First off, I was completely appalled in only the first two fights of the “Super Six” six man round robin super middleweight tournament to crown the best “Super Middleweight” in the world. Aside from the “Six Super-Middleweights” (168 pounds) they chose, they left out undefeated IBF champ Lucian Bute, the “once beaten but has gotten better and wanted to be a part of it” in Allan Green, and then, the guy people thought got a raw deal in his fight with Bute, in super middle KO artist Andrade. Looking at the super middleweight Top 10, that’s leaving out numbers 2, 4, and 6.
The ones in the tournament, at the time, were ranked 1, 3, 8, and 0. Dirrell (we’ll talk about him in a moment) was not ranked in the top 10, and Arthur Abraham, who gave Jermain Taylor a concussion the other night, was the IBF “Middleweight” titlist – he dropped the alphabet title and moved up eight pounds north for a shot at the tourney. Let’s first learn about this tournament, which no one seems to “get” – here are the members of the tournament. This is how it looked going in, with the odds as to who would win.
Mikkel Kessler – 42-1 (32) WBA Champion (EVEN)
Carl Froch – 25-0 (21) WBC Champion (2-1)
Arthur Abraham – 30-0 (23) Former IBF Middleweight Champion (EVEN)
Andre Ward – 20-0 (13) (5-2)
Andre Dirrell – 18-0 (13) (5-2)
Jermain Taylor – 28-3-1 (17) Former Undisputed World Middleweight Champion (10-1)
Yeah, that’s a 10-1 for Jermain Taylor, who, upon his first fight, is probably now ranked around the place Buster Douglas was before almost beheading Mike Tyson in Tokyo. Now, this is how the tournament plays out, there are three stages, here they are…
Abraham – Taylor
Froch – Dirrell
Kessler – Ward
Abraham – Dirrell
Kessler – Froch
Ward – Taylor
Dirrell – Ward
Abraham – Froch
Kessler – Taylor
Now, if you win you get 2 points, if you win by KO you get 3 points, and if you lose you get 0. So after these 3 stages, add up the points, and the 4 highest seeds go to the semi final one time elimination tournament, which goes….
SEED 1 vs SEED 4
SEED 2 vs SEED 3
The 2 winning seeds will fight each other for the crown, or whatever ya get. So we get 12 fights out of this deal. And after the first night where “Stage 1” began, there’s controversy. A fear of mine about the tourney would come true, but not at the start of the evening.
In the second fight, we got to see WBC Champ, Froch, whose last fight was KO’ing Taylor in the last round, go up against Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell. Now, for the record, Dirrell was a great Olympic, got a Bronze medal, but his first shot at glory was on HBO, when he took on “Chin Checker” Curtis Stevens. Stevens followed, sometimes ran after Dirrell, who ran the whole fight, but would stop and score once in a while. Lampley and Merchant were disgusted, and after HBO human scorecard Harold Ledderman said, “They’re doing nothing” they asked him who he had ahead, and it was Dirrell, and when asked why… “Even though he’s not doing much, it’s more than the other guy” in Stevens, who needed to take a class on how to cut off the ring, not just run in circles after a guy. Dirrell got past that, but not on HBO, but he got mighty good looking in KO victories over Hanshaw and Oganov, which were provided by Showtime. I picked him to outbox, maybe KO Froch, with his speed and underrated power, and like Abraham, something I don’t like, it was in Froch’s home town. This was my fear of the tournament, these European boxers fighting in their backyards getting hometown decisions – hey, it happens in the US when you see a guy fighting in his home town, filled with his fans, his ref, his judges. At the end of the night, I thought Dirrell clearly out-boxed, out-foxed, out-hustled, won more rounds, scored more telling blows, got ripped off a point with no warning before it, got ripped off for Froch not losing a point because he hit behind the head the whole fight, and I thought Dirrell plain defeated the champ (did I say clearly?) and it was announced to be a split decision and I thought, “well, one judge made a mistake.” Nope, it was two. They gave the match to Froch, who stays unbeaten.
Robert Earle Stanton is a freelance writer, short fiction author and novelist.
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