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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Six Pack

There are several things to cover in boxing as the week hits mid-mark. But the primary focus must shift to our neighbors across the pond. In what can be described by boxing fans as a must see event, England’s own, Karl Froch (26-0-0, 20 KOs) will look to keep his unscathed record intact when he travels to Denmark to face hometown hero, Mikkel Kessler (42-2-0, 32 KOs).

Many are predicting a real battle to ensue in the otherwise quiet town of Herning, Denmark. And to add more fuel to what is already expected to become a raging fire, both fighters understand what a win will mean for the tournament they’ve both signed up for.

For those readers who don’t know what I’m talking about the cable conglomerate, Showtime and its parent company, CBS, took a big gamble and began the boxing tournament known as the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Here’s a link to what good ‘ol Wikipedia defines the Super Six as.

To briefly brake down exactly how this tournament works, six fighters square off three times in what can be best described as a preliminary round or in this case groups. Receiving three points for a knockout or technical knockout, two points for a win by points (decision), one point in case of a draw and finally zero points for a loss, the top four boxers with the highest points will then move onto the semi finals where then the last two remaining fighters finish off the “Classic” to determine a winner.

An audacious format of boxing to say the least, and so far Showtime has taken some chin shots thanks to several injuries (including Jermain Taylor leaving the tournament because of a brutal knockdown in the preliminary round by undefeated boxer, Arthur Abraham).

But that’s not to detract from the intrigue that this special format of boxing brings to the table. It’s not every day that the sport gets a high level of media attention and the hope is that by bringing some originality to the market more fans will eventually take to the idea. Has this happened yet? Personally I sure don’t think so, but I’m not faulting Showtime. It’s a tough subject to tackle and one that could take plenty of time and effort arguing over, but for the record, at least our European friends across the Atlantic are taking notice.

This tournament has been underway since October of 2009 and the top four fighters based on points include, Arthur Abraham, Andre Dirrell, Carl Froch and Andre Ward. As noted before, Jermain Taylor has been replaced by fellow American fighter, Allan Green. Green will face off for the first time in the tourney against Ward on June 19th followed by a mandatory match against Kessler at a date to be determined.

At the end of the day you might ask, what is the final prize or reward? Well not counting the purses and revenue brought in by fighting on such a guaranteed schedule, how’s about the WBC, WBA and ultimately the unified championship of the super middleweight division. How’s that sound for going all in?

I expect those diehard boxing fans to laugh at this breakdown, but remember what the tournament is all about. Not only is it to entertain those eagerly awaiting the action and story line that it brings with it but to also entice people that might not otherwise show much attention to the sport. Again, I’m sure we won’t see a dramatic shift in boxing followers statistically speaking, but it should at least keep us going in the news as the tourney continues to roll through 2011.

And that’s the jist of what the Super Six World Boxing Classic is about. For the American audience, tune in to Showtime at 9:00 p.m. ET (same-day tape delay) for the Froch-Kessler throw down while Primetime Channel 480 will supply the action for UK households and pubs.

Don’t forget to comeback to www.kidsfrontrowseats.blogspot.com later in the week for the highly anticipated preview of this weekend’s 12 rounds of boxing between Froch and Kessler.

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