Sporting Life Simon Lewis13th July, 2009

Carl Froch will defend his WBC 168-pound world title in October against American Andre Dirrell in the first fight of a round-robin tournament between six leading super middleweights, unveiled at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Unbeaten Nottingham fighter Froch will compete in the 'Super Six World Boxing Classic' beginning in October alongside WBA champion Mikkel Kessler of Denmark, Germany's Arthur Abraham and American trio Dirrell, Andre Ward and Jermain Taylor.

Each boxer will fight three times in a group stage, winning two points for a victory with a bonus point on offer for a knockout or TKO. The top four points-scorers progress to a semi-final round which will produce a grand final scheduled for early 2011.

Froch (25-0, 20 KOs) successfully defended his WBC title against Taylor (28-3-1, 17 KOs) in April with a dramatic stoppage 14 seconds from the final bell in Connecticut and he will put his belt on the line against the unbeaten former Olympic bronze medallist Dirrell (18-0, 13 KOs) over 12 rounds with a date and venue to be announced in the near future.

Taylor will fight fellow former middleweight Abraham (30-0, 24 KOs) while Kessler (41-1, 31 KOs) defends his WBA title against Ward (19-0, 12 KOs) with the second and third series of group fights also set to be announced at a later date.

"The 168-pound division is the most talent-rich in boxing right now," said Ken Hershman of the US television network Showtime, which put together the series.

"The Super Six tournament structure will deliver one compelling match-up after another."