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Former world champion Anthony Dirrell has created his own charitable foundation for children in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, in efforts to stop bullying, raise funds for cancer research, provide scholarships, help improve a troubled school system and provide mentoring programs.
This week in boxing history, PBC celebrates a three-division titleholder, recalls the crowning of a super middleweight champion, highlights a title defense by “The Hitman,” marvels at a Knockout of the Year and honors a blood-stained Fight of the Year.
Win vs Norbert Nemesapati 24-4-0
Jan 13, 2017 • Hialeah Park Racing & Casino, Hialeah, Florida, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Norbert Nemesapati by RTD in Round 6 of 10
Win vs Caleb Truax
Apr 29, 2016 • Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Caleb Truax by TKO in Round 1 of 10
Win vs Marco Antonio Rubio
Sep 06, 2015 • American Bank Center, Corpus Christi, Texas
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Marco Antonio Rubio by UD in Round 10 of 10
Loss vs Badou Jack
Apr 24, 2015 • UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois
Anthony Dirrell LOSES to Badou Jack by MD in Round 12 of 12
WIN vs Sakio Bika 32-5-3
Aug 16, 2014 • StubHub Center, Carson, California, USA
Sakio Bika LOSES to Anthony Dirrell by UD in Round 12 of 12
Draw vs Sakio Bika 32-5-2
Dec 07, 2013 • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Sakio Bika DRAWS with Anthony Dirrell by SD in Round 12 of 12
Win vs Anthony Hanshaw 23-3-2
Jul 27, 2013 • AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Anthony Hanshaw by TKO in Round 3 of 10
Win vs Don Mouton 12-6-1
May 03, 2013 • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Chelsea Ballroom, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Don Mouton by UD in Round 8 of 8
Win vs Renan St Juste 23-2-1
Dec 02, 2011 • Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Renan St Juste by TKO in Round 4 of 12
Win vs Kevin Engel 18-4-0
Jul 22, 2011 • Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Cabazon, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Kevin Engel by KO in Round 2 of 10
Win vs Dante Craig 18-9-1
Jul 02, 2011 • Atwood Stadium, Flint, Michigan, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Dante Craig by KO in Round 5 of 10
Win vs Alberto Mercedes 14-17-1
May 13, 2011 • Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Alberto Mercedes by TKO in Round 3 of 8
Win vs Daryl Salmon 16-5-0
Oct 15, 2010 • Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Oklahoma, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Daryl Salmon by TKO in Round 3 of 8
Win vs Jimmy Campbell 11-4-0
Sep 17, 2010 • Buffalo Bill's Star Arena, Primm, Nevada, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Jimmy Campbell by KO in Round 1 of 6
Win vs Alfredo Contreras 11-5-1
Aug 07, 2009 • Buffalo Bill's Star Arena, Primm, Nevada, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Alfredo Contreras by TKO in Round 7 of 8
Win vs Alexander Pacheco Quiroz 14-7-1
May 01, 2009 • Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Alexander Pacheco Quiroz by TKO in Round 1 of 6
Win vs Jose Medina 14-12-0
Feb 14, 2009 • BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, Florida, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Jose Medina by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs Robert Kliewer 9-6-2
Dec 05, 2008 • Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Robert Kliewer by TKO in Round 2 of 0
Win vs Andy Mavros 6-1-0
Oct 11, 2008 • Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Andy Mavros by UD in Round 4 of 4
Win vs James Hopkins 3-6-0
Dec 22, 2006 • Perani Arena and Event Center, Flint, Michigan, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against James Hopkins by TKO in Round 1 of 8
Win vs Billy Thompson 8-5-0
Sep 02, 2006 • Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Billy Thompson by UD in Round 6 of 6
Win vs James Morrow 9-2-2
Jun 23, 2006 • Oakland Arena, Oakland, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against James Morrow by TKO in Round 1 of 6
Win vs Juan Carlos Ramos 3-4-1
May 25, 2006 • Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, California, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Juan Carlos Ramos by TKO in Round 1 of 6
Win vs Chris Grays 6-8-0
Dec 17, 2005 • The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Chris Grays by TKO in Round 1 of 0
Win vs Yameen I Muhammad 8-6-1
Nov 04, 2005 • The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Yameen I Muhammad by KO in Round 1 of 6
Win vs Gabriel Rivera 4-0-0
Aug 13, 2005 • The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Gabriel Rivera by TKO in Round 2 of 6
Win vs Mike Walthier 0-2-0
Apr 29, 2005 • The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Mike Walthier by KO in Round 1 of 6
Win vs Larry Brothers 5-13-2
Mar 10, 2005 • Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, Maryland, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Larry Brothers by TKO in Round 2 of 4
Win vs Dewayne Warren 0-0-0
Feb 11, 2005 • Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Dewayne Warren by TKO in Round 2 of 4
Win vs Henry Dukes 0-4-0
Jan 27, 2005 • Michael's Eighth Avenue, Glen Burnie, Maryland, USA
Anthony Dirrell WINS against Henry Dukes by TKO in Round 1 of 4
A battle with cancer and a motorcycle crash that left him with a broken arm and leg haven’t kept unbeaten Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell from winning a world championship at 168 pounds. One of two brothers making their living as a fighter, Dirrell’s aggressive style has helped him overcome challenges both inside the ring and out.
