Last December Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell fought to a draw, which allowed Bika to retain his WBC title. Both men had some very good moments in a bruising, hard-fought battle.
Dirrell is the younger brother of Olympic medalist Andre Dirrell and had an extensive amateur career in his own right. He did good work in the early rounds against Bika last time and even knocked the champion down in Round 5.
But Dirrell seemed to fade under the relentless pressure and "veteran tactics" Bika employed. I thought Bika had earned a narrow decision, even with his Round 11 point deduction for a low blow.
Still, it was a very close fight, and since Dirrell remained undefeated, a rematch is definitely appropriate.
Bika's greater experience played a big part in the last fight. The WBC champion has fought at the world-class level for years. He's been in the ring with Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward, the two best super middleweights of this century.
Bika was by far the best and most experienced fighter Dirrell had ever faced. It will be interesting to see what he learned from that tough battle and how he improves this time around.