Carl Froch & Andre Dirrell Super Six World Boxing Classic Conference Call Highlights
Undefeated WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch (25-0, 20 KOs), of Nottingham, England, and unbeaten, 2004 Olympic U.S. medalist Andre Dirrell (18-0, 13 KOs), of Flint, Mich., participated in an international media conference call to discuss the 12-round showdown at Trent FM Arena in Nottingham, England, on Saturday, Oct. 17, live on SHOWTIMEģ (8 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). The battle of unbeatens Ė the second half of a doubleheader on SHOWTIMEģ -- will be for Frochís WBC 168-pound title and the first fight for Froch and Dirrell in the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
In the opening Super Six Group Stage 1 bout on Oct. 17, undefeated former IBF middleweight champion ďKingíí Arthur Abraham (30-0, 24 KOs), of Germany, will face former undisputed 160-pound titleholder Jermain ďBad Intentionsíí Taylor (28-3-1, 17 KOs), of Little Rock, Ark., at 02 World Arena in Berlin, Germany. The Abraham-Taylor 12-rounder will be shown on SHOWTIME on same day delay.
ANDRE DIRRELL: ďMy main goal is to become a superstar in boxing. Iím working hard as ever. This is what Iíve been waiting for my whole life. Expectations are actually higher than I anticipated. This is what Iíve been waiting for. Now is my time and the world is going to know Andre Dirrell at the end of this tournament..Ē
ďIím looking forward to getting the ball rolling on this fabulous Super Six World Boxing Classic. What can I say? Andre Dirrell is coming over here. He certainly talks a good one and heís got the certain credentials in the amateurs.
I know what Iím going to do and I know what needs to be done on Oct. 17.
Do you normally train up in Big Bear, California?
ďNo, this is the first time. I trained in Texas for my last fight. Big Bear is a different environment, a higher altitude, so Iím getting the best work possible up here. Iím staying mentally focused and getting myself mentally prepared.Ē
Carl, how difficult is it preparing for a switch hitter for Dirrell?
FROCH: ďItís not difficult at all, Iíve got a switch hitting sparring partner. Iíve had good orthodox sparring, good southpaw sparring, Iíve got switch hitting sparring partners.
Iím actually very, very good against the southpaw position. Every single southpaw Iíve fought in my professional career, Iíve knocked out. Iíve got no problems, orthodox or southpaw. If Andre switches from southpaw to orthodox that means one of his sides is going to be a weak side. Heíll have to be careful on his weak side because Iím a very dangerous puncher.Ē
Can you talk about having to open this tournament and fight for your first world title in another manís hometown?
DIRRELL: ďI would do anything for the world title, so wherever I have to be, whoever I have to fight, wherever I have to go. Iíll do anything for the world title because I know Iím ready. Heís depending on me being mentally ill-prepared. That wonít happen. Iím coming over there in top-notch shape and my mental game is sick right now. Iím just ready to do anything for a world title. If that means I have to go over to Nottingham to pick up a world title, then thatís what I have to do. Regardless, I think this is going to be easy as pie.Ē
FROCH: ďNottingham is not too far a distance. I think hell and back is more like it.Ē
DIRRELL: ďIíll tell you one thing, if I have to go to hell to get the belt, if I have to fight the devil to get it, then Iíll be fighting you to get that title.Ē
How are you prepared for the change in time zones?
DIRRELL: ďI just have to be mentally prepared. Thatís all. I just go over there with the right mental game. Everything else is set. Iím ready.
Carl, youíve fought some good fighters, but Andre might be the fastest fighter. How are you preparing for that?
FROCH: ďSpeed is not a problem. Itís all about distance, the timing. If youíre a professional boxer with the kind of experience Iíve had you know that speed isnít a problem. Jermain Taylor was a very fast fighter. Iím working on what I need to work on to nullify the speed. But, if speeds the only problem Iíve got then Iím in for an easy night.Ē
What kind of pressure is on you by having to defend your title in your hometown?
FROCH: ďIíve boxed away from home in my last fight against Jermain Taylor and I think itís a slight disadvantage going away from home to fight. Traveling over to America for me is the same, just the flight, it can bring you down. Iím happy itís all happening for me in my hometown especially after my last fight being in Connecticut. I think itís a big plus for me to be fighting in my hometown.
ďDirrell keeps talking about being mentally prepared. I donít have to get mentally prepared. Iím a consummate professional. Iíve been in the trenches more than once and Iíve come out on top more than once. Iím an undefeated professional with an excellent knockout ratio. Being that Iím fighting in my hometown just makes my job a whole lot easier.Ē
How do you compare fighting from the beginning in small venues to something like this?
