Froch plays down Dirrell taunts

BBC Sports24th July, 2009

Nottingham boxer Carl Froch has laughed off suggestions that American Andre Dirrell has got under his skin.

The pair will meet in a world title fight in Nottingham in the opening round of the Super Six tournament.

Dirrell had said WBC super-middleweight champion Froch would be his "easiest fight" in the new six-man series.

But Froch said: "I've heard all that kind of talk before so it doesn't bother me. It's Dirrell who has to worry about backing up that big talk."

The Super Six fight takes place at the Nottingham Arena on Saturday, 17 October, and the tournament also includes Arthur Abraham, Mikkel Kessler, Jermain Taylor and Olympic Gold medallist Andre Ward.

In the first phase of the event, each fighter will face three different opponents over the next 12 months.

Of his opening bout, Froch added: "I actually believe he's quite nervous about the series so he's trying to talk himself up.

"When he turned up at the media tour last week I think the realisation of what he'd got himself into actually hit home and I think he was a little overawed by the occasion.

"If he's nervous getting his photo taken alongside the likes of World Champions like myself and Mikkel Kessler how's he going to feel when he actually has to step into the ring with us?

"He's got a decent amateur pedigree and he's done well as a pro so far but he's about to step up to a whole new level now.

"Most of the other guys in this tournament are proven, elite-level fighters but Dirrell is still untested so it's up to him to prove he belongs at this level.

"He's unbeaten obviously so he has that confidence and mentality of a fighter who doesn't believe they can be beaten but he's forgetting that I'm unbeaten as well so I have that same confidence and mentality."

Dirrell, an Olympic medallist from the Athens Games in 2004, has racked up 18 straight wins in the paid ranks, and dismissed Froch as the weakest in the Super Six line-up.

"I begged to get Froch in my first fight, he's the guy I wanted and this is going to be my easiest fight," stated Dirrell.

"This is the fight where I'll show off and look my best and that's a guarantee. I'll look my best there because he's just that easy to hit and he's slow."

Dirrell is distinctly unimpressed with Froch despite the Nottingham man's impressive showings in beating Jean Pascal last December and defending the belt in April with a dramatic final-round knock-out of Taylor.

"Froch only beat Jean Pascal because Pascal didn't do his job and fought the wrong fight," added Dirrell.

"He fought Jermain Taylor and was losing to Taylor but got fortunate and knocked him out. Froch hasn't really shown me anything.

"Honestly if you want to sit back and break it down he's not really a true champion yet. If he can win this tournament then he'll become a true champion but he's not there yet."

The four leading points scorers advance to the semi-finals, prior to a final in early 2011.

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