NEW YORK – Through the last two years, no four men have been closer to the action in the Super Six World Boxing Classic than SHOWTIME announcers Gus Johnson, Al Bernstein, Antonio Tarver and Jim Gray. Appropriately, the entire team will again sit ringside on Saturday, Dec. 17 as Andre Ward and Carl Froch battle for super middleweight supremacy in The Final LIVE on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Each member of the Super Six broadcast team offered their commentary on the historic bout.
Gus Johnson, Play-by-Play Announcer
“We’re witnessing two fighters who haven’t reached their peak yet. This fight is going to go a long way in determining what path they take. The winner has the opportunity to launch into super stardom at 168. The winner will have the chance to potentially become a household name moving forward.
“These two men are meeting each other at the right time. They’re young. They’re strong. They’re hungry, humble and – maybe most importantly – they really want to test themselves. It’s tailor made. Ward-Froch will be cataclysmic.”
Al Bernstein, Expert Analyst
“Andre Ward is the consummate boxer-puncher. We thought Mikkel Kessler was the most skilled fighter in the tournament and Andre dominated him. In this match, Ward must bring the kind of ring generalship that allowed Andre Dirrell to do well against Froch – even in losing. The Ward jab needs to be established early and he must punch in combination, while mixing in just enough lateral movement.
“Carl Froch is a much more nuanced fighter than we expected to see in this tournament. He is a better pure boxer than he's given credit for being. He showed that in wins over Arthur Abraham and Glen Johnson. He also has an iron chin. Ward will not attack him like Johnson and Abraham so Froch will need to push the pace more. He, too, must establish the jab early and then land his right hand behind it. He has not used his excellent uppercut as much in the Super Six; this would be a good time to bring it out of mothballs.”
Antonio Tarver, Expert Analyst
“The key for Andre Ward is to stay within himself, keep boxing and keep winning the rounds. I think there is a lot of pressure on him to do something exciting, to do something great, but he can’t play into that hype. He must stay disciplined. I think that’s the key word when I look at what he needs for this battle: discipline.
“For Froch, he’s going to have to cut the ring off. He’s going to have to limit Andre Ward’s movement. Carl is going to have to press him and I think he’s going to have to be the aggressor. He needs to make it a fight instead of a boxing match. Froch will have to corner Ward and make him fight with his back against the ropes. And if he can do that and sustain that kind of attack, press him mentally and physically, Froch will give Ward the hardest fight he’s ever had. If anybody gets knocked out in this fight, I see Froch catching Ward.
“I really feel like the winner of this fight will write his own ticket as to what he’d like to do in the near future so there is a lot at stake. I’m looking forward to it. We could be looking at the Fighter of the Year. When you look at what they’ve gone through, you’ve got to put Ward or Froch in the category for Fighter of the Year if one man can win convincingly.”
Jim Gray, Ringside Reporter
“The key for Ward will be to be patient. He needs to fight at his pace and not be lured in by Froch to brawl. He must also know that Froch has a great chin, and not be frustrated that Froch may not budge with his best shots.
“The key for Froch would be to somehow be able to get Ward to brawl. To get him into wild exchanges and catch him. Froch is tough and he has the ability to take fighters out of their plan and create opportunities.”
The event is promoted by Goossen Tutor Promotions, Matchroom Sport and Antonio Leonard Promotions, in association with Caesars Atlantic City and sponsored by Corona.
Tickets are on sale at the Boardwalk Hall box office or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com. All tickets purchased for the original event date will be honored on Dec. 17. If ticket holders are not able to attend on Dec. 17, refunds are available at the point of purchase. The non-televised undercard begins at 6 p.m. ET.
ABOUT SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC
The inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic is a ground-breaking, six-fighter tournament from SHOWTIME Sports® featuring the class of the super middleweight (168-pound) division from around the world. All bouts in the Super Six tournament will be contested under the Unified Rules of Boxing. Each boxer fights three bouts against different opponents in the field in the points-based Group Stage of competition (Win – 2 pts with a 1-pt bonus for KO/TKO; Loss – 0 pts; Draw – 1 pt.). After the Group Stage, the four fighters with the highest point totals advanced to the single-elimination Semifinals. The winners of the Semifinal bouts advanced to The Final to fight for the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic Cup.
About Showtime Networks Inc.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, SHOWTIME 2 HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™ and FLIX ON DEMAND®. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.