By Lamar Sparkman
Carl Froch has withdrawn from his October 2nd fight with Arthur Arbraham due to a back injury. This is the latest blow to a tournament that had so much excitement and anticipation when it was first announced.
The Super Six World Boxing Classic which was conceived by Showtime and put together promoters to showcase six of the worlds top super middleweights in a round robin format that fighters advance on a points system. The fighters get 3 points for a knockout, 2 points for a win and 1 for a draw.
The first stage started last Oct. with a double header between Jermain Taylor and Arthur Abraham in Germany and Carl Froch against Andre Dirrell in England. Both fights were competitive and entertaining, Abraham won by KO in the last seconds of the 12th round and Froch won a controversial split decision. A month later Andre Ward had his coming out party winning the WBA super middleweight title by dominating Mikkel Kessler who was the favorite to win it all. The tournament brought excitement to boxing because it guaranteed the best fighting the best instead of the cherry picking that’s plagued boxing lately.
Before group stage 2 Jermain Taylor withdrew from the tourney to take time off after suffering a concussion from the devastating KO by Abraham. He was replaced by Allan Green who had a record of 29-1, 20 kos and was ranked in the top 10 of the division.
Group stage two started in March, Dirrell beat Abraham by 11th round disqualification for hitting behind the head after he had slipped on the canvas giving him his first loss and Kessler won the WBC title from Froch by unanimous decision in an exciting fight of the year candidate. In June Andre Ward put on another impressive performance dominating Green for 12 rounds mostly on the inside roughing him up.
Stage 3 was set to begin this month to determine the semifinal but last month Kessler withdrew from the fight with an eye injury. Showtime decided to drop Green and start the semifinal with the remaining four who were leading in points. The Ward/Dirrell fight is scheduled for September 25 but the promoters haven’t been able to find a venue because Ward is the only fighter who has fought at home throughout the tourney and his promoter is adamant about the fight being in Oakland for economic reasons; Ward has drawn 12,000 to 15,000 fans for his last few fights. Last week Showtime sent papers to both sides threatening legal action if the fight isn’t rescheduled by October. Now they have to deal with Froch’s injury which has Showtime working overtime to find a date for later in the fall.
What was guaranteed to be two exciting and competitive fights, Dirrell/Ward and Abraham/Froch is in jeopardy. In a year when so many fights have been cancelled and the best fighters reluctant to fight each other the Super Six Classic was something fans had to look forward to and now its up in the air whether these fights will be rescheduled. All the fighters signed contracts when they agreed to enter the tournament and it will be interesting to see what if anything Showtime can do to bring it to a conclusion. Hopefully they can get it done.
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