DIRRELL: ďItís a whole different stage. I just look at it like that. Iím the same type of fighter. Iím faster, I believe Iím the quicker man; Iím the more skilled boxer. Iím in the better situation. If heís depending on his hometown, then he has a big problem. Iím glad he thinks itís a slight advantage for him because heís going to need it. Iím coming over with my ĎAí game and I guarantee you that I will keep that crowd quite and he will be at a loss for words by the third or fourth round.Ē
How long did it take you to get used to training in Big Bear?
DIRRELL: ďI actually thought I was going in there in pretty good shape for Big Bear, but I was wrong. I went eight-and-a-half miles the week before I came up, just getting ready for Big Bear. When I got up, I knew I was in for a shock. It took me two weeks just to get used to the altitude. The first week of training was really hard, but I fought through it. I kept my mind game right, I took care of my body. It took me about two-and-a-half weeks to actually get used to the altitude up here and to start working for myself.
ďMy mind game is strong. It always has been. I have a mean work ethic. I just tried to stay focused. I know that when itís time to step up the game, I know that I wonít let anything get in the way. A little altitude wonít stop me. Iím chewing these miles up like itís nothing, like it was on flat ground. My sparring partners are great. Iím already sparring 16 rounds.
ďIíve been a night owl my whole life, so 2 oíclock in the morning is nothing for me. Iím going to sleep on time here because I have to, but usually Iím up pretty late. Iíll adjust to the time. When something has to be done I donít go asleep until itís done. I donít care if its four oíclock in the morning.Ē
Carl, I know youíve only fought in America twice, but youíre 2-0 with two knockouts.
FROCH: ďIím well traveled. Like I said, I have a good amateur pedigree. When I travel I still fight well. I consider it a slight advantage to fight at home, but Andre is trying to bring some negativity to that. At the end of the day, itís a slight advantage being at home but you donít depend on those advantages.Ē
Carl, how much more confidence did that win over Jermain Taylor give you?
FROCH: ďI was knocked down for the first time in my career, amateur or professional against a world class boxer in Jermain Taylor. He caught me with a good shot, he caught me cold. There were a few factors in that fight with the Allan Green fight going quite early. I literally put my gloves on and went straight into the ring. Iím not making any excuses, but I didnít have any warm-up time at all before that fight. I was guilty of not being professional in the sense that I got in the ring cold.
ďIt was close, but I showed what Iím about in rounds 10, 11 and 12. I stepped up the gear and started putting my heavy artillery together and started landing some big shots. I could have boxed 15 rounds; I could have boxed 20 if that was necessary. I did what I needed to do in the last round. It felt great and installed me with more confidence, because it was the first time Iíve ever been down on the canvas. I was down, I got up and I kept my cool, calm composure and I did what I needed to do. I finished strong. It was such a big finish and itís been received well.
ďIím looking forward to be bringing it all back to Nottingham and defending my title. Iím just really excited. Iím in such a good position and Iím just excited about this whole tournament and being successful through the tournament.
ďYou know Iím a big puncher. My record speaks for itself. If I get anyone, and not just Andre Dirrel, in the position where theyíre down and theyíre hurt, Iím one of the best finishers in the business. Thatís why TVs are excited about showing my fight, because Iím exciting, Iím a big puncher and the knockouts come easy for me.Ē
DIRRELL: ďIf youíre looking forward to knocking anything out it will have to be the air. That man wonít be able to touch me in the air. Every fighter is entitled to their own opinion. He is a great finisher. Heís a very strong puncher, but Iíve been in there with a million guys like him. Not on the skill level or experience base, but all through my amateur and professional career, even with sparring partners. Truth be told, he has never, ever faced a guy like Andre Dirrell, and heís going to see that in the fight. Not talking, not hyping myself up, itís the truth. Heís never been in there with someone as fast as me, with a guy who can switch up like me. I donít care who heís sparring with out there. Heís on the right track, but heís on the wrong train because theyíre not going to get him ready for Andre Dirrell.
ďIf I can come with my ĎAí game, I can make this happen. But if Iím not careful, like I said, Carl Froch is a very powerful puncher. I take nothing from him. Itís going to be a heck of a fight. Iím just coming prepared; Iím just going to be ready. I know heís doing the same. Iím just really, really ready to show off my talent and show off my skill.Ē
Andre, can you tell me what you thought of Frochís performance against Jermain Taylor?
DIRRELL: ďHe definitely showed the most heart. He showed that he can be in there with a top, world class opponent, and he showed how to overcome being hurt. He showed 100 percent toughness. He showed that heís a heck of a fighter. Getting in there with a guy like him after he fought Jermain Taylor, I know heís going to give it 100 more percent. So, you have to be ready and you have to be a very careful fighter.
ďI wouldnít say he was dominated. You could say it was close. Like I said, he showed heart. He showed that he wanted it more, period. He went in there and he put in his work. Regardless of what the scorecard was, he knew what he had to do, he did it and he won it like a champ. He got the belt and he handled himself very well. Thatís why Iím looking forward to him coming with his ĎAí game because Iím coming with mine. Iím just looking forward to him coming with his ĎAí game so there will be no excuses.Ē
Who do you each regard as the toughest challenge in this tournament?
DIRRELL: ďI donít want to comment on any other fight but this one. This is my world championship time. This isnít just another fight coming up for me. This is time for me to make a statement and make a name for myself and thatís what Iím focusing on right now.Ē
FROCH: ďLooking at the tournament, Iíd say just based on experience, pedigree and proven entity, Iíd say Mikkel Kessler. Heís only lost one fight, and that was to Joe Calzaghe, whoís obviously dominated the super middleweight (division) for years. But, I consider Mikkel Kessler, and rightly so, to be a serious threat in the tournament. But, Iím the most dangerous opponent in the tournament and I think everyone knows that. Thatís why all the boxing press in the world has got me as the favorite.Ē
Carl, earlier there was talk about you fighting Lucian Bute. What was it that got you to fight in this tournament?
FROCH: ďYou talk about Lucian Bute, he had a very hard time against Librado Andrade in his last fight. In fact, I consider that he got beat in that fight. Librado Andrade, in my eyes, won that fight. Letís not forget Mikkel Kessler easily outboxed Andrade. Mikkel Kessler is in this tournament. So, weíve got the cream of the crop in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. We donít even need to be mentioning other fighters. Mention Bute? In my opinion, he needs to grow a set of stones because he didnít want to fight me. And he didnít want any part of this tournament either. This tournament sums up the super middleweight division. It sums up the core champions, myself, Mikkel Kessler, Jermain Taylor, previous world proven Arthur Abraham, then weíve got Dirrell and Ward, who are Olympic medalists who mean business. Theyíre good fighters. Theyíre coming into this with intentions of winning the tournament. Letís talk about the tournament and not worry about the other fighter. Letís not worry about whoís not in the tournament because weíve got the cream of the crop here.Ē
Who do you fancy in the other fight on Oct. 17, between Jermain Taylor and Arthur Abraham?
DIRRELL: Jermian Taylor has to come in shape. Jermain has to come ready and he has to come prepared. He can win it if he outboxes him, but if not, Arthur Abraham will make easy work of him.
FROCH: Jermain obviously has far superior boxing ability and he could outbox Arthur Abraham in a one-sided affair. But, can he sustain a boxing lesson for 12 rounds? Thereís a question mark on that. What has he got left after what I did to him in the last few rounds? Physically and mentally, what he has left after that? Weíll find out.
Andre, how are you going to make up for the experience factor that Carl has?
DIRRELL: I just have to be in tip-top shape. I know my skills, Iím a world championship fighter. I believe my time is now. All I have to do is come in shape and with a sound mind, and I believe that I will make it happen. Like I said, Iíve been in there with tough, tough fighters all through my career. My toughest up to date was Victor Oganov. Nobody has ever pressured me as hard as he did. I had to prove myself then and I stopped him in six. Heís a lot shorter than Carl Froch, but if you pay attention, itís harder to hit shorter guys, on top of the defense that he has, I broke through that. I just have to come in in shape and I believe Iíll be able to handle the very well.
Do you think youíre being underestimated in this tournament?
DIRRELL: ďNot only that, but I should be. Like I said, you have four other world champions in this tournament (including former world champions). In this case, itís understandable. My only task is to show up for it, and I believe I will do that. I believe I will show my true skills. I should be (underestimated), itís not surprising. It just means I have to prove more to the crowd and I believe Iíll be ready to do that when the time comes.Ē
Carl, how do you avoid looking past Dirrell?
FROCH: ďWell, you just touched on it right there, Iím a professional. I donít look past any opponent and I train for every single fight like Iím challenging for a world title. Itís difficult; itís hard to become a world champion. I went toe-to-toe with Jean Pascal for 12 rounds to win my title. Iím a proud, proud warrior. Iíve gone 12 rounds with a guy who has since become a light heavyweight world champion. And, I went to defend my crown in America against Jermain Taylor, a former undisputed world champion and a top, top quality fighter. I donít take anybody lightly. I know whatís in front of me and Iím realistic, I donít put anything down or take anything for granted. Itís not difficult for me to look past anybody because I prepare hard, I train hard, and I do what I need to do to remain a champion of the world, which is what I am, which is what Iím staying, with no underestimation coming from this part of the Atlantic.
ďIím ready to rock and roll at 2 a.m. By the time it comes, Iím ready to unleash hell.Ē
Why did you decide to leave training in Vegas to go to Big Bear?
DIRRELL: ďI decided to make this transition because this fight and this whole tournament is a different transition. Every guy from here on out will be world class fighters. I believe I have to work at a world class environment, and this is definitely it. Oscar De La Hoya has trained up here, Sugar Shane Mosley trained up here. Itís a tough environment, period. You have to be mentally focused because anything can break you down. Big Bear is a tough place to train and Iíve overcome that already. These last two weeks of training will just add on to the fire. I know Iím more ready than Iíve ever been.Ē
Andre, is it better for you for this fight to get over with early to string on for 12 rounds?
DIRRELL: ďItís better for me to showcase my talent. Thatís all I have to do. All I have to do is showcase my talent and show that I belong here. Thatís the key. If it goes 12 rounds, I shouldnít have a thing to worry about because Iím a hell of a boxer. If it goes by knockout, then it means I either made him quit or I showed that I have power as well. Either way it goes, it should turn out that I am the world champion. Either way, Iíll be ecstatic because it will be me holding that belt in the end.Ē
Carl, same question:
FROCH: ďI work hard, not for one round or five rounds, but for 12 rounds. One thing I donít do is fade, and the last thing to go for me is my punching power. Itís always nice to knock an opponent out in round one because you donít risk doing anything and you donít get paid for overtime in this sport. If I can knock him out in round one, Iíll knock him out in round one and get off and celebrate with my family and friends. Either way, a wins a win. Thatís what Iím there to do. Iím there to defend my title. Iím world champion and I will remain world champion. If youíre asking me for a prediction, I can not see this fight going past seven or eight rounds. Iím punching so, so hard and Iím powerful. Iíve seen some chinks in Dirrellís armor, that Iíve noticed, and Iím confident Iím going to get my big punches going and it will be over before the 12 round bell rings.Ē
DIRRELL: ďThatís funny. Thatís how he feels. Like I said, every fighter is entitled to his opinion, but Iím looking forward to everything, whether it be 12 rounds or before that. If it goes seven, then my speed was too much for him and he was underestimating my power. The only way Iím going in the seventh round is if you swing so hard that the wind from the air will knock me out. Thatís the only way Iím going down, buddy.
ďI just want to say something, the third world champion whoís not in this tournament, Lucian Bute, was offered huge money to fight Carl Froch before this tournament. He had a mandatory, and the only way around that mandatory was to have a unification. He was offered huge money and he turned it down.
Lucian Bute is not even in the frame.
For information on all SHOWTIME Sports telecasts, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries from its events and complete information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic, please visit the website at http://www.sports.sho.com
About SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC
The inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic is a ground-breaking, six-fighter tournament from SHOWTIME Sportsģ featuring the class of the super middleweight (168-pound) division. The field is comprised world renowned fighters with a staggering combined record of 161-4-1 with 117 knockouts: former IBF middleweight champion ďKingĒ Arthur Abraham of Germany; U.S. Olympic medalist Andre ďThe MatrixĒ Dirrell of Flint, Mich.; WBC super middleweight champion Carl ďThe CobraĒ Froch of England; WBA 168-pound champion Mikkel ďViking WarriorĒ Kessler of Denmark; former undisputed 160-pound world champion Jermain ďBad IntentionsĒ Taylor of Little Rock, Ark.; and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Andre ďS.O.G.Ē Ward of Oakland, Calif.
All bouts in the Super Six World Boxing Classic will be contested under the Unified Rules of Boxing. Each boxer fights three bouts against different opponents in the field in the points-based Group Stage of competition (Win Ė 2 pts with a 1-pt bonus for KO/TKO; Loss Ė 0 pts; Draw Ė 1 pt.). After the Group Stage, the four fighters with the highest point totals will advance to the single-elimination Semi-Finals. The winners of the Semi-Final bouts will advance to the Finals and fight for the inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic trophy.
Article posted on 01.10.2009
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