Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic: Opening Night Preview
By Mark Pickering, photo by Howard Schatz - There’s three Americans, a Dane, a German and an Englishman. Two are recognised world champions, two previously held such titles and the remainder are Olympic medalists. Each man gives up something in order to make the best series of matches possible in a talent-rich division.
Article posted on 17.10.2009
It’s not a fanciful daydream, it’s actually happening..
The highly-anticipated Super Six World Boxing Classic will see the top six super-middleweights in the world collide in 12 intriguing fights, over the next two years.
Every fighter will at first have three fights. He will get three points for a knockout, two points for a judges' decision and one point for a draw. The leading four move into the semi-finals before a final in early 2011.
On Saturday evening, the innovative round-robin tournament, the brainchild of Showtime Sports VP Ken Hershman, premieres in Europe.
In Berlin former 160lb titleholders Arthur Abraham and Jermain Taylor will collide, while Carl Froch defends his WBC crown against unbeaten American Andre Dirrell in Nottingham.
The series, which features four undefeated fighters, also see’s Froch and WBA title holder Mikkel Kessler put their titles on the line.
While every man has given up something – primarily home advantage and bigger paydays – each fighter has something significant to gain.
Carl Froch can continue to turn the British crowd in his favour, King Abraham can make inroads in America, former Olympic teammates Ward and Dirrell can come good on their potential and Kessler can make a start on dominating the division, while Taylor can reinvent himself as a super-middleweight.
The show gets underway at The 02 Arena in the German capital as former middleweight champions Arthur Abraham and Jermain Taylor look to find their feet in the 168lb ranks.
Abraham vs. Taylor
Only a pioneering series such as the Super Six could bring these two together. Until now Abraham and Taylor have campaigned on different continents and tackled opposition as contrasting as their styles.
Taylor leaves America for the first time in his pro career to visit the boxing hotbed that is Berlin and Abraham’s chosen stomping ground for much of his sterling career.
The teak-tough former IBF middleweight champion is a formidable power puncher. The undefeated German of Armenian descent is a tireless figure who’ll pressure and probe.
Taylor, we know, starts strong and fades while Abraham warms into the contest and can reel off power shots when a sniff of an opportunity presents itself.
The American has a point to prove having lost three of his past four bouts - two by knockout - which has left many to suggest that his best days are behind him.
Taylor knows exactly where he’s been going wrong and can begin to put his career back on track in Germany. The Little Rock, Arkansas native needs to keep moving, respect Abraham’s power and box efficiently for the duration of the fight.
Froch vs. Dirrell
The undefeated duo will collide for Froch’s WBC title. The man from Nottingham is elevating his career to new heights with every fight while his young American foe is poised to make the step up to world level.
Froch captured the WBC crown last year after an epic battle with Canada’s Jean Pascal and followed up by travelling to America to record a come-from-behind victory against Super Six adversary Jermain Taylor.
The American, a fast-rising but untested southpaw, will struggle to outbox Froch. However, Dirrell, 27, has fast hands and a relatively well-rounded set of skills which should prompt a lively contest as ‘The Cobra’ hunts him down.
Froch will adjust to the movement and speed of his American opponent as he looks to test Dirrell’s chin.
The Brit has power in rich supply and will bring it until the final bell, is Dirrell ready for such onslaughts from a world class operator away from home?
The two remaining participants, once-defeated Dane Mikkel Kessler and former Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward will lock horns on November 21st at the Oracle Arena in Ward's hometown of Oakland, Calif. Kessler’s WBA 12 stone title will be on the line in the final clash of the opening round.
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