A rocky road to success
Dirrell has been near perfect inside the ring, but his challenges have been formidable outside of it. So much so that perhaps his nickname should be “The Underdog.”
The 168-pounder has survived non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, battled back from a motorcycle crash that broke an arm and a leg, and mistakenly been arrested for an armed bank robbery.
He’s also stepped out of the shadow of his older brother, Andre, a talented fighter who won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics.
A champion from childhood
Anthony Dirrell was born in the tough town of Flint, Michigan.
The Dirrell brothers started boxing in elementary school with their grandfather, Leon "Bumper” Lawson Sr., and uncle, Leon Jr., guiding their careers as trainer. The elder Lawson was a former sparring partner for Muhammad Ali.
Dirrell’s 192-20 amateur career included moving up to the 178-pound weight division for the 2004 Olympic trials, while brother Andre fought at 168.
He fought with a broken hand, but finished third and didn’t make the team.
Dirrell made his professional debut at the age of 20, gaining a first-round TKO of Henry Dukes on January 27, 2005.
Over the next two years, Dirrell racked up 11 more wins, including a first-round TKO of James Hopkins on December 22, 2006, in his hometown of Flint.
Just days later, he received the biggest blow of his life: Chest pain he’d been experiencing during training was diagnosed as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in cells in the body’s immune system.
Dirrell underwent two years of chemotherapy, but kept up his training between treatments.
Before resuming his boxing career, though, Dirrell was pulled over on his way to chemotherapy on suspicion of armed robbery.
The suspect was driving a car similar to Dirrell’s, and the boxer spent a night in jail. He was released the next day, and no charges were ever filed.
Yet another setback
Dirrell returned to the ring on October 11, 2008, after a nearly two-year absence, defeating Andy Mavros in a four-round unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
He continued his undefeated streak with 11 more wins, earning him a 168-pound contender eliminator match with Renan St-Juste on December 2, 2011. Dirrell defeated the Canadian by fourth-round TKO.
In position for a title bout, Dirrell suffered another setback in May 2012 after being struck by a vehicle while test-driving a motorcycle.
The crash left him with a fractured arm and broken leg, sidelining him for nearly 18 months.
Nearing the goal
In his first bout after the accident, Dirrell won an eight-round unanimous decision over Don Mouton in Las Vegas on May 3, 2013.
Two months later, he dispatched Anthony Hanshaw in three rounds in San Antonio, putting him within reach of his goal of becoming the first cancer survivor to win a boxing world championship.
Getting his first shot at a title
Dirrell got his shot against champion Sakio Bika on December 7, 2013, in Brooklyn, New York.
Dirrell dropped Bika in the fifth round, and Bika was docked a point in the 11th round for a low blow, but the action-packed 12-round fight was ruled a draw, allowing Bika to retain his title.
The heart of a champion
Dirrell and Bika met in a rematch in Carson, California, on August 16, 2014.
Dirrell relied heavily on his defense to outbox Bika in another rugged fight, winning the 12-round brawl by unanimous decision to take the 168-pound title.
He just missed his chance to become the first known cancer survivor to win a world championship, as Daniel Jacobs, who overcame bone cancer, won a 160-pound title one week earlier.
Experiencing defeat for the first time
Dirrell put his title on the line on April 24, when he faced challenger Badou Jack in Chicago in a Premier Boxing Champions bout that was broadcast on Spike TV.
Dirrell was the aggressor early on, and switched to southpaw in the fourth round in an attempt to thwart Jack.
Jack picked up the pace in the middle rounds, though, and pressed Dirrell for the remainder of the 12-round bout.
Dirrell tried to rally late, but it wasn't enough as Jack won a majority decision by scores of 116-112, 115-113, 114-114 to take the title.