Kessler & Ward Weigh In On Saturday’s Results
Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward were just spectators and fans on Saturday night as their fellow Super Six World Boxing Classic competitors battled in the first stage of the groundbreaking tournament, but the two fighters have plenty of thoughts about the exciting fights.
Article posted on 21.10.2009
Kessler is eager to begin the tournament and enjoyed what he saw ringside at the o2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany, but Ward, who watched the fights from his training camp in Oakland, Calif., admits that he now feels a little added pressure to represent America after his fellow countrymen Taylor and Dirrell lost in Group Stage 1.
"I think that both fights Saturday night in Berlin and Nottingham showed the great potential of the Super Six,” Kessler said.. “Both Abraham-Taylor and Froch-Dirrell left no doubt why these guys are a part of the Super Six tournament - they are all great fighters. I am really looking forward to enter the tournament now!
"I enjoyed myself at the o2 World Arena with a brilliant Super Six setup, a great fight and, of course, tactical notes for my future fights against Taylor and Abraham later on in the tournament. For now though, my focus is on the fight against Ward Nov. 21. I have a great feeling about that fight and the tournament in general."
With Taylor losing by 12th round knockout and Dirrell winding up on the losing end of a split decision, Ward is the sole unbeaten American in the tournament.
“It’s unfortunate what happened to Jermain,’’ Ward said. “I thought he was fighting well through the first half of the fight. Abraham came on late and started to close the show. I think the punch he got hit with was a technical mistake. I think he thought Abraham was coming with a looping right hand, the kind of right hand that Abraham was throwing all night. This time he brought it down the middle and Jermain squeezed his gloves together and closed his eyes so he didn’t see it. Nevertheless, it was a great win for Abraham to start off the tournament and the Super Six and I congratulate him. I’m happy that Jermain is up and doing well and happy he’s doing better.
“I felt like Dirrell definitely won the fight and I felt like he deserved the nod. This fight is definitely going to take Dirrell to another level because he knows he can compete at the highest level. I definitely feel like I’m back in Greece all over again and even though the Americans fought well, unfortunately we were unable to get a victory in the first two fights. I’m definitely inspired to bring America their first victory in the Super Six tournament.’’
Kessler feels the added pressure now that his fellow Europeans have earned points in Group Stage 1.
"Of course I feel the pressure, now that Abraham and Froch have won their fights - but with a 43-fight record - I know all about pressure - you learn to live with it,” Kessler said. “The Ward fight is not different from any other fight at this level. I have my routines, and I know exactly how to deal with pressure. But, of course, a 3-0 European lead would make a statement on the global boxing scene."
FIGHT CAMP 360° Update
SHOWTIME Sports and NFL Films are entranced in the camps of Kessler and Ward as they prepare episode two of the critically acclaimed new reality show FIGHT CAMP 360°: Inside The Super Six World Boxing Classic. A release date for episode two of the show, which gives fight fans unprecedented access into the lives of the participants in the Super Six World Boxing Classic, will be announced soon.
Ken Hershman “Thrilled” With Start of Super Six
As reported by Lem Satterfield at FanHouse on Monday, Ken Hershman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports, is thrilled with the success of the first two fights of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Below are two select quotes from Hershman regarding the start of Group Stage 1. For the complete interview, you can visit: http://boxing.fanhouse.com/2009/10/19/showtime-exec-thrilled-after-early-bouts/
Hershman said that the two fights showed that "there are no easy fights in this tournament," and, "You're at risk at any moment in any of these fights."
"The launch was great. The production was great. Carl Froch sold more tickets than he had ever sold with over 10,000 people in Nottingham, and Arthur Abraham sold out his arena with over 14,000 people," said Hershman. "These events have been spectacular, so we're really, really thrilled with how things are going so far."
Taylor Released from the Hospital
In case you didn’t see the press release from DiBella Entertainment and the Jermain Taylor camp, the former undisputed middleweight champion was released from the hospital in Berlin on Monday following a precautionary visit after suffering from concussion-like symptoms following his fight with Arthur Abraham on Saturday night. Taylor has been given clearance by a team of doctors to continue with a planned vacation in Europe.
"I want thank all my fans and those concerned and let everyone know I'm doing just fine and feeling good,” Taylor said. “I want to congratulate Arthur Abraham on his victory and wish him well in the tournament. Right now my plans are to relax and enjoy my vacation in Europe with my wife, Erica.”
Team Taylor is equally thankful for the outpouring of support shown by fans around the globe, and promises their number one goal is making sure their charge is fit and healthy.
"All of us at DiBella Entertainment are grateful that Jermain is feeling better after fighting his heart out on Saturday night,” said Lou DiBella, promoter of Taylor. “Jermain showed his warrior spirit after working tirelessly to approach the fight in the finest shape of his career. Happily, with the doctor’s blessing, he has been released from the Hospital and is presently relaxing in Europe. This is the best news we could’ve received."
For more information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic including exclusive videos, photography, expert analysis from Al Bernstein and Steve Farhood, and much more please visit www.WorldBoxingClassic.com.
About SUPER SIX WORLD BOXING CLASSIC
The inaugural Super Six World Boxing Classic is a ground-breaking, six-fighter tournament from SHOWTIME Sports® 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 “King” Arthur Abraham of Germany; U.S. Olympic medalist Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell of Flint, Mich.; WBC super middleweight champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch of England; WBA 168-pound champion Mikkel “Viking Warrior” Kessler of Denmark; former undisputed 160-pound world champion Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor of Little Rock, Ark.; and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Andre “S.O.G.” 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 – 2 pts with a 1-pt bonus for KO/TKO; Loss – 0 pts; Draw – 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.
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