Ward-Dirrell, Froch-Abraham rescheduled for Nov. 27
The postponed Super Six World Boxing Classic matchups between Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell and Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham have been rescheduled for November 27, it was announced by Showtime, the U.S. cable network that created the innovative but troubled 168-pound tournament.
Ward-Dirrell was supposed to take place on Saturday but was held up for reasons undisclosed by the network as well as the management and promoters of the fighters. It is rumored that the former 2004 U.S. Olympic teammates, who are friends, wanted more money than the network could offer to face each other on September 25.
Froch-Abraham was to take place on October 2 but had to be pushed to a later date when Froch injured his back in training.
Ward-Dirrell, which has yet to secure a venue, will headline the Nov. 27 Showtime telecast, live at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and will be contested for Ward’s WBA title and the newly vacated WBC belt. On the same night, Froch will face Abraham at Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland, in a bout that may or may not be televised by Showtime on a tape-delay basis depending on what the promoters of the fighters can work out with the venue.
The vacant title up for grabs in the Ward-Dirrell fight was held by Mikkel Kessler, who won the belt in a heated 12-round decision over Froch in April. The bout, which took place in Kessler's home country of Denmark was part of the Super Six tournament. However, the Danish star had to withdraw from the tournament and abdicate his title when he revealed that he suffered from vision problems that need time to heal.
Kessler's withdraw cut the Super Six down to five participants (Ward, Froch, Dirrell, Abraham and Allan Green, who replaced Jermain Taylor when the former middleweight champ withdrew following a brutal KO loss to Abraham in Group Stage 1 of the tournament) and left Green without an opponent for Group Stage 3.
Fans and media speculated that Showtime would solve the dilemma by dropping Green, who was dominated by Ward in his only bout of the tournament, and moving directly to the four-man single-elimination semifinals.
However, the network is proceeding with Group Stage 3, which Froch-Abraham and Ward-Dirrell are part of.
A decision on Green’s Group Stage 3 bout is expected in the coming days, according to Showtime.
The third and final Group Stage will complete the round-robin portion of the tournament and determine the four fighters who will advance to the semifinals. Through the first two Stages, Ward is the only fighter to have secured a berth in the Semis. No fighter has been eliminated from contention creating a virtual win-or-go-home scenario for each of the men.