Boxing

Froch-Johnson on 6/4, Ganoy signs with Altamura, Kell Brook signs with Matchroom Sport

NEW YORK (April 8, 2011) – An opportunity to compete for the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup will be on the line when Carl “The Cobra” Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) defends his World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight title against former world champion Glen “The Road Warrior” Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs) of Miami, Fla., in the last Semifinal of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Saturday, June 4, live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Adrian Philipps Ballroom of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.

The Froch-Johnson winner will advance to the Final against the victor of the May 14 Semifinal between World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Andre Ward (23-0, 13 KOs) of Oakland, Calif., and former world champion Arthur Abraham (32-2, 26 KOs), of Berlin, Germany, by way of Armenia. Ward-Abraham will be shown live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Froch and Johnson are seeded Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, entering the Super Six Semifinals. Ward is seeded No. 1, Abraham No. 4.

In his last start on Nov. 27, 2010, the 33-year-old Froch, of Nottingham, England, manufactured perhaps a career-best performance, recapturing the then-vacant WBC 168-pound crown with a one-sided 12-round decision over Abraham in the final Group Stage 3 bout from Helsinki, Finland. There were no knockdowns but Froch dominated en route to tallying up the lopsided scores of 120-108 twice and 119-109.

Froch is 2-1 in the Super Six. In addition to dismantling Abraham, he won a split decision over Andre Dirrell in Group Stage 1 and lost a tight decision – along with the WBC title – to Mikkel Kessler in back-and-forth Fight of the Year candidate in Group Stage 2.

The Jamaican-born Johnson, a tournament replacement for the injured Mikkel Kessler, advanced with an eighth-round knockout over Allan Green in a Group Stage 3 fight on Nov. 6, 2010, in Las Vegas.

Johnson, 42, a former world light heavyweight champion who was making his first start at 168 pounds in 10 years, was ahead by three points on one of the scorecards and behind by one on the others when a left hook to the body followed by an overhand right to the side of head finished Green at 0:36 in the eighth.

Following Group Stage 3, Froch called Johnson an “old wise fox” and said he expected nothing less than a strong performance from a “great” fighter like Johnson.

"Glen Johnson is a blue-collar fighter who always gives his best and is a gentleman outside of the ring,” said Froch. “He commands respect and I give him respect.”

And the respect is mutual. Johnson offered, “The guy is a two-time champion. You do it once then you can say maybe it’s a little luck but to do it twice you know he deserved it. I have tremendous respect for Carl Froch.”

But the kind words will cease when the bell rings for what should be a fiercely contested 12-round affair. Johnson said of Froch, “I know he has a few weaknesses and I have every intention of exploiting those. I really feel like I’m the favorite right now. I just have to take it one fight at a time.”

Froch added, "I don't just plan on beating him, but I plan on halting him in style. Our styles gel very well for a competitive battle for as long as it lasts and I'm looking forward to it. I have a date in the final of the Super Six and I won't be overlooking Johnson in any shape or form – which will spell bad news for Glen.

"It will be another win for the Cobra, maybe by stoppage as I plan on making another big statement for the SHOWTIME fans."

Both fighters hold the tournament in high regard and covet the value of emerging victorious. Froch opined, “I could win this tournament and retire – that’s what it means. I can win this and say, ‘You know what? I’ve done it. I don’t need to fight anymore.’ I wouldn’t do that – I’ve got a couple of years left in me and there’s some big fights out there for me – but that’s how big this tournament is.”

Johnson recalled, “I know when this [tournament] was first put together I remember thinking to myself, ‘Man, I wish I was a super middleweight.’ But I’m in right now and I’m here to win the entire tournament. I believe I’m in it for a reason and that’s to win it.”

“Glen Johnson and Carl Froch are two of the most fan friendly fighters in boxing, said promoter Lou DiBella. “Both are proven winners who have earned fans the ole fashioned way, by entertaining fans fight after fight. Glen is known as ‘The Road Warrior’ because he isn’t afraid to go to someone else’s turf for a big fight, and Carl’s biggest wins have come outside the UK. Everyone knows that both men will leave it all in the ring in Atlantic City for the right to advance to the Super Six final.”

The event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Boxing and Carl Froch.

For more information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic including exclusive photos, fight highlights and interviews, plus to view all episodes of the acclaimed documentary series FIGHT CAMP 360°: Inside The Super Six World Boxing Classic, please visit the website at www.WorldBoxingClassic.com.

ABOUT SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC

The inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic is a ground-breaking, six-fighter tournament from SHOWTIME Sports® featuring the class of the super middleweight (168-pound) division from around the world. All bouts in the Super Six tournament will be contested under the Unified Rules of Boxing. Each boxer fights three bouts against different opponents in the field in the points-based Group Stage of competition (Win – 2 pts with a 1-pt bonus for KO/TKO; Loss – 0 pts; Draw – 1 pt.). After the Group Stage, the four fighters with the highest point totals will advance to the single-elimination SemiFinals. The winners of the Semifinal bouts will advance to the Finals and fight for the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup.

