Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Super Six not what it was but we’re still interested


Super Six is down to Super Four. And it’s just not the same.

The Super Six World Boxing Classic, a great idea by Showtime, seemed to absorb the departure of Jermain Taylor fairly well. He was replaced with a capable super middleweight, Allan Green, and the six-man competition went on.

Then Green barely showed up in his pathetically one-sided loss to Andre Ward in June and the tournament lost some luster.

Now Mikkel Kessler, one of the favorite’s at the beginning to win the whole thing, is out because of problems with his eye.

So, in effect, we’re left with four credible 168-pounders – Ward, Andre Dirrell, Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch – and tournament organizers must decide how to salvage their creation.

“We will publicly address how this turn of events affects the tournament in the coming days,” Ken Hershman, vice president of Showtime, said in a statement. “I assure you we will make the best of this scenario.”

The logical solution, as The Associated Press pointed out, would be to eliminate Green – the only one of the remaining five with no points – and move forward to the semifinals a round early.

And, by chance, the semis are already set: Ward, the point leader, faces No. 4 Dirrell on Sept. 25 while No. 2 Abraham takes on No. 3 Froch on Oct. 2.

These remain exciting matchups, particularly knowing that the winners will fight one another early next year for the tournament championship. That, to borrow Hershman's words, would be making the best of this scenario.

However, what started as one of the best-conceived ideas in boxing – one that generated considerable excitement because it forced the best 168-pounders to fight one another in an intriguing format – has fizzled to a good degree.

No one is to blame. Those involved in the tournament knew it was risky. Such is boxing.

And, sadly, we wonder whether the setbacks will deter Showtime and others from putting together similar competitions. Perhaps they should remember this: Super Six isn’t quite what it was intended to be but it still commands our attention.