WBC World Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (27-0-1) defends his belt against Badou Jack (18-1-1) in the main event of this Friday’s boxing card at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. The 12 round bout does not have an over/under posted, but the champion Dirrell is coming in a solid (-550) favorite, with Jack “The Ripper” coming back at (+425). The broadcast is part of the “Premier Boxing Champions” series Al Haymon has launched. Dirrell is making the first defense of the belt he took from veteran brawler Sakio Bika last year. Jack is a big hitting pro who is originally from Sweden, but now lives in Las Vegas where he is sometimes on the fringe of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s entourage. Jack has lost by TKO in the first round of his February 2014 match with Derek Williams, but he bounced back with two wins where he looked good. Though jack has had exciting fights, he has never faced anyone with the skill level of Dirrell, and there is a lot of talk about this fight being a “showcase” for Dirrell, who is looking at having to face England’s George Groves as a mandatory challenge in his next bout. Dirrell may have his eyes on bigger prizes, as Groves has lost twice recently to Carl Froch, and his two return bouts recently have been extremely average performances. If Dirrell gets by Groves, that could put a potential big money showdown with long time top Super middleweight Froch, who is nearing the end of his career but would love to get one last world title fight in at his local soccer stadium. Dirrell would be much obliged, but he has to get by Jack this weekend first. The co-main event features WBA World Middleweight title action as titleholder Daniel Jacobs (28-1) faces the challenge of Caleb Truax (25-1-2). This line should turn up at the books later this week as the fight approaches. Jacobs won the vacant WBA World title in August, when he defeated Jarrod Fletcher at the Barclay’s Center in his hometown of New York. The once beaten Truax (25-1-2) is going to be a solid challenge, as Truax has gone (7-0-1) since his April of 2012 loss to Jermain Taylor. In that bout, he was able to floor Taylor in the ninth, and it is on his power that he is hanging his hopes in this fight, as Jacobs lone loss came by way of a fifth round TKO to Dmitry Pirog. Another piece of the WBA belt is in the hands of England’s Chris Eubank Jr, so the winner may be fighting in the United Kingdom for his next outing. The live event features twelve fights in all, several of which may get lines as the fights approach. Just added to the card is a Super Welterweight fight between Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (36-3) as he takes on James Stevenson (22-1) in a scheduled 10 round bout. There are also a pair of heavyweight bouts scheduled for 8 rounds. Poland’s Arthur Szpilka (17-1) faces veteran Ty Cobb (18-6). Szpilka is fresh off his November victory over Tomasz Adamek, the long-time contender (49-4) who retired after their bout. In the second Heavyweight bout, undefeated Keith Tapia (13-0) faces Mitch Williams (8-4-3). Tapia is from Puerto Rico, and at just 24 years old, may be a Heavyweight to keep an eye on in the coming years.
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links and MMA Odds Breaker will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.