Al Bernstein, who will be ringside as Showtime’s analyst for the Super Six World Boxing Classic, called it “The most unique and creative event I’ve seen in 30 years of broadcasting the sport.”
Bernstein will be in Nottingham, England with broadcast partner Gus Johnson to call the action of the Carl Froch-Andre Dirrell fight, as part of a doubleheader that kicks off the tournament on October 17th. Also that night Showtime viewers will get to see Arthur Abraham take on Jermain Taylor. The first stage of the Super Six concludes on Nov. 21st when Mikkel Kessler battles Andre Ward.
“Almost 30 years ago I started my broadcasting career by announcing several tournaments on ESPN that helped define the Top Rank Boxing series, and now it has come full circle for me all these years later with the Super Six World Boxing Classic,” Bernstein said. “However,” he added, “this event is on a totally different level in terms of talent and impact, and the modified round robin format, the international appeal and the extraordinary ability of these fighters makes this an unprecedented event in boxing history.”
Bernstein outlined the opening round matches this way:
Froch-Dirrell: At 32 Froch is a late bloomer in the sport, who has had his title for only about a year. This rugged Brit has power and determination and a granite chin that makes up for an almost non-existent defense. Like Dirrell, he has never lost as a pro. The 27 year old Dirrell is a former Olympian who might be the most athletically gifted of all the Super Six. However, he is also completely untested against competition of this nature. This match comes down to the speed and boxing ability of Dirrell and the busy and powerful attack of Froch.
Abraham-Taylor: Fought on Abraham’s turf in Berlin, Germany, this match features two men who made their marks in the middleweight division. Abraham moves up to 168 for this tourney and brings with him an amazing defense and lots of power. He can be out boxed, but eventually catches up with opponents and unleashes his power. The 31 year old Taylor has three of the only four losses suffered by all six of these fighters. In each of those losses he was ahead by the middle rounds, but failed to hang onto the advantage. A clever boxer-puncher, he was ahead on all scorecards with less than 20 seconds left against Froch in his last fight, but was stopped by a barrage of Froch punches. This match with Abraham will be decided on whether Taylor has improved his always suspect stamina and whether Abraham can deal with Taylor’s all around ring generalship
Kessler-Ward: WBA Champion Mikkel Kessler is generally regarded as the early favorite in the tournament. He is both a superb boxer and a puncher with a glittering 42-1 record, with 32 knockouts. That lone loss came by decision to Joe Calzage, who may be the best 168-pounder of all time. For the opening stage this Danish champ travels to Oakland, California to take on that state’s native son André Ward. This 25 year old is a 2004 Olympic champion who is undefeated as a pro, and many believe he is peaking for this tournament. Ward is a solid ring technician who many feel is the sleeper of the tournament. This match features two fighters who are both fundamentally sound. Kessler has the experience and power, Ward has the youth and home field advantage. More information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic can be found at www.sports.sho.com..
IN OTHER NEWS:
The World Boxing Hall of Fame is giving its Sugar Ray Robinson award to Al Bernstein. The special achievement award will be presented on Oct. 22 at the press conference for the Oct. 24 awards dinner, at which Al will be one of the inductees into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Al said, “Sugar Ray was the greatest fighter of all time, and he was and is my favorite boxer to watch, so getting an award with his name on it is really amazing to me. I appreciate it more than anyone can imagine.”
Contact Adie Zuckerman, directing manager for Al Bernstein Live, at [email protected] to schedule print, internet, radio, or television interviews with Mr. Bernstein or to get information about his programs and services.