Super Six World Boxing Classic standings leader “King” Arthur Abraham and Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell both took part in a media conference call on Thursday to talk about their Group Stage 2 matchup. The two square off March 27, 2010, at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., live on SHOWTIME at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast). Abraham (31-0, 25 KOs) currently leads the Super Six point standings with three points by way of his last-second knockout against American Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor Oct. 17 in Berlin, Germany. The former middleweight bronze medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics from Flint, Mich., Dirrell (18-1, 13 KOs) dropped a close 12-round decision to Carl Froch for the WBC world championship the same night in Nottingham, England.
“This is a really big chance for me to be a big star in America. It’s what I’ve been looking for. I really feel that there is so much interest from America and from SHOWTIME and from the journalists in the Super Six. I’m just really happy to be here and this is a great chance for me.”
“I guess it will be a little bit of an advantage for him to fight in front of his home fans, but inside the ring we are all just by ourselves and you have to fight on your own, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
“I never really expect the KO. If you have that kind of attitude you don’t get it and you won’t win. All I’m expecting is a win for myself and that is the most important thing.
“My sparring partners copy Andre Dirrell’s style every day and they run away a lot. So, I’m prepared for that. If you compare Dirrell and (Jermain) Taylor they have different styles. Taylor is more a fighter and more aggressive while Dirrell is more of a technical guy who is very fast.”
On having to move his training camp from California back to Berlin:
“It’s not been a problem at all. It’s all about attitude. We had a very good time training in California. It was sunny. We had a good, hard training camp there. Now, we’re back in Germany and next headed to Detroit, so it shouldn’t be any problem at all. I’ve never really been bothered by the jet lag.
“It would have been nice to fight in Palm Springs because there would have been more Armenian fans than in Detroit, but, at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. What’s important is what happens inside the ring.
“The super middleweight division is so much better for me. I can eat more and I can punch harder and I can train harder.
“I’ve watched Andre’s fight against Froch several times now. He’s more of a technical fighter. That is what he does, so you have to be prepared for that. You have to pick your sparring partners to copy his style and that’s what we’ve done. We have a game plan and that’s what you will see once we step into the ring.”
Is there any added pressure fighting with an unbeaten record?
“There’s always pressure when I’m fighting because I always want to win.
“I expect him to be running a lot because that is his tactic. He will be running around. That’s what he likes to do. At times he will come to fight but it’s tough to say right now. We will see.”
“It’s unfortunate I hurt my back, but I’m 90 percent back and still pushing forward and getting everything ready with preparations for my victory over Arthur Abraham.
“Fighting at home is going to be a real confidence booster for me. I call it a do-or-die situation for me. I’m training harder than I ever did and even smarter than I ever did because I always train hard. I’m highly prepared for battle on the 27th.”
How did the back injury occur?
“I was sparring with one of my sparring partners and I turned and when I stepped to the side of him before I turned all the way to face him I took a punch across my body and that’s how I threw my back out.
“I’ve trained with many guys that fight like Arthur Abraham. He has awesome defense, he’s very explosive and has dangerous weapons he brings into the ring.”
On his last fight with Carl Froch:
“It was a championship fight. It was in his hometown. I had a game plan but it unfolded when he started using dirty tactics. But I’ve learned from that. Going into the late rounds my mind was kind of wondering if I could go 12 rounds. By the ninth round I figured 12 would be a cinch. And I finished strong. But as far as the holding went it wasn’t part of the game plan. I wasn’t meant to hold that much, but because of the dirty tactics, he threw me off my game plan. When I got on the inside I clenched a little too much, and so I’m working on that right now. I’m prepared for anything now. When Arthur Abraham steps into the opposite corner as me I’ll be ready to get busy and get this win.
“Winning is everything right now. I already have one loss and I can’t lose again or I’m out of the tournament. So, I’m coming off a loss and looking for that victory. I’m just working hard to get that victory and if the knockout comes it comes.
Is Abraham looking past you?
“I’ve heard a few comments in the media where he’s said Dirrell will be easy but hey, who’s to say. He’s says he’s going to go into the ring with a game plan and I believe that. And I’m going to do the same thing.
“This isn’t just big for Detroit or for Flint but for all of Michigan. Detroit is one of the legendary spots in boxing so that’s why I wanted to bring the fight there — to show the Detroit boxing fans that boxing is not dying. It’s coming here and it’s here to stay.
“Like I’ve said before you just can’t stand in front of Arthur Abraham. His power is right there in front of him and he’s got strong hooks. He’s very explosive. I’ve seen the Taylor fight and I saw Jermain stand in front of Arthur. That’s something that you just can’t do.
“The Froch fight put me in great position for where I currently stand mentally and physically. Froch was a tough fight. It was his hometown and for a world title and my first 12-rounder. So all that experience came into one and let’s me know where I stand in this boxing game. Not just in the Super Six but in the boxing game in general. Hopefully I’ll become world champion very soon.”
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The event is being promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Sauerland Event.
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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 from around the world. All bouts in the Super Six tournament 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.