Interview: Flint’s Andre Dirrell opens up about what he’s been doing since his boxing injury in part two of a two-part series

February 14, 2011

Super Middeweight Andre Dirrell, right, punches Arthur Abraham in the ribs during the seventh round of the Super Six World Boxing Classic at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, March 27, 2010 in Detroit.

FLINT, Michigan — In October, top-ranked super middleweight boxing contender Andre Dirrell’s career seemed to be in jeopardy.

The Flint native was diagnosed with neurological problems and advised to take a three-month absence from the sport until his conditions improved.

Dirrell has now been cleared to fight.

He’s currently training in Florida while searching for an opponent but before he left he invited the Flint Journal into his plush home in Fenton, Mich., and offered some insight about what’s been going on since his last bout in March against Arthur Abraham. The fight ended in controversy and earned a victory by way of disqualification. Here is part two of the two-part interview.

Eric Woodyard: Do you feel like that fight against Arthur Abraham damaged your reputation at all?

Andre Dirrell: I could say so but it’s really hard to say. But in boxing you have to prove yourself.When I fought Curtis Stevens, I ran the whole fight. That was my first time fighting a short guy that was really good so I fought him the only way I knew how, and that was a setback for me and I felt like I lost more from that than I would have the Arthur Abraham fight, because like I said that was a picture perfect performance. If anything I gained fans. I’d been to California before I fought Abraham and it was just ‘there’s Andre Dirrell.’ I went to California for the Andre Ward fight when he fought Alan Green and I literally walked in that stadium and got a standing ovation so I won’t say I’ve lost anything, or I’m looked at at a lower standpoint.

I would say I’m pretty much glorified, but all I can do is push forward and keep proving myself. That’s what you have to do in boxing. If you have a setback, a true champion comes back, bounces back and makes something of it so that’s what I’m looking forward to doing, but right now who cares? I don’t care where anyone sees me because I don’t have a lot to prove in this game but I will be in the top of the crop one day.

EW: I know you were telling me about a possible fight with Lucian Bute in a few months. Are you still looking to fight him soon?

AD: Yeah! I’m really hoping that comes about. It won’t be in Canada because that’s where all his fights are held and it’s a lot of crazy stuff that goes on in foreign countries if you ask me. But he’s the new Showtime fighter now, they just signed him. He hasn’t had a fight on Showtime since they signed him. I’m on my way back, and after a warmup fight then I really really really want to get in there with Lucian Bute to definitely take his title then I go after Andre Ward. Bute is definitely in my radar, I would love to fight him and I’m sure it will soon come.

EW: What’s the timetable for that fight? How many months…

AD: Um…I’m actually looking for a warmup fight right so I would say within a seven-month timespan I’ll be chasing Bute.

EW: So your warmup fight should be within

AD: Three to four months. Yes, by late March beginning of April.

EW: Can you just talk about how it feels to be sitting out of boxing for so long? How have you been feeling about having all of that free time and not knowing if you would ever be back?  You know contemplating retirement if the injury was too severe. How was that?

AD: It’s a lot to just sit back and think. I’ve been boxing for 17 years man and that’s practically my whole life, even my childhood. I’ve been working out since I was five-years-old so you can really add another five years to that 17, but just to know that I wanna be in the game for seven more years, because I just get to sit back and look at it, it is really like this is it. It’s now or never. In that aspect it’s just me in a better mindset—  being out this long about what I have to do when I get back in the game.

My family has been great but I just want to get back in that ring, I don’t like sitting out this long. I’ve been working out on and off but the motivation is really hard in Flint, just because of the snow.  I don’t like cold weather and I plan on moving to Florida soon and when I do that I will definitely get back up on my training but this has allowed me to think a lot while I’ve been out. I’m serious to just get back in there and get back to work. People want to see me and I just don’t want to let none of my fans down, and I believe I’m doing that just by sitting out the game this long but I’m gonna get back in there and show them what I can do.

EW: What Andre Dirrell are we gonna see this time around? Will there be any changes? Are you a little more angry? Are you gonna be more aggressive? What kind of Andre will step in the ring in 2011…

AD: Just a more focused one man. A boxer has to control what he has to do —  that’s it because I believe my game is perfected. In my last performance, it was an A plus performance. I believe my game was perfected. I’m going to just be more focused and hold down what I have to do, so that’s just my main thing. Getting back, not being a crowd pleaser, working to the best of my abilites and practicing my craft, and just being the champion that I know I can be and everybody wants me to be. I’m a focused, more determined Andre Dirrell.

EW: Anything else you would like to add that I didn’t ask you?

AD: Basically you definitely can look for a more determined, more focused Andre Dirrell but I really above all want to bring Flint back and put Flint on the map. I plan on doing a lot of work with Flint. I plan on bringing a lot of summer and winter activities back to Flint as well as working with the kids, but my main focus is getting back on my game and bringing Flint and putting it back on the map, so when I go down to Florida to work I want Flint to know above all that I’m bringing that championship back for them as well as myself.

*Click here to check out Part 1 of the interview!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: