BoxingWatchers Round Table: Super Six Picks

The BoxingWatchers each have their own opinions on the sport, but we don't get a chance to come together and express them very often. On the eve of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, we figured now was as good a time as any.

It goes without saying that we're excited for the super middleweight tournament to begin. Everything from the format to the participants suggests that boxing fans all around the world are in for a treat.

What's going to happen over the next year and a half? Here's our take...

Who is most likely to win?

Uatu: This is a difficult question. All of these fighters have question marks. The consensus pick seems to be Mikkel Kessler because of his size, his strength, and his skills. He also only has one loss, and that was to Joe Calzaghe in his prime. But he doesn't fight often and not here in the US. Still, he is the most likely.

Spartan117: I like Kessler to win it all. He has more experience in the ring than most of the other fighters in the tournament, and he has faced some tough competition in the past. An argument against him is that most of his opponents throughout his career have been no-namers and he faced them in his own country, but he's the only one in the tournament that faced future Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe and even made it somewhat competitive.

I think he and Arthur Abraham have the most pure boxing skill in the tournament, but I have more faith in Kessler's style to win it all.

The Franchise: Will Abraham be the same fighter at super middleweight that he was at middleweight? If he is, then I think he's got the best shot at winning. He's tough, accurate, patient and powerful, and I don't think any of the other entrants have styles that will be too much for him to figure out.

I like Andre Ward's chances too, provided he gets past Kessler in his first fight, which should give him confidence that he can win it all. He is just so solid in all facets of the game, I would not be at all surprised to see him in the final.

Who is least likely to win?

Uatu: Since all of the fighters have question marks, this is also hard to choose. Could be Andre Dirrell since he lacks experience or Abraham since he's coming up in weight, but I will go with Jermain Taylor.

Despite his vast experience edge over the others, he has already lost to Carl Froch, and he's always looked a little shaky in the late rounds. So unless he has something new up his sleeve, Taylor will have the hardest road to victory overall.

Spartan117: Dirrell is the underdog in my book. We haven't seen him face the top-tier opposition, unlike every other fighter who's competing. This could make him a bit of a wild card, but I think experience will decide the winner, and Dirrell might be a bit over his head. That being said, I am still looking forward to see what he brings to the tournament.

The Franchise: I'm having the hardest time envisioning Froch as the last man standing. I respect his toughness and power, but considering Taylor was about 15 seconds away from beating him on the cards, I can see all of the others winning decisions against him.

What will happen during the tournament that will surprise a lot of people?

Uatu: Dirrell will both impress and excite the naysayers out there.

Spartan117: I feel the biggest surprise of the tournament will be Taylor. I see Jermain as the only fighter in this whose career is at stake if he doesn't perform well.

We have seen him fade in late rounds in many of his past fights, but it looks like he's been working harder to fix that then ever before. He's seen plenty of elite competition in his career (most notably bringing Bernard Hopkins' title defense streak to an end), which should prepare him for what he's about to face.

I think he understands what this tournament means for him and his career, which means we'll see him at the top of his game.

The Franchise: I'll go in a different direction with this question and say I expect that we'll see at least one of the Super Six drop out, and the substitute will shake things up by winning a match. It will cause some controversy but not enough to take away from the whole thing.

Some people may be surprised when more mainstream media start paying attention to the tournament in its later stages, but if it delivers as I expect, I won't be surprised.

Anything else to say about the Super Six?

Uatu: There is absolutely no way this tournament can fail. None.

Even if every fighter gets hurt in the first round, or if every fight is boring, so what? These are all matchups we want to see, even in the first round. It could slightly fall short of expectations if some of the fighters drop out along the way, but once again, so what? You might as well aim high. At least there is a blueprint in place.

Now, maybe the true champ at 168 won't truly emerge at the end, but once again, so what? I am not watching this to see a true champ crowned as much as I am watching to see a slew of even fights among super talented fighters in their prime. I am not getting those types of fights anywhere else.

Dare I say, this is a very UFC way of putting together fights. There are winners, there are losers, but we get a bunch of even fights and one loss doesn't take you out of the picture forever.

Oh, and for right now, I like Abraham to win it all.

The Franchise: It's been said before in other places, but it bears repeating: I hope other promoters, networks, etc. are paying attention to the fan reaction for this event, because it has been almost entirely positive. I don't expect the Super Six will "save" boxing, but it's a giant step toward eliminating some of the ill will and indifference toward the sport that's been building up over the last 20 years.

Goods fights speak for themselves, and while nothing can ensure exciting matches, this format provides the best conditions for them to occur. I hope and I truly believe that the eventual winner, and perhaps one or two other boxers who impress along the way, will emerge as big stars.

Posted by The Franchise

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