Showtime’s Super Six Super Middleweight Tournament was greeted by most fight fans when it was announced in 2009 as one of the best things to happen to boxing in years. The tournament matched six fighters with three from the United States and three from Europe in a round robin format to battle each other until the tournament would decide who the best fighter in the Super Middleweight division really was.
Most people in the boxing community loved the idea and loved the selection of the fighters chosen to participate in the tournament: Mikkel Kessler, Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell Jermaine Taylor, Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham. When the tournament started, four of the fighters were undefeated and Kessler only had one loss while Taylor had two losses.
There was skepticism that the tournament would see its end without incident. With five promoters working together to make the tournament possible, it seemed doomed from the start. There was also the possibility of an injury taking someone out of the tournament.
Taylor was knocked out cold by Abraham in the first fight and was urged to pull out of the tournament as it was the third brutal knockout he’d suffered in his career. He was replaced by Allan Green who has been less than stellar to put it lightly. Andre Dirrell was winning his fight with Arthur Abraham when he was hit illegally while he slipped and he was knocked out. He has also pulled out of the tournament citing a brain injury that many people don’t believe is valid.
Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch had the best action fight of the tournament when Kessler won a narrow decision to recapture the WBC Title. Before his next fight however, Kessler pulled out of the tournament with an eye injury. Never mind that he was shown on TV driving to and from the press conference that he’d just explained why he was pulling out of the tournament.
He was replaced by the veteran Glen Johnson who hadn’t fought at 168lbs since September 2000. Johnson surprised plenty of fans by turning back the clock and knocking out Allan Green to earn a spot in the semi finals.
Ken Hershman of Showtime managed to keep the tournament together even though it ended up being the Super Five Tournament before the semi finals were set. If you’re unfamiliar with the events I described, you can understand why there are many detractors of the tournament, and many people have been vocal saying the tournament should be cancelled, especially with the emergence of Super Middleweight titlist Lucian Bute whom many thought should’ve been in the tournament to begin with.
But I still believe the tournament has been good for the sport and think that will continue. Here are 10 reasons why it’s great for the sport of boxing.