WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell 31-1-1 (24) is expecting a tough fight when he takes on big puncher David Benavidez 21-0 (18) at the Staples Center, Los Angeles on September 28.
“Benavidez is a come forward fighter who throws a lot of punches. You can frustrate him and do what you need to do to counteract that though,” said Dirrell, 34, of Flint, Michigan.
“I’ve had some tough fights and people think that because of those fight, Benavidez is going to beat me. I feel otherwise. I’m the champion. I’m older and smarter and I’m going to go in there and defend my title successfully.
“I’m an experienced fighter. I’ve been doing this for 25 years going back to my amateur days. He’s only 22-years-old and he can’t possible know what I can do. He’s going to find out on September 28.
“I can’t only rely on just my experience. I have to throw punches and go in there to execute my game plan. Him going for the knockout definitely excites me. We’re going to give the fans something to see. They’re coming to see a knockout and I’m planning to give it to them.”
Dirrell insists he is unfazed by being labelled the underdog going into the fight.
“Being an underdog is great, it motivates me. I’m fine with it because I can prove everybody wrong at the end of the day. It’s about making history, and you can’t make history if you don’t go in there and take a chance,” he said.
“I’m ready. We’ve been wanting this fight for over a year. Now it’s here and we’re both ready to go. I’m looking for the knockout and I know he is too.
“I know that I can take a punch, but we’ll see if he can. He’s been dropped before, as have I. I’ve come back from worse than that though. We’re both warriors and we’re both going to be ready to give the fans something to see.”
Benavidez, of Phoenix, Arizona, said he is expecting a toe-to-toe brawl with Dirrell.
“Anthony Dirrell is a tough, rugged fighter who has a lot of experience and has been in there with the best. He has height and reach like I do. We’re putting together a good game plan,” said Benavidez.
“Fighting in Dallas in front of 50,000 people was definitely one of the biggest fights of my life, but I feel like it’s just getting better and better from there.
“It’s a dream come true fighting at Staples Center. I’ve always dreamed about fighting here in front of all my people. It’s going to be like I’m fighting at home. The winners of this fight are going to be the fans. It’s going to be a great fight and I want to steal the show and put on the fight of the night.
“I have the opportunity to become the youngest two-time super middleweight world champion in history. I’m working hard to do my best to give the fans an action-packed fight and accomplish my goals.
“There’s a lot of motivation for me because he has my title. We have respect outside the ring, but none of that will be in the ring. We’re both going for the knockout and it’s going to be a war from round one.
“There are a lot of things that I can do. I can box on the inside and I can brawl. I think Anthony Dirrell is going to want to make it a brawl and stay in there with me. That’s how he fought his last fight and we know there’s a lot we can do if he brings that style.”