His win over former world champion Arthur Abraham and highly controversial loss to Carl Froch during the tournament opened a lot of eyes on his tremendous athletic abilities and talent."
Biosse (15-4-2, 7 KOs), a 32-year-old southpaw from Providence, Rhode Island, is just 1-3-1 in his last four bouts, including a shut-out decision loss to top British prospect Callum Smith on July 12 in Liverpool, England.
Biosse has been featured on "Friday Night Fights" before and is aiming for the upset.
"ESPN has been pretty good to me and I believe I can get Dirrell out of there," Biosse said.
In the main event, light heavyweights Thomas Williams Jr. (17-0, 12 KOs) and former titleholder Gabriel Campillo (23-6-1, 10 KOs) meet in a title elimination bout with the winner moving a step closer to a mandatory shot for one of the belts currently held by Bernard Hopkins.