Super Six final set for Dec. 17
The super middleweight title unification bout between Andre Ward and Carl Froch, postponed last week because Ward suffered a cut over his right eye while sparring, has been rescheduled for Dec. 17.
The final of Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic had been scheduled to take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 29. Ward suffered the cut, which required seven stitches, on Thursday.
Ward is due to have his stitches out this Thursday and is expected to be ready to go with a seven-week postponement. The rescheduled bout will still take place at Boardwalk Hall.
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"It boiled down to two things," Dan Goossen, Ward's promoter, told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "One is what the doctor informed us about when he believed Andre could start sparring again. I spoke to (Dr. Paul Wallace) the day after the he put the stitches in and I said, 'OK, doc, when do you believe he can start sparring again?' And he said at the end of October. You throw that in with the time that Andre needs to prepare and mid-December becomes the target date."
Goosen then checked with Froch's promoter, Eddie Hearn, Showtime, host casino Caesars Atlantic City and Boardwalk Hall and set up the Dec. 17 date.
"The goal was to get the fight in in 2011. With the doctor's OK and with Showtime able to do it, we all did a little maneuvering to make Dec. 17 work," Goosen said.
The postponement of the final is simply the latest in a long line of delays, injuries and fighter dropouts in the Super Six, which began as an 18-month round-robin tournament featuring six of the world's top 168-pound fighters.
With the latest delay, it will stretch to a little more than two years with three of the original participants -- Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell and Mikkel Kessler -- dropping out along the way with two being replaced by Glen Johnson and Allan Green.
But now the final is back on.
"I think it's good for everyone, especially the fans," Goossen said. "People have been looking forward to the fight. You want to have it happen sooner than later. No matter what the date is or where it's being held it's going to be a hot fight. I'm glad we can make it the last big fight of 2011."
Because of the new fight date, Showtime has rescheduled the next episode of the reality series "Fight Camp 360°: Inside the Super Six World Boxing Classic," which has been following the build-up to the bouts throughout the tournament and reviewing previous fights.
The next episode, for which Showtime's crew was at the gym when Ward suffered the cut and then accompanied him to the doctor, debuts