Thousands of boxing fans gathered at Tivoli Gardens amusement park yesterday to greet the participants of the highly touted Super Six World Boxing Classic, which aims to have a truly undisputed super-middleweight champion within the next eighteen months.
And the Viking Warrior, Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler, has plans to take home the coveted trophy and the accompanying championship belts. Kessler already holds the WBA super-middleweight title.
The fighters were in Copenhagen as part of a promotional tour that began Monday in New York City. The tour moved on to Berlin for another press conference today.
The Super Six tournament has gathered the world’s top six super-middleweight fighters, who will first compete in a round-robin programme, where the fighters will all face one another in a point system format to determine who moves on to the semifinals.
Besides Kessler, the group consists of WBC super middleweight champ Carl Froch (25-0, 20 KOs) of England, Germany’s Arthur Abraham (30-0, 24 KOs), and Americans Andre Dirrell (18-0, 13 KOs), Jermain Taylor (28-3-1, 17 KOs) André Ward (19-0, 12 KOs).
Dates and venues for the fights have not yet been determined, but the round-robin format has been drawn up, with Kessler set to meet Ward in his first bout. Kessler’s WBA belt is on the line in the fight.
‘I am thrilled to take part in this tournament,’ Kessler told the enthusiastic thousands gathered at Tivoli Gardens. ‘The tournament is a great opportunity to test myself as a world champion and confirm my status as the best fighter in the super-middleweight division.’
In his initial opponent, Kessler faces probably his toughest bout. Ward was not present at the press conference, as he was suffering from the flu. But the 25-year-old American is considered by many experts to be the next big star in the middleweight division.
And while Kessler is considered to be a favourite to win the tournament, not everyone believes he can come out on top.
‘Ward is quick enough to cause Kessler problems and strong enough to hurt him if he’s able to turn the fight into a slugfest,’ says award-winning sportswriter and boxing expert Kevin Iole.
Kessler told the crowd at Tivoli he hopes at least a couple of his tournament fights are in Denmark so that he would have ‘an extra 10 percent advantage’.
The final bout for the Super Six World Boxing Classic trophy is expected to take place in early 2011.