Fightful Boxing Newsletter (2/21): Tyson Fury To ESPN, Billy Joe Saunders Goes To 168, Joshua vs. Miller

Anthony Dirrell vs. Avni Yildirim Preview:

PBC will have its second major show on Fox Sports 1 of 2019 on February 23 with the WBC super middleweight title on the line.

In the main event, Anthony Dirrell and Avni Yildirim will fight for the title that was previously held by David Benavidez. Benavidez tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the central compound in cocaine, last year which resulted in his title reign being over. During the WBC convention earlier this year, the governing body suspended him until February and moved him from world champion to "Champion in Recess," meaning there is no WBC champion at 168 pounds. It was at that point that the WBC ordered both Dirrell and Yildirim to fight for the title. The winner of the fight could be ordered to face Benavidez, who will fight in the co-main event of the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia pay-per-view taking place on March 16.

Yildirim has been very active in the ring since losing to Chris Eubank Jr. in the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight quarterfinals in 2017. Yildirim has won his last five fights, capturing the WBC International super middleweight belt in the process.

Dirrell previously held the WBC world title at 168 pounds from 2014 to 2015, beating Sakio Bika to win the belt. Dirrell would go on to lose to Badou Jack in his first world title and has since then won his last five bouts.

In the co-main event, welterweight contender Jamal James will take on once-beaten Colombian boxer Janer Gonzalez. James has been on a four-fight win streak since losing his first pro bout against Yordenis Ugas and is coming into the bout ranked No. 12 by the WBC and No. 3 by the WBA, meaning a win could put James in a good position to compete for a title later this year or in 2020.

Tale of the Tape:

Anthony Dirrell:

Record: 32-1-1 (24 KO)

Age: 34

Height: 62”

Reach: 74.5”

Notable Fights: Badou Jack, Sakio Bika, Caleb Truax

Titles Won: WBC Super Middleweight Title

Avni Yildirim:

Record: 21-1 (12 KO)

Age: 27

Height: 5’11.5”

Reach: 70”

Notable Fights: Chris Eubank Jr.

Titles Won: WBC International Silver Light Heavyweight, WBC International Super Middleweight Titles

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