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Friday, December 16, 2011
Top super middies predict Super Six final

By Dan Rafael

Who will win the final of Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic? The 26-month tournament will come to a close when super middleweight titleholders Andre Ward and Carl Froch square off on Saturday night (Showtime, 9 ET/PT) at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

Ward is the favorite, but how are some of the fighters who have been eliminated from the tournament picking it? And what about another super middleweight with a vested interest in the outcome? Of the five who offered their opinions, four are going with Ward to win. Here are their predictions:

• Andre Dirrell (lost split decision to Froch in Group Stage 1 on Oct. 17, 2009): "My sense is going toward Ward. I believe Ward will win it -- not just because he is a smart fighter, but because when it's time to battle, he knows how to battle. But, ultimately, his smarts come into play. He knows how to handle these fighters. It's almost like he dissects them. He's pretty in tune to this sport. In every fight he's had in the Super Six, he's switched up his game plan and they worked to perfection. He has a game plan for Froch, as well. It won't be easy. I honestly believe there will be a cut in the fight. Andre Ward has his tactics and Froch has his tactics, so it's going to be a rough fight, maybe a few bumps and bruises. But overall, I see Andre Ward winning it."

• Arthur Abraham (lost lopsided decisions to Froch in Group Stage 3 on Nov. 27, 2010, and to Ward in the semifinals on May 14, 2011): "I think Andre Ward is going to win on points. He is tactically better and his style is hard to fight against. I don't think many fans like his style, though."

• Mikkel Kessler (lost 11th-round technical decision to Ward in Group Stage 1 on Nov. 21, 2009, and won a unanimous decision against Froch in Group Stage 2 on April 24, 2010): "If he does his homework, I think Carl Froch is going to win. He is very strong and he wants to fight. Ward is good and fast, too, but I think Froch will win. He will have learned from the mistakes I did against Ward. So many things went wrong for me that night. Another advantage for Froch is the tournament history -- he had some very tough fights that made him even stronger. So my pick is Froch."

• Glen Johnson (lost a majority decision to Froch in the semifinals on June 4, 2011): "I have to go with Ward in the final. He's the only guy who's undefeated in the tournament and he's found a way to win. You've got to give him the biggest chance because, of all the guys that fought the top fighters, he's the only one who stayed undefeated at that level. Froch has a puncher's chance -- that's the only chance I can give him. I don't think he can win on points; he's not a fast guy and he doesn't throw a lot of combinations. Ward has a tough style, and Froch is going to have to land some big punches to change the opinion of the crowd. And even though they are both champions, he's going to have to beat the champ to win. You'll have to beat Ward to get that credit, and I just don't see that happening."

• Lucian Bute (super middleweight titleholder who will be ringside and hopes to fight Ward-Froch winner): "In my opinion, I think Andre Ward will be the winner of the Super Six. He is a smart fighter with good skills and he will avoid the power punch of Carl Froch."