SHOWTIME Sports, Hennessy Sports and Team Sauerland have officially announced that Helsinki, Finland will host the decisive Super Six World Boxing Classic Group Stage 3 clash between Carl “The Cobra” Froch and King Arthur Abraham. On November 27, the two superstars will lock horns at the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, which seats 14,000 people and is known for its passionate Finnish sports fans.
The fight was originally scheduled for Monaco but Froch was forced to pull out two weeks ago when he informed Showtime that a back injury would force him to sit out training for four weeks. Due to a scheduling conflict at the Chapiteau de Fontvieille in Monaco, the event has been moved to Finland. “We are pleased to have finalized all details,” promoter Kalle Sauerland said. “Helsinki will host the fight of the year. I am sure that I speak on behalf of boxing fans all over the world that cannot wait to see these two gladiators in the ring. King Arthur will cement his place in the semi-finals in this great Olympic City and one of the most impressive arenas in the world.”
Mick Hennessy said. “This is the fight that everyone is waiting to see, Helsinki is going to experience one of the most explosive sporting events of the year, these two fierce warriors will be going toe to toe as both have everything to prove and great pride at stake. I am confident that on the 27th November Carl will be victorious in a potential fight of the decade candidate and show everyone that he is still the best 168lb fighter in the World.“
It will be all or nothing for both fighters, who need a victory to guarantee their spot in the Super Six semi-finals. King Arthur started the tournament with a spectacular KO over Jermain Taylor before a highly controversial disqualification loss against Andre Dirrell in Detroit. Froch had defended his WBC Super-Middleweight title against Dirrell in the tournament´s first fight but then suffered the first loss of his career in April 2010 when Danish hero Mikkel Kessler clinched a point’s victory in Denmark.
The “Cobra” is already in a fighting mood. “Abraham has been declaring that the Kessler fight has deeply affected me,” said Froch. “He’s right. It has given me even more confidence! With late cancellations and a last minute flight under a volcanic ash cloud, I can still step into the lion’s den in front of 12,000 crazy Vikings and punch holes in their hero for 12 solid rounds of non-stop action. I was unlucky not to get the nod – but I’ve proved I’m world class on any stage, home or away. Whereas Abraham got beaten up and outclassed by Andre Dirrell, a man I have already beaten. Against Taylor and Kessler I’ve proved I’m the road warrior – whereas when Abraham is out of the home comfort zone, he gets exposed! He’ll be able to see the ‘Northern Lights’ from the canvas when I’ve finished with him in Finland.”
King Arthur has laughed off Froch´s latest verbal attack, voicing serious concern about his opponent´s mental state. “He claimed to have problems with his back. I think he has even bigger problems with his head. Judging from his dubious comments, it looks as if he has lost his senses. But I will be more than happy to put him back to reality with my fists come November 27. I look forward to fighting in Helsinki and will promise fight fans in Finland and all over the world an explosive evening.”
Ticket information will be available shortly.
On the same night, WBA Super-Middleweight Champion Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell will battle out their Group Stage 3 clash in America at a venue to be announced. The matchup between breakout American stars and friends will be contested for Ward’s WBA championship and the newly vacated WBC belt, adding yet another dramatic layer to an already captivating fight. Ward has already locked up his Semifinal berth, but will be protecting his title and undefeated professional record. Dirrell, conversely, needs a win to guarantee his place in the Semis. Dirrell conceivably could get in with two points but he would need help from fellow tournament competitors.
Allan Green, whose Group Stage 3 bout with Mikkel Kessler was waylaid when Kessler withdrew from competition with an eye injury, has left the perennial contender without an opponent. A decision on Green’s Group Stage 3 bout is expected in the coming days.
The third and final Group Stage will complete the round-robin portion of the tournament and determine the four fighters who will advance to the single-elimination Semi-finals. Through the first two Stages, the WBA world champion Ward is the only fighter to have secured a berth in the Semis. No fighter has been eliminated from contention creating a virtual win-or-go-home scenario for each of the men. SHOWTIME Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Hershman said: “We have asked these fighters to challenge themselves against the best fighters in the world; not in one mega-fight, but in a consecutive series of career defining fights. Injuries and delays are inevitable. However, each one of them has accepted the challenge and brought a level of intensity to the ring that, in my estimation, is unmatched in all of sports. We are still on pace to complete the tournament in 2011, at which time we will have delivered to boxing fans around the world a number of the most compelling and meaningful matches in the sport. So, the drama continues with all the fighters’ still alive heading to Group Stage 3. I couldn’t have scripted this any better.”