Super Middleweights Anthony Dirrell and Sakio Bika meet this Saturday, August 16th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on the Shawn Porter vs Kell Brook undercard. It is an interesting bout as the undefeated Dirrell (26-0-1, 22 KOs) is favored (-200) over the hardcore veteran Bika, who returns (+170). This match is for the WBC Super Middleweight belt, and is a re-match of a fight from December of 2013 that saw the two men go to a draw in what was Bika’s first defense of the title. That first match put on display the great contrast in styles between the two fighters. Bika is a veteran who desires a grinding ugly fight, and he has been in with the best in the world. While top pound-for-pounder Andre Ward was winning the Showtime Super 6 tournament a few years back, he took a match outside the tournament with Bika that deteriorated into a brutally ugly match that Ward won. This highlights the difference in competition level, where Bika has a big edge. Bika himself represents Dirrell’s best opponent by far. The first meeting ended in a draw, however Bika was deducted a difference making point for a low blow, as he would have pulled out a split decision. Dirrell comes from a boxing family and has been in the game since his youth. He has a long amateur record, and his brother was an Olympian. He is known primarily as a technician, though he has a terrific KO percentage. The thinking by most experts here is that Dirrell will solve Bika based on the experience of the first fight. Bika, at 35 with a lot of ring wars under his belt, is unlikely to come to the fight with a new or different approach, and Dirrell will be able to implement a game plan. Bika never stopped coming forawrd in that first fight, and he wore our Dirrell, who will also have to come with a bigger tank of gas, because he faded in the fight the first time out.
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