by Cliff Rold
The epilogue of the Super Six continues.
One of the positive aspects of the prominent Super Middleweight tournament that took place from 2009-11 is that it keeps on giving. We’ve seen fighters who missed each other in the field face off later.
And we are starting to see the rematches. This weekend, it’s the return of the best fight of the whole two-year process. There’s just enough surrounding action to keep things flowing.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #1 Carl Froch vs. #2 Mikkel Kessler (Saturday, HBO, 6 PM EST/3 PM PST)
This can’t miss, right? Froch (30-2, 22 KO), one defense into a reign as IBF 168 lb. titlist, will attempt to avenge his first loss and this time the home court is his. The first fight was one of the best of 2010 and Kessler needed time off when it was over. For sure, Froch has proven more durable. Does he have what it takes to prove better? Kessler (46-2, 35 KO), reigning again as WBA titlist because the WBA is silly (seriously, he loses to Andre Ward and winds up with a WBA belt back anyways…it comical), has scored three straight knockouts since the first Froch fight. No, he hasn’t faced the same level of foe in the years since, but he also hasn’t added the miles Froch might have. One can try to think of ways this fight could disappoint, but it’s hard. The winner is in line for a rematch with division champion Andre Ward. While some may argue that neither can beat him, no one will be able to say they haven’t earned it. This was a gem once and appears ready to shine again. For fans who can see the undercard, quality contender George Groves continues his move towards a shot at, perhaps, the Froch-Kessler II winner. At Light Heavyweight, Isaac Chilemba and Tony Bellew will fight a rematch of their draw earlier this year. The UK has a hell of a card this weekend.
Pick Deuce: Delvin Rodriguez vs. Freddy Hernandez (Friday, ESPN2, 10 PM EST/7 PM PST)
Hernandez (30-4, 20 KO) has lost three of his last four but only been stopped once. Rodriguez (27-6-3, 15 KO) is coming off a thrashing of outmatched George Tahdooahnippah and finds tougher fare here. Rodriguez has a tendency to get in good scraps and this one could be well matched. Add in the ESPN studio action, with plenty to say about the Froch-Kessler rematch and a review of Lucas Matthysse going nuclear, and this Jr. Middleweight affair looks like a fine way to spend a Friday night.
Pick Fly: Roman Gonzalez vs. Ronald Barrera (Saturday, Mexico, ?)
Ok, no, this doesn’t look like a very good fight. Gonzalez (34-0, 28 KO) is the man at 108 lbs. and may be one of the best in the world at any weight. When recent foe Juan Francisco Estrada bested Brian Viloria, it was a boost to Gonzalez as well. Barrera (31-11-2, 19 KO) is likely cannon fodder, but that’s okay because he’s also a bridge. Gonzalez might be heading for Kazuto Ioka. He might be headed for Flyweight. For now, we get a likely bone-chilling knockout to enjoy.
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]