The last time brothers Andre and Anthony Dirrell fought on the same night, Barack Obama was barely 60 days into his first term as president. That drought is about to end.
In a pair of 168-pound clashes featuring the Flint, Michigan, natives, Andre Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) faces veteran Blake Caparello (22-1-1, 6 KOs), while former champion Anthony Dirrell (28-1-1, 22 KOs) will square off against Caleb Truax (26-2-2, 16 KOs) on April 29. The 10-round bouts will highlight a Premier Boxing Champions card from the Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET/PT).
Andre Dirrell, 32, will be ending an 11-month layoff, having last fought May 23 when he dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to James DeGale in Boston. The loss was the first for the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist since a split-decision setback to Carl Froch in October 2009, ending a string of nine consecutive victories.
In Caparello, Dirrell will be battling a 29-year-old boxer-puncher who is riding a three-fight winning streak, all of them being lopsided unanimous decision victories. In his most recent contest on November 11 in his native Australia, Caparello defeated Luke Sharp in a six-round bout.
“This is a huge opportunity for me to show the world that I am one of the best 168-pounders in all of boxing,” said Caparello, who began his career 20-0 before suffering his only professional loss, a second-round TKO against current 175-pound champion Sergey Kovalev in August 2014. “This is the weight class where I belong. Dirrell is a former Olympian and, like myself, a world title challenger. I expect a very tough fight, but I know that I will be victorious.”
Anthony Dirrell, 31, is coming off a 10-round whitewash of Marco Antonio Rubio back on September 6. The victory came on the heels of a majority-decision loss to Badou Jack on April 24, a defeat that cost Dirrell his undefeated record and 168-pound world championship.
Like his opponent, Truax got back in the win column in his most recent outing, scoring a fourth-round TKO victory over Melvin Betancourt on February 20. Prior to that, the 32-year-old from Osseo, Minnesota, gave 160-pound titleholder Daniel Jacobs all he could handle before being stopped in the 12th round.
“This is a fight that I have to take advantage of and win,” said Truax, who is 8-1-1 in his last 10 fights, with six of those wins being stoppages. “It’s another great opportunity for me, and I’m putting everything into training. “Dirrell is a good, athletic fighter with skills. It’s a tough task, but I’m up for it. I’m bringing my A-game, so he better do the same.”
This will mark the ninth occasion in which the Dirrell brothers will compete on the same card, the most recent being in Miami, Oklahoma, on March 28, 2009. That night, Andre Dirrell stopped Derrick Findley in six rounds, while Anthony knocked out Dominique Azeez in the first round.
“April 29 is going to be a fun night of boxing,” Andre Dirrell said. “Caparello is hungry just like me, and he’s fighting for his career so I know he’s a very dangerous man.
“Everything in camp has been perfect so far. I’m excited that both Anthony and I will get to showcase our skills and spread our family name even more on the same Spike show.”
Said Anthony Dirrell: “It’s an honor to be fighting on the same card as my brother. It’s going to be a great night of boxing.
“Truax is a good, rugged fighter who will bring out the best in me. I need someone to push me to the max. My prediction is always a knockout.”
For a complete look at both bouts, visit our fight night page.