Australian citizen Sakio Bika fights in Brooklyn for the second time, on Saturday night, when he puts his WBC super middleweight title up for grabs against Anthony Dirrell of Michigan on a Golden Boy card, which is topped by a "Battle of Brooklyn" scrap pitting Paul Malignaggi against Zab Judah.
Showtime will televise.
Bika, who sports a 32-5-2 mark, is a rumbling sort who doesn't look like the picture of grace or fluidity as he does his thing, which is fighting in a manner featuring less finesse than most others on the card.
I chatted with the 34-year-old Bika on Tuesday during a for-media fighter workout, and he told me he's keen on moving to the States. Bika, who has a wife and three kids, said that the U.S. is where it's at if you're in the boxing business, so he and his crew are of the same mind. Bika trains in St. Louis, with trainer Kevin Cunningham, who has another boxer, Devon Alexander, on the Barclays card. "I will move next year," he said. "It's best for business."
As for the business at hand, I asked him what he knows about his 29-year-old foe Dirrell. "I know nothing about him," he said. "I just know his record."
Cunningham, though, does; he's watched copious tape of the "other" Dirrell, the slightly less well-known of the fighting Dirrell brothers. Andre (21-1), age 30, won bronze for the US at the 2004 Olympic Games, turned pro in 2005, and had a smooth climb. He was impacted neurologically in his fight with Arthur Abraham in 2010, however, and has fought just twice since.
If the fight is a rumble, and Bika is muscling Dirrell, not letting him be the slicker boxer, then Cunningham thinks they should be fine.
"Dirrell is a boxer-fighter type," he said. "I've known him since he was 12. He's good people. But he's going against my fighter. And this has the makings of being fight of the night. Anthony's said that he wants it so there's no need for the judges. I want a guy who will come and stand and fight, I love hearing that."
Dirrell is coming off a TKO3 win over Anthony Hanshaw on July 27, his second fight in 2013 after taking 2012 off. Bika won the vacant 168 pound crown on June 22, in his last scrap, against Mexican Marco Antonio Periban at Barclays. Dirrell has the power edge, but Bika is usually immune to swats that buzz other dudes, so it's possible he's able to out-physical Dirrell over the long haul.
Readers, who do you see this one playing out?
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