The Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic has exceeded its expectations by a broad margin. During the early stages of this event, there were many boxing fans that were very skeptical about this whole idea, being that it was the first tournament of its kind displayed on television. I must admit, I for one was part of that group.
Whose idea it was to do this has scored in a very big way. It worked! This tournament has brought some excitement to professional boxing. When it seemed boxing has struggled with putting together good boxing matches, this tournament has kept the momentum going. The launching of this tournament has also allowed Showtime to attract the attention of boxing fans it once had.
It’s a given that these six fighters were well selected. It seems that the competition here is almost even, except for one: Andre Ward. This young fighter has all the tools necessary to come out on the very top of this event. I’ve had the opportunity to watch all of these fighters. Ward skills seems to be a notch up from the rest. What makes these fighters so exciting is… all of them seem to bring something special to the ring, and some can drop you with one punch.
That was displayed in stage one of the series, when Arthur Abraham vs. Jermain Taylor with less than ten seconds left in the fight; Abraham hit Taylor with a punch he didn’t see and it was lights out. It was that punch that caused Taylor to re-evaluate his boxing career. It wasn’t long after that fight, that Taylor and his team made the decision to drop out of the tournament.
Jermain Taylor was replaced by Allan Green. Now, here is the list of the six super middleweights fighting: Arthur Abraham 31-1, 25 KO’s, Andre Dirrell 19-1, 13 KO’s, Carl Froch 26-1, 20 KO’s, Allan Green 29-2, 20 KO’s, Mikkel Kessler 43-2, 30 KO’s, and Andre Ward 22-0, 13 KO’s. These super middleweights are leaving nothing behind when they step in the ring. So far, all of these boxing events have been exciting to watch.
The only undefeated fighter in this event is Andre Ward. This young fighter has impressed many fans with his style and heart. Ward seems to have explored into the boxing library of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, JR. There are some similarities they both share that is very rare in boxing, and that is the slickness of “hit and don’t get hit style.” This “sweet science of boxing” has been duplicated by very few.
Ward has defeated two tough fighters in the first and second stage of this event. His first win came against Mikkel Kessler who was a favorite going into the fight. Ward made Kessler look like an amateur during that bout. Even though there were a couple of unintentional head-butts, the speed difference was very apparent. Kessler could not put together any combinations that would elude Ward from his attack. Ward won by a large margin.
His second fight was with Allan Green. Ward was the slight favorite coming into this fight. Once again he made a veteran fighter look dismantled. Green could not land any of his big punches. Matter of fact, he did not land very much at all. Ward picked the perfect fight plan for Green and he executed it very well. This fight was won by Ward in a decision by a very large margin. Afterwards, Green gave Ward his credit, but also complained about being weight drained.
Andre Dirrell has looked good throughout this event, even though he suffered a loss to Carl Froch by a close decision. He turned around and defeated Arthur Abraham in stage 2, who was undefeated going into that fight. Dirrell boxed very well against Abraham. He used his legs behind a good jab to offset the punching power of Abraham. Dirrell was heading for a clear decision win over Abraham, before he was hit while down from a slippage in round ten. Abraham was disqualified for hitting Dirrell while he was down. Abraham was a huge favorite going into that fight.
Most boxing fans that has followed the Super Six Tournament, probably already know that stage 3 is approaching and the excitement level has begun to peak. This stage has Andre Ward facing Andre Dirrell. Just in case you didn’t know, these two fighters are close friends. I’ll go a step further and say they are very close friends. They have known each other for several years.
Just recently during the Ward vs. Green fight, Dirrell was interviewed before the fight. He was asked pending the outcome of that fight, that he was scheduled to meet up with Ward in stage 3, and if so, would their close friendship affect their performance? Dirrell smiled and said, “not at all.” He stated, “We both have a job to do, and that will take priority first over our friendship.” He then said, “Of course, it won’t be easy.”
First of all, if these two friends can really let go and go all out to win, this can be a very good fight. I believe the first few rounds will be sort of a feel out round for both fighters. I believe both fighters become serious after getting hit clean by the other. This fight probably will become very heated going into the second half. Both fighters have skills and they both have speed. Neither one are big power punchers, however, they both possess good accuracy in landing punches.
This fight will come down to heart. Andre Ward has showed true heart in every fight I’ve seen him fight. He is usually focused and ready come fight time. I give Ward a slight edge in skills, speed and quickness. He does not take much punishment in the ring. I believe going down the stretch he will figure out Dirrell and start to pick him apart.
This fight might go the distance or a late round stoppage, but either way I have Andre Ward coming out victorious. As long as Ward can keep from getting hit by a big punch he does not see by Dirrell, I believe he wins this fight hands down. These two fighters have all the goods to put on a great performance come fight night.