Super Six: Sizing Up Stage 3

From its inception, the Super Six World Boxing Classic was designed to pave the road towards the best super middleweight in the world. Despite some bumps along the way, the Super Six is moving swiftly towards its destination. Only one round remains before the road narrows its course and abandons two fighters from the journey.

The Super Six is a points based tournament with three stages of round-robin fights. After the third stage, the top four in points advance to the second round. The second round will be a single-elimination tournament with point totals being used for seeding. Two points are awarded for a win; One for a tie; Zero for a loss. A bonus point is given for knocking your opponent out.

Andre Ward is the current leader with four points and guaranteed a spot in the next round. His thorough dismantling of Allan Green confirmed that Ward belongs atop the leaderboard. Ward next faces fellow-American Andre Dirrell. While Ward has already clinched his spot in the next round, he is still fighting for the number one overall seed heading into the next round.

Andre Dirrell, on the other hand, may be fighting for his tournament life against the points leader. Dirrell lost a close decision to Froch but rebounded with a DQ win over Arthur Abraham, a fight that Dirrell was winning before the illegal punch. Dirrell is in a crowded group with two points. A win would secure a spot in the next round but it won’t come easy. While four of the original Super Six entered the tournament with an undefeated record, only Andre Ward has his perfect record intact.

Arthur Abraham currently sits in second place with three points, a product of the only knockout in the tournament thus far. Abraham confirmed his knockout power, albeit in embarrassing and totally illegal fashion, when he decked a downed Dirrell en route to a disqualification in stage two. Abraham next faces Carl Froch in what is the most intriguing stage three matchup. A win for Abraham advances him into the next round, likely as a top two seed. King Arthur has plenty of scenarios that work out in his favor even in defeat.

Carl Froch has two points in the tournament and a win over Arthur Abraham would advance him into the next round. A loss could make things pretty sticky for Froch. Tiebreakers are determined first by head-to-head matchups. Froch would be favored over Dirrell but bested by Mikkel Kessler. All three currently sit at 2 points. With knockouts being at such a great value in the Super Six, expect Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham to go all out in their bout and put on the best fight of stage three.

Mikkel Kessler entered the Super Six as a favorite to win but now sees himself a knockout loss away from possibly watching the rest of the tournament from home. Kessler next faces Allan Green and if Kessler wins, he advances to the next stage. Kessler has not looked the part of tournament favorite but the Viking Warrior can redeem himself with a win over Green. Points are washed away in the second round, giving Kessler a fresh start heading into single-elimination.

Allan Green, the stage two replacement for Jermain Taylor, ranks at the bottom with zero points. Green was obviously put into a tough position when he took over for a guy with no points and having to face the new favorite to win it all in his first contest. Still, Green didn’t put up much of a fight, which has to have Mikkel Kessler licking his chops. Green needs points in a hurry and the Super Six just so happens to favor knockout artists. There is certainly power in Green’s hands and using it against Kessler would serve him well. A loss or draw will send Green home.

Looking ahead, Andre Ward has a ton of momentum and most expect him to advance past Andre Dirrell and into the number one seed. Allan Green showed little signs of competitiveness against Ward and unless that spark is ignited against Mikkel Kessler, let’s expect Kessler to move on as well. That puts Ward and Kessler in and Allan Green out, leaving Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, and Andre Dirrell for the final two spots.

No matter the outcome of Arthur Abraham vs. Carl Froch, Andre Dirrell would be the one going home. A Froch win advances both Europeans over Dirrell on points. A win for Abraham creates a tie for fourth between Froch and Dirrell but Dirrell misses out based on their previous head-to-head matchup. Therefore, the most likely scenario sees Andre Ward advancing with the three European fighters into the second round. This is boxing, however, and anything can happen.

The journey to find the best 168-pound fighter in the world has been laid out, with plenty of forks in the road. Just sit back and enjoy the ride, whichever route it ends up taking us.

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