FROCH EYES KESSLER FINAL SHOWDOWN

Sporting Life Simon Lewis14th July, 2009

WBC super-middleweight champion Carl Froch has promised to be the last man standing at the end of the forthcoming Super Six World Boxing Classic.

The Nottingham fighter will put his world title and unbeaten 25-fight (20 KOs) record on the line in an innovative round-robin tournament between six of the best boxers in the 168-pound division.

Froch, 32, begins his three-fight group campaign, which offers two points for a victory with a bonus point for a knockout or TKO, at the Nottingham Arena in October with a title defence against American Andre Dirrell (18-0, 13 KOs).

The four points leaders at the end of the group stage progress to the semi-finals but Froch is already eyeing a final showdown with Denmark's Mikael Kessler, the WBA title-holder, some time in early 2011.

"I'm going to be the last man standing," Froch declared at Madison Square Garden as the Super Six was launched by US television network Showtime.

"I'm a world champion and I've worked so hard to get here that I'm not giving my belt up for anyone.

"Kessler's an excellent fighter but I believe I'm the best of the bunch and it's just about going out now and proving that."

Kessler (41-1, 31 KOs) will open his campaign against American former Olympic gold medallist Andre Ward (19-0, 12 KOs), while Germany's Arthur Abraham (30-0, 24 KOs) relinquished his IBF middleweight crown to take on former undisputed middleweight world champion Jermain Taylor (28-3-1, 17 KOs), a final-round stoppage victim of Froch's last time out in April.

Froch described Dirrell, seven years his junior, as being "too naive" although he said he would respect his opponent's athleticism and his ability to fight both orthodox and southpaw styles.

"He's got fast hands from what I've seen but I've only ever seen him fight one round," Froch said.

"He's a bit of a switch hitter so I'll find his weak side and bash him up.

"Not only will I get three points in the tournament but I'll also get to defend my WBC title, so it's a great fight for me.

"I usually box, use my long range and my boxing skills but sometimes you get drawn into a fight. I've proven that, if needs be, I'll go into the trenches and take somebody on toe to toe and have a fight with them.

"Dirrell, on the other hand has not been in that position yet, where he's been taken into the trenches and been asked questions by a world champion like I've been asked and answered.

"So you're going to learn a lot about Dirrell in this tournament and I can't see him getting through it. I think he's too naive, too young, too inexperienced and he's going to come unstuck when he fights me in his first fight.

"But that's the great thing about this tournament. You get beat by me and you've still got a chance to fight the next man and get some points in the bank."

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