KO Artist Ganoy Inks with Altamura

Explosive-punching lightweight, Ranee “KO Kid” Ganoy (31-11-2, 27 KOs), inked an exclusive managerial agreement with rising Australian boxing manager, Mike Altamura, earlier today. The Australian-based Filipino has scored six consecutive inside-the-distance victories since a world title elimination setback in 2008. Previously, he rattled off a string of incredible upsets, including an eight-round destruction of former IBF 130lb champion Robbie Peden.

“Ranee Ganoy is the hardest hitting fighter, pound-for-pound, in Australia right now, and one of the hardest hitting lightweights in the world,” said Altamura. “He’s a fun, fun fighter to watch, and a bonafide homerun hitter.”

Although a renowned puncher, Ganoy’s boxing technique and skills have significantly improved since hooking up with Grange Old School Boxing trainer Graham Shaw in 2009. Altamura is adamant that the 31-year-old is just hitting his professional peak. “He’s been a little inactive, but he’s continued learning and developing and I am confident that within a couple fights, he’ll be ready for any of the lightweight champions.”

Kell Brook signs with Matchroom Sport

Matchroom Sport are delighted to announce that unbeaten Welterweight Kell Brook has signed a promotional deal with the company.

Brook is considered Britain’s hottest boxing prospect and holds both the British and WBO Inter-Continental titles. The 2009 Young British Boxer of the Year says he is ready to step up to World title level and a meeting with Matchroom Sport’s managing director Eddie Hearn at Prizefighter Super-Middleweights II in Liverpool in March was the start of his new beginning.

“I'm really buzzing about joining Matchroom,” said Brook. “I met Eddie at Prizefighter and we just got on like a house on fire. His thoughts and plans on my future were exactly what I wanted to hear.

“The personal relationship is so important to me because at the end of the day, this is my life. I need to make sure I'm getting the best treatment and I think I'll get that with Matchroom Sport. Eddie is passionate about boxing and he wants the best for me so we're on the same wavelength which is perfect.

“Eddie and I have a good chemistry and when he came to Sheffield to see me and my Dad we all connected during a meeting and it's grown from that.”

Brook took his winning record to 23 fights in his last outing in December, stopping Philip Kotey in the second round in Liverpool in the second defence of his WBO title, and confirming his status as the number one ranking with the WBO. ‘Special K’ says he’s chomping at the bit to get back in the ring, and his first fight with his new promoters is likely to be in the Steel City in June as he continues his unstoppable run to a World title.

“We've got a date in June in mind and it'll be in Sheffield,” said Brook. “We need to work out an opponent but it's great to have a fight lined-up and be topping bills live on Sky Sports in front on my home fans.

“I think I'm a couple of fights from a World title. I'm 25 at the start of May and mentally and physically I'm ready for it. It's just a matter of getting the right fights and sitting down with the team and planning how we're going to get there - but we are going to get there.

Brook has been linked with blockbuster nights against Matthew Hatton and Amir Khan, and while he is focussing on that June date first, he admitted both fights would be great for the fans.

“Matthew and I getting it on in Sheffield would be great,” said Brook. “His fans could come over from Manchester and with Ricky involved to it would just be a huge occasion. Matthew gave a good account of himself against Saul Alvarez and he's a big name out there now, and with me being the hot prospect, that's a great mix for a big fight.

“Fighting Amir would be an incredible night. If that fight could happen, ideally with us both World Champions, it would be a huge night that would put British boxing on the World stage and that's what we need here and what the fans crave.

“It's not about being on pay-per-view for me as not all the fans get to see it - you are excluding people from watching huge nights. I want to be winning headlining Saturday Fight Night shows regularly and I'll be the name on the lips of both the hardcore fight fans and the more casual boxing fans too.”

Brook joins ‘Dazzling’ Darren Barker as a new addition to Matchroom Sport’s boxing stable, with Barker making his bow in a European Middleweight title fight in London on April 30. Brook and Barker sit alongside Paul McCloskey, who challenges Khan for his World title in Manchester next week, and former WBA Super Lightweight World champion Gavin Rees.

“I am so excited about adding Kell to our stable,” said Hearn. “There was never a strategy to start signing fighters but when someone like Kell comes along, there is no way I was going to pass up this opportunity.

“Kell oozes class and has that something special about him – in short he is going to be a superstar. Even in the last 24 hours we have started making big moves for Kell and the plan is to have a high profile defence in June before challenging for the World title later this year.

“We have an obligation to provide Sky Sports with top quality fighters in top quality fights and I'm delighted that fight fans will get the opportunity to watch the likes of Kell Brook and Darren Barker free to air on Saturday Night Fight nights. Our young fighters need a regular platform to showcase their talents and that platform is headlining shows on Saturday nights - not on pay-per view shows with only a quarter of the audience.”

Article posted on 08.04.2011



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