By Rick Reeno
During the New York press conference to announce Showtime’s super middleweight tournament, promoter Gary Shaw told media members that Jose Sulaiman, president of the WBC, sent him an email that fully supported Froch’s campaign in the tournament. The WBC will not force Froch to make any mandatory obligations during his run in the super middleweight tournament. The two top contenders, Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell, are part of the tournament and I’m sure that helped with Sulaiman’s decision.
Kalle Sauerland of Sauerland Event advised BoxingScene.com that Mikkel Kessler will likely make his mandatory defense against Gusmyl Perdomo at the end of September, and then the tournament bout with Andre Ward will take place in November. Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California is the leading location to host the fight.
Ward was the only fighter not present at the presser. He caught the flu during a family trip in Mexico. He may appear at the remaining media tour dates.
If one of the tournament participants is injured for an extended amount of time, Ken Hershman, Senior VP and General Manager of Sports and Event Programming for Showtime, told BoxingScene that other fighters will be considered to take their place.
Hershman set the record straight and said IBF champion Lucian Bute was never invited to enter the tournament. The exact details were never disclosed.
I found out an interesting fact about Arthur Abraham. He can fluently speak in Russian. Arthur told BoxingScene that he learned how to fluently speak Russian during his schooling in Armenia. I really got caught by surprise when Kalle brought me to Arthur and the unbeaten fighter began to speak in Russian.
America vs. Europe was the background theme of the press conference – three American Olympians vs. Three European Champions.
I played a cruel joke on Froch [with some assistance from his promoter Mick Hennessey]. I approached Froch in my interview mode and told him that Calzaghe said “I can’t believe they let a wanker like Froch represent British boxing in this tournament.” I then made a few more “Calzaghe said this about you” comments. They were so bad that I can’t even print them here. By end of the interview, Hennessey and some of his staff were falling all over the place from laughter. Froch on the other hand was steaming mad and yelling that he was going to “kick Calzaghe’s arse.” All in good fun. Froch promised to turn the tables on me in the future.
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