(AP Photo/PA, Andrew Matthews)
By Glenn Wilson
Showtime’s Super Six tournament becomes a reality on Saturday night when young American Andre Dirrell, 18-0, unranked takes on #3 ranked super middleweight Carl Froch, England, 25-0 (21).
Many believe that Dirrell may be a little green for this tourney. The truth is that Jermain Taylor pushed Froch to the limit in his last fight. However, Froch showed his will by outlasting Taylor and finally stopping him in the last round. Prognosticaters are picking Froch, as am I, but don’t be surprised to see Dirrell cause Carl some problems in the early rounds. The fight will be held in England which makes Froch the favorite if the fight is close.
In one of the first rounds most intriguing fights, Arthur Abraham, Germany, 30-0 (24) will fight former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, Arkansas, 28-3-1 (17). The fight will also be Saturday night in Berlin, Germany. Abraham seemed to tired of trying to get a fight with middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik.
Abraham enters the tournament as a career middleweight. His only real foray into the super middleweight division was his rematch with Edison Miranda, a fight that Arthur won easily.
Taylor, ranked 8th at super middleweight, has never lived up to the promise he showed earier in his career. His two fights with Kelly Pavlik were close early, only to see Taylor fade down the stretch. He did the same against Carl Froch. A bout that Jermain seemingly couldn’t lose, he ended up losing by 12th round knockout.
Most experts see Abraham’s toughness wearing down Taylor late in the fight. I see it the same way. Even tough he is in the tournament, a Taylor loss will more than likely make him only a name opponent for future up and comers.
On November 21, Mikkel Kessler, the #1 ranked super middleweight, will take on Andre Ward, Oakland, Ca., 20-0 (13). The fight will take place in Ward’s hometown. The danger for Ward could be getting caught up in the crowd’s reaction. Kessler, Denmark, 42-1 (32) is the tournament favorite and has excellent boxing skills, speed and good power. Ward will have to bring an A+ game to defeat Mikkel. Most are picking Kessler by decision. I am picking Kessler by late round stoppage, he is a smart boxer and will not want to leave it in the hands of the judges in Ward’s hometown.
The tournament should be exciting and the matchups appear to be competitive on paper. My only complaint is that they could not entice Lucian Bute of Canada to enter the event. A Kessler-Bute fight would have given us a legitimate 168 pound champion to take Joe Calzaghe’s place.
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Glenn grew up in local boxing gyms and still worked out and sparred as recently as 2004.
Follow Glenn Wilson at Norfolk-Boxing-Examiner