With one report, the fate of the Super Six World Boxing Classic was decided. It was a fate that many of us expected, but none of us wanted to admit to ourselves.
With Andre Dirrell pulling out, the Super Six is dead and you can't spin it any other way. 50 percent of the original six fighters are now out of the tournament.
Bob Velin of USA Today first reported that Dirrell was pulling out with an undisclosed injury.
Lem Satterfield of Fanhouse later reported that he is pulling out with a neurological issue. This article is not meant to criticize Dirrell in any way. He had an injury and couldn’t continue, you can’t blame him.
The three that remain are probably three of the bigger names from the original six in the tournament. This fact alone won't be nearly enough to save the tournament.
The addition of Glencoffe Johnson had people talking again, but the tournament lost the little bit of momentum it had with the departure of Dirrel.
Dirrell was set to fight friend and former Olympic teammate Andre Ward on Nov. 27.
I see nothing fishy with Dirrell’s withdrawal, but it did seem like he had no interest in fighting Ward.
Dirrell's withdrawal leaves Ward with no opponent. Showtime’s Ken Hershman says that Ward will still fight Nov. 27, but is not sure if it will be in the Super Six or not.
It seems a little ridiculous to cling onto hope that this tournament can continue at this point. We are officially in the third stage and would have three fighters with no points.
This would mean Ward makes it no matter what and the only way Carl Froch or Arthur Abraham wouldn’t make it is if their fight ended in a draw.
The only viable solution I see is to have the winner of the Froch-Abraham fight Ward for the right to call themselves the Super Six champion.
The problem with that is this tournament suddenly means next to nothing. Jermain Taylor pulling out was just a side note as he was getting knocked out when the wind hit his chin.
When Mikkel Kessler pulled out it took some luster off the tournament, but Dirrell pulling out makes this tournament meaningless.
If the Froch-Abraham fight goes through I will be amazed. It is a very dangerous fight for both of them and it is one that they do not have to take now. If both can find easier options—and I am sure they can—they are going to bolt for an easier fight.
That leaves Ward fighting whoever Showtime approves and Allan Green would have no reason to fight Johnson.
It would also let Johnson skip the tournament and the attempt to suck down to 168 after 10 years of fighting heavier. He could still make money by moving up to cruiserweight and it would be easier on him.
This was a grand idea and for awhile it worked very well. We got two good rounds of fights with upsets, knockouts, and the downright bizarre.
Showtime should still get a pat on the back. They have put together another tournament that has only four fighters and hopefully they can learn from their mistakes this time around.
This was originally written for and published on www.kissingthecanvas.com.