Friday, July 16, 2010

Monaco Mayhem for Froch and Abraham

Following weeks of intense negotiations, SHOWTIME Sports® is proud to announce that Hennessy Sports and Sauerland Event—the promotional outlets for world-class super middleweight boxers Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham—have agreed to a location for their fighters’ crucial Super Six World Boxing Classic bout. On Saturday, Oct. 2, in the capital city/state of Monaco, Abraham and Froch will meet at the Chapiteau de l’Espace Fontvieille for their pivotal Group Stage 3 match up in the boxing tournament that has ignited the industry. The bout will be televised on SHOWTIME® at 9 p.m. ET/PT (same day delay). The fight will also be televised live on UK TV from approximately 10pm. Hennessy Sports and Sauerland Event are currently working with Principality officials in Monaco to finalize all the necessary authorizations for this event as they expect it to be one of the biggest fights in the history of the region. The Principality of Monaco is situated on the Mediterranean Sea in the south west area of Europe, some 1,400 km from Abraham’s home in Berlin and over 1,000km from Froch’s native Nottingham, England.“The intensity of the selection process for this venue speaks to the enormity of the moment created by the Super Six World Boxing Classic,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “All the fighters in the tournament have set out to prove that they are the world’s best at 168-pounds by fighting their peers—the most dangerous men in the division—fight after fight. Any perceived advantage or disadvantage has been calculated. “To the credit of all involved, each hurdle has been cleared and the Super Six World Boxing Classic now marches on toward a thrilling conclusion.” This bout is the last of the Super Six Group Stage matches. Following Abraham vs. Froch, the four fighters with the highest point totals on the Super Six scoreboard will advance to the semi-finals, tentatively slated for the first quarter 2011. Froch (26-1, 20 KOs) is coming off a hard-fought unanimous decision loss, the first of his career, to Mikkel Kessler on April 24. That night, during the post-fight press conference, Wilfried, and his son Kalle Sauerland and Mick Hennessy began publicly disputing the venue selection for the Abraham vs. Froch contest. At the time, Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) held the tournament lead with three points by virtue of his KO win over Jermain Taylor in Group Stage 1, but was out boxed and ultimately disqualified in his Group Stage 2 bout versus Andre Dirrell for the first loss of his career. Froch remains tied at the moment with Kessler and Dirrell at two points.“I cannot wait to get back in the ring,” said Abraham. “I am thrilled that the date and the venue have been set. I must admit that the disqualification against Dirrell still haunts me. Only a victory over Froch can put my mind at rest. I was ringside when he fought against Kessler and I must say I was impressed with both men. They really fought their hearts out. Froch is a hell of a fighter, but so am I. This will be the biggest, the most important fight of my career, and I will put on a special performance to please the boxing fans in Monaco, France, Germany, England, America and all over the world.” "I'm training hard already for 'King' Arthur,” said Froch from his training centre in Sheffield. “I respect what the man brings to the table, but I'm going out there to knock Abraham's crown right into Kalle's lap,” he added in response to Sauerland’s bold predictions on the outcome of this fight. "Make no mistake about it, I fully appreciate the threat that Abraham presents to me in this fight. Whenever two warriors go into battle there will be bloodshed. But there will be only one victor in Monaco and that will be The Cobra," Froch concluded. The Sauerlands are filled with anticipation. “The Super Six tournament has been outstanding thus far,” said Kalle. “We’ve had so much drama and so many high-class fights. Kessler versus Froch was as good as it gets but believe me, Abraham-Froch will be even better. It’s win or go home! I honestly can’t see this going the distance. I have a lot of respect for Froch as a fighter but I think that his style is tailor-made for Abraham. The King will knock The Cobra out – no doubt about that. The only question is in which round.” Hennessy also expects a toe-to-toe war and believes the Englishman will come out victorious inside the distance “This is a mouth-watering match up against two of the best and toughest fighters in the game,” Hennessy said. “If you thought Carl’s last fight against Kessler was epic just wait for Froch vs. Abraham. This has all of the ingredients to be the fight of the decade. “I have a lot of respect for Arthur in and outside of the ring, but unfortunately on the 2nd October he will come up against a highly driven and fully motivated Carl Froch. When Carl’s is in that sort of mode he will prove he is the best of the best and will secure three points for a knockout win, showing the world once again that he is a very special fighter.” The Super Six World Boxing Classic continues on Saturday, Sept. 25, when SHOWTIME will present a world championship doubleheader to kick off Group Stage 3—the final Group Stage of the round-robin portion of the tournament. First, Kessler will look to lock up a semi-final berth with a win over Allan Green. Kessler is making the first defense of his second world title, the WBC 168-pound strap he wrested from Carl Froch. Green is desperate for a win to have a shot at the semi finals. He may need a knockout and/or help from his fellow competitors to earn one of the four spots. Immediately following, live on SHOWTIME, Andre Ward will face 2004 U.S. Olympic teammate and friend Andre Dirrell in what promises to be a dramatic affair. Ward has already locked up his semi-final berth as the only contestant to win both of his initial Group Stage matches. But, make no mistake, Ward promises a fierce defense of his WBA world championship belt and undefeated professional record. Dirrell, on the other hand, needs a win to guarantee his place in the semis. Conceivably, Dirrell could get in with two points but he would need help from Green and/or Abraham.

Barker and Macklin to throw Bombs

Matthew Macklin and Darren Barker promised a thrilling fight to live up to the big stage they have been given by promoter Frank Warren. The pair meet in a European middleweight title clash on September 18 at the LG Arena, Birmingham. It's all part of the Magnificent Seven event - which actually features nine championship fights - that forms part of a big night of boxing live and exclusive on Sky Box Office. And it is heading for a 13,000 sell out. "This fight was scheduled for two years ago, but I'm glad it didn't happen then," said Macklin on the first of a two-city press tour taking in London and Birmingham. "It would have been good but it would have gone on in a leisure centre somewhere. "Now it is for a bigger belt and it's going to be at the LG Arena, one of the biggest arenas in the country. It was 20 years ago that Benn and Eubank fought there at middleweight. "This is just as big a fight and can be just as good." Barker added: "I've been preparing for a fight like this ever since I turned professional. "I'm glad I've got it because it will be a defining fight for me. I might have the British, Commonwealth and European titles, but I'm not the number one middleweight in the country. "I will be when I beat Macklin. "He's a great fighter but I think although we are both 28, I am a fresher 28.He's had some hard fights and that is going to be a problem when he fights me." Warren, who marks his 30th year in boxing with one of his most ambitious cards, said much was at stake for both men. "Whoever wins is probably going to fight for a world title," he said. "I'm talking to Matt at the moment about that, and if Darren wins then his people will be working hard for him. "Both these boys have got good rankings with the governing bodies, and a win is going to bring an improvement."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harrison climbs the World Rankings

Audley Harrison has moved closer to a World Heavyweight title shot after moving up to 15th in the latest WBC rankings. The 38 year-old vacated the European title he won against Michael Sprott in April at Alexandra Palace in London in June to pave the way for a massive title fight when he returns from injury in October. The 2000 Olympic gold medallist underwent surgery for a torn Pectoralis muscle after the Sprott fight and says he will be fully fit in the autumn, and his significant rise up the rankings means a potential bout with David Haye is on the cards. “This makes a World title shot very much a reality and the dream is within reach now,” said Harrison. “It’s been a long road and an interesting journey but I'm focused on getting the job done and securing my destiny and becoming Heavyweight Champion of the World.” Harrison’s career has always divided the boxing world but there is no doubting that the Londoner now living in Las Vegas is a box office draw and his promoters Matchroom Sport say there are a number of possibilities for Audley’s next bout. “Everyone knows just what Audley Harrison brings to the table and the new rankings give him the credibility to get that shot,” said Eddie Hearn, Harrison’s promoter. “We are looking at a number of options right now and we hope to make an announcement in the next two weeks with regards his next fight.”