Sporting Life10th July, 2009

Showtime have called a New York press conference on Monday to officially announce their planned super-middleweight tournament, which includes Nottingham's WBC king Carl Froch.

Froch will be one of six fighters competing in the tournament, which is expected to start later this year and is described as "ground-breaking" by the TV network.

Also stepping up to the plate is 'The Cobra's' last victim, former undisputed middleweight king Jermain Taylor. Froch needed a 12th-round knockout to beat 'Bad Intentions' back in April.

Reigning IBF middleweight king Arthur Abraham is an intriguing participant. With the battle to make 160lbs a constant struggle and a major unification bout with Kelly Pavlik looking unlikely - he's moving up to 168.

Andre Dirrell - a medallist for the United States at the Athens Olympics in 2004 - is also involved and is being reportedly lined up as the first opponent for Froch.

Perhaps the most formidable name at 168 among the line-up is Mikkel Kessler, who pushed Joe Calzaghe all the way in a memorable Cardiff showdown back in 2007.

And last but certainly not least is the highly-rated Andre Ward, who is ranked number one by the WBC and the WBO, and who won gold in Athens in 2004.

The tournament will bring back memories of the middleweight tournament masterminded by Don King, which culminated in Bernard Hopkins knocking out Felix Trinidad late in 2001.