Prior to Saturday's Super Six World Boxing Classic fights, fellow tournament participant Andre Ward made the bold patriotic prediction that both American fighters Jermain Taylor and Andre Direll would be victorious in their first-round fights.
Ward was wrong and is now 0-2 in his Super Six World Boxing Classic predictions. Let's hope for his and America's sake, Ward is much better in the ring than he is on picking the winner of fights.
Jermain Taylor was knocked out cold in the 12th round of his fight with Arthur Abraham in the Berlin O2 arena. Taylor was holding his own in the earlier rounds where Abraham was focusing more on a defensive game plan, thus giving away rounds to Taylor.
But as the fight went onto the middle to late rounds, Taylor once again began to fade with his ever-cursed stamina problems preventing him from keeping up with the stronger, more powerful Abraham.
It was Abraham's signature big right hand that shot right through the middle between Taylor's protected gloves that knocked him out at 2:54 of the 12th round.
This repeat late-round knockout loss indicates that again Taylor loses by a big knock out primarily due to his stamina problems.
Rumors reported that Taylor suffered a concussion and is debating withdrawing from the Super Six tournament. Rumors of Allan Green replacing Taylor in the tournament have already been generating a lot of buzz.
Abraham because of his knockout win is now in the lead of the tournament scoring him three points. Carl Froch is in second place with two points for his decision win over Andre Direll.
The Andre Direll vs. Carl Froch fight was not simple in determining a clear winner. It seemed the American Direll won most of the earlier rounds by out boxing the Brittish champion Froch with his pure speed.
As the fight went on, Direll's team complained that Froch was using dirty tactics, such as punching on the breaks and hitting on the back of the head, but it was Direll who ended up getting points deducted for excessive holding.
Direll definitely was holding a lot, but for a point to be deducted the way it was certainly cost him any close decision win over the champion in the champion's backyard.
Direll was also critcized by many press media for running and even grabbing Froch whenever he was in trouble to the point of falling down to a knee.
Direll definitely turned it up and got really aggressive, landing hard clean shots on Froch in the last two rounds to clearly win the championship rounds.
However, the judges ultimately scored the fight a split decision win for Froch. Two judges scored it 115 to 112 Froch and one judge had it 114 to 113 Direll.
Many are criticizing Froch's split decision win over Direll and I can understand where they are coming from for Direll seemed to be out boxing and landing the more clean effective shots mostly due to his superior speed, but at the same time when you are trying to take away the champion's belt in the champion's hometown, you cannot excessively hold and even fall down to your knees and run away as much as Direll did.
Maybe it was the jet lag of flying into London only six days in advance, or it was the fact that Direll was just too green, but either way Direll must learn from this experience in order for him to improve as a complete fighter.
Now there is only one more undefeated promising American fighter left in this tournament that can really redeem the other American fighters' losses and that is none other than Andre Ward. Ward is facing the favorite to win the tournament: Kessler, on Nov. 21.
This will be his toughest fight of his young career but he has a lot of things going his way. Ward is probably the most political favorite of the fighters in the tournament.
He gets to fight both of his fights at home in his backyard making both of his opponents travel across the pond.
Ward also is a bit of a poster boy of the Showtime network many of his fights have been highlighted by Showtime and promoted in a way to almost hype him as the next big all American hero. He also is a golden boy for he won the Olympic gold medal in the 2004 Olympic games.
Andre is also known as the S.O.G. (Son Of God), which gives him that great marketable edge as well. Will all of these factors influence the judges should his fights go the distance? Well I would say yes of course they do.
But hey we all want to see a great fight period, so as long as we do the true fight fans will be happy. So may the best man win and hopefully he will rightfully win without any controversy.