Sorting out the Super Six

Paul Albano - With Allan Green’s 12 rounds of conscientious objection to fighting Andre Ward Saturday night in Oakland, Stage 2 of Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic is now complete. Ward, by virtue of his two wins (Mikkel Kessler and Green) sits in first place with four points; while Arthur Abraham resides in second with 3 points thanks to his knockout of now disposed Super Six member Jermain Taylor; just ahead of Carl Froch, Kessler, Andre Dirrell (each with 2 points); and then Green (and Taylor replacement) without a point.

The look-ahead is complex more than slightly as Stage 3—offering three fights, each with five possible outcomes (KO or decision for either fighter, or a draw), thus 125 permutations—renders all gloved-combatants still in position to advance to the next and last stage, a final four style single-elimination tournament.. The only guarantee is Ward’s presence somewhere. But as for the other three slots? The cliff-notes version for each fight is this:
Carl Froch (26-1) vs. Arthur Abraham (31-1) 9/18/2010

Perhaps the most competitive fight yet, as two Stage 1 victors but Stage 2 victims toe up. As in all Stage 3 fights, with the possible exception of Green, both Froch and Abraham are in if they win. Abraham, buoyed by the bonus 3rd KO point, can lock up the second seed or possibly first with another knockout, but really needs only to win or draw to clinch a spot in the final four. Froch will need a win to rest easy, but each fighter still has a chance at advancement despite a loss. What they’ll likely need is Ward to beat Dirrell and Kessler to best Green—which pushes along both Froch and Abraham—but in the event of a tie irresolvable by head-to-head matchups, like maybe a Dirrell draw and a Green victory by KO coupled with a Froch win, the tiebreaker becomes each fighter’s total scorecard points.

Early Surmising: Abraham reassumes his throne, well sort of, against the pressing but not fast enough Froch and secures his place in the final four with a late round KO.

Andre Ward (22-0) vs. Andre Dirrell (19-1) 9/25/2010

Stage 1 left this fight seeming lopsided, as Dirrell was tentative and reluctant to engage in his narrow loss to Froch, while Ward dismantled former tournamwnt favorite Mikkel Kessler. But last round, though Ward was certainly no less impressive, Dirrell had the best fight of his still developing career, outflanking King Arthur with an aggressive attack and outstanding handspeed—and now appears poised to legit challenge Ward. Dirrell will likely need a win to move on to the next stage, though a draw gets him there if Abraham wins and Kessler isn’t knocked out. With a loss, Dirrell still has a chance—albeit remote—needing Green to dominate Kessler (but not knock him out), and for his cumulative scorecard points turn out higher than both fighters.

Early Surmising: Ward—unable to hurt Dirrell—shows his mortality and falls victim to a bad matchup against a faster fighter. Both Ward and Dirrell advance.
Mikkel Kessler (43-3) vs. Allan Green (29-2), TBA

In destined to be the least buzzed about Stage 3 fight, two fighters at spectral opposites—Kessler off his redemptive victory against Froch, Green off his damning loss to Ward—determine the last spot in the final four. Maybe. As, while Kessler books his ride with win, or a draw coupled with either a Froch or Dirrell loss; Green’s only chance is a KO plus a Froch or Dirrell loss. Hopefully he won’t over train.

Early Surmising: Green looks better against someone not named Andre Ward—but still loses due to the same unwillingness to throw combinations that doomed him in his last fight and against Edison Miranda. Kessler advances, joining Abraham, Ward and Dirrell—seeded that way—in the single-elimination stage, where Ward avenges his yet-to-occur loss to Dirrell, then wins the tournament by trumping Abraham.

Article posted on 22.06.2010

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