By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
The Super Middleweight Tourney
IOWA CITY (BASN) — The biggest news in boxing will be the Super Middleweight tournament to find the true champion sponsored by Showtime. Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, Jermain Taylor, Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell as well as IBF Middleweight champion Arthur Abraham.
This fight has all the right ingredients for a exciting event; great champions to go with up and coming stars. Mikkel Kessler is considered the best in the division but he has not fought since he lost to Joe Calzghe and he will face Andre Ward where as Froch takes on the other American up and coming star Andre Dirrell.
To add to the excitement, Jermain Taylor challenges undefeated Arthur Abraham, the Middleweight star. The combined record of this group is 161-4-1 with 117 knockouts.
This field includes three titleholders (even though Abraham title is at the Middleweight division) and a former Middleweight title holder. And whether this was done purposely or by accident, all three bouts have European fighters facing American fighters.
So we have the additional intrigue of a little nationalism. For American fans, it should be noted that all American fighters would be the underdogs and the two Andre’s were be massively underdogs.
Kessler is a excellent boxer puncher with more experience than his opponent whereas Ward will be fighting on the big stage for the first time. Dirrell showed his toughness against Edison Miranda but against Froch, he will be facing an awkward tough brawler and Froch showed his toughness with his come from behind victory against Taylor.
The most intriguing bout will be Jermain Taylor fighting Arthur Abraham.
Taylor is the better boxer but has shown lately that he fades in the stretch against tough pressure fighters. Against both Pavlik and Froch, Taylor took quick lead before falling to his opponent.
He is 0-3 against these pressure fighters and Abraham won a fight with a broken jaw in his first bout against Miranda.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael showed that this is a deep division when he noted that HBO could hold its own tournament with some good fighters of its own. Rafael writes, “HBO won’t do it, but just for fun, here’s who I’d put in it: Bute and Andrade (whose rematch would be one of the opening-round matches), titleholder Karoly Balzsay, Sakio Bika, Allan Green and middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, who, like Arthur Abraham in the Showtime tournament, would move up from 160 pounds.”
“Not a bad field, huh?… The list of fighters for my fantasy HBO tournament also includes two titleholders ( Bute and Balzsay) and has a combined record of 163-7-2, 124 knockouts.”
Rafael point is that this is a deep division. With the addition of Pavlik and Abraham, the top 12 fighters of the Super Middleweights combined records is 324-11-3 with 241 knockouts.
This is a division where any fighter could easily beat any other fighter. There are very few divisions as deep and when the Showtime tournament is over, there is still the winner of the Lucian Bute and Librade Andrade bout who will also claim a portion of the Super Middleweight championship.
So to find the true champion may take a couple of years but it will produce some great moments. This is a win-win for both boxing and a division that is presently hidden from boxing sights.
The various champions are Europeans and this has led to a lack of interest. By including American fighters as well as bringing the best European fighters on Showtime, boxing fans will see some of the best boxing in the world.