Showtime is hoping the end the year with a bang.
Andre Dirrell and Jermain Taylor will make their return to the ring in separate fights on a Showtime triple header on December 30.
Dirrell (19-1, 13 KOs) returns to the ring for the first time in 21 months and will face Darryl Cunningham (24-2, 10 KOs) in the co-freature of the ShoBox: The New Generation card from the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, Ca.
Taylor (28-4-1, 17 KOs) makes his comeback after a 26-month layoff and will face Jessie Nicklow (22-2-3, 8 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight fight.
Both Dirrell and Taylor were part of the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic. Dirrell’s last fight was an 11th-round victory over Arthur Abraham. Taylor hadn’t fought since losing a split decision to Carl Froch in a Super Six Group Stage 1 bout.
“I’ve been waiting for this for the longest time,’’ said Dirrell, a 2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist. “(The time off) seemed like forever.’’
Dirrell bowed out of boxing following his win over Abraham after developing neurological problems. He said he’s ready to go.
“It’s real important I go in and give a good showing,” said Dirrell. “I’m not worried about what happened in the past. The only thing I’m worried about is that I haven’t been in there (for a long time).”
Cunningham had a chance to make a name for himself earlier this year, but Kelly Pavlik withdrew from the bout.
“I’m always coming to win,” said Cunningham. “This is my opportunity to shine. I’m not going to lie down. People don’t know me now. They don’t know my heart, what’s inside me. But the whole world is going to know me after this fight.’’
The opening fight on the televised portion of the card will feature Luis Garcia against Alexander Johnson in a light heavyweight bout.