The discussion of late has revolved around mixed martial arts' rise has hurt boxing. But let's be clear: boxing has done a heck of a job hurting itself with corrupt rankings, meaningless titles and a noticeable lack of quality fights.
Of course, devoted fans who long to see boxing's return to dominance may find other flaws as well, but those are the Big Three, the ones registered in blogs, chat rooms and writer mailbags the most. Fans scratch their heads in bewilderment when
Boxing loyalists reach for the Tylenol when someone tries to explain to them super champion vs. interim champion, champion emeritus vs. champion in recess. And they bang their fists in frustration when
Just like a dab of Neosporin won't heal a deep cut, one major event won't erase years of self-inflicted abuse in boxing. But there is no question Showtime's Super Six tournament is a step in the right direction.
Beginning on Saturday night, when WBC champion
"To find common ground between two [promoters] is a challenge," Showtime Senior Vice President
But they did. Over the course of several months representatives for the six-man field -- Froch, Dirrell, Abraham, Taylor,
"There were about 300 obstacles," Hershman said with a laugh. "Everyone has their own business interests."
"I really believe this is good for boxing," said Dirrell's promoter,
Like any subjectively chosen tournament field, the Super Six has its detractors. Some wonder why accomplished super middleweights, like
"You can't please everybody," said Hershman. "We think we have a really good group."
Indeed, the Super Six field boasts two current super middleweight champions (Kessler and Froch), two former middleweight champions (Abraham and Taylor) and four undefeated fighters (Froch, Abraham, Ward and Dirrell). Overall, the group holds a record of 161-4-1 with 117 knockouts.
Perhaps the most telling indicator of the significance of the Super Six is the buzz it is creating among fighters who aren't in it. Light heavyweight champion
"He should have kept his mouth shut," said Hershman.
Then there is the biggest potential fight of all:
"Calzaghe, wow," said Hershman. "That would be amazing. Joe has fought on Showtime many times, and he has far exceeded my humble expectations. A fight with him would be spectacular."
"Would I like to fight Calzaghe?" asked Dirrell. "Are you kidding? That would be a dream."
If the tournament is as competitive as people think, the results will be a dream for everyone.