Abraham, Froch, Taylor, Kessler in a Showtime Shocker
By Rick Reeno
A few weeks back, I reported that Showtime was very interested in putting together a super middleweight tournament with the biggest names at the weight. Over the last few days, BoxingScene.com has spoken with numbers high-level sources who are close to the situation and it appears that Showtime is going to move forward with the super middleweight tournament.
The negotiations for this tournament have been very secretive and some of the information I was able to dig up will make Ken Hershman [Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sports & Event Programming at Showtime] wonder if I tapped his phone line.
From what I was able to find out, Showtime plans to enter into multi-fight agreements with undefeated IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham, WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler, former undisputed middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, undefeated contender Andre Ward, undefeated contender Andre Dirrell and undefeated WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch.
This will NOT be an elimination style tournament.
Once all of the contracts have been signed and every fighter is officially on board, Showtime plans to match them in a round robin tournament with some form of a point system.
If everything goes as expected, the following fights are being discussed for this tournament.
Arthur Abraham vs. Jermain Taylor in October in Germany
Carl Froch vs. Andre Dirrell in October in the UK.
Mikkel Kessler vs. Andre Ward in November.
Arthur Abraham vs. Andre Dirrell in America in January 2010
Mikkel Kessler vs. Carl Froch in Europe in March 2010
Andre Ward vs. Jermain Taylor in America in April/May 2010
Andre Dirrell vs. Andre Ward in America in September 2010
Arthur Abraham vs. Carl Froch in November 2010, with Mikkel Kessler vs. Jermain Taylor taking place around the same time.
After those bouts takes place and the points are tallied up, there will be semi-finals and a final tournament bout.
As far as Kessler’s legal dispute with Mogens Palle, I’ve heard that some form of an agreement was reached with Palle to allow Kessler to participate. I’ve been told that Palle will not be part of the promotion, but if everything comes together as expected - Dan Goossen, Gary Shaw, Lou DiBella, Sauerland Event and Mick Hennessey will be involved.
Some other points of interest.
1. Abraham would vacate his title and move up to 168.
2. Kelly Pavlik would be left without any significant opponents at 160 or 168. The only options I would see for him is the winner of Lucian Bute vs. Librado Andrade or Paul Williams.
3. You would have to applaud the promoters involved if everything is able to get worked out. The tournament would be a global event with some of the biggest names in America, Germany, UK and Denmark.
Wish Bika was a part of this, perhaps it might allow him to secure a fight with Pavlik. Should be good, personally I'd be happy with a knockout style competition, I can see something controversial happening with this points system.…Comment by TheSurgeonMDMPH on 07-08-2009
BRAVO! If this jumps off, I will be one happy boxing fiend! This would be what boxing needs. No crying about a loss becuz you still have a chance to be the victor. The fans get what they want and…Comment by ploof1399 on 07-08-2009
[QUOTE=dstew;5644830]I really hope he participates; hell anyone signing up for a tournament like this where almost everyone is assured to get at least one loss deserves major credit from boxing fans. As fans we should honor fighters who put it…Comment by dstew on 07-08-2009
[QUOTE=ploof1399;5644370]Now that I think about this, I will be shocked if this comes off with Andre Ward in it. Until his fight against Edison Miranda, he had been prtotected by his handlers more closely than the Holy Grail. I can't…Comment by ploof1399 on 07-08-2009
Now that I think about this, I will be shocked if this comes off with Andre Ward in it. Until his fight against Edison Miranda, he had been prtotected by his handlers more closely than the Holy Grail. I can't…Post a Comment/View More User Comments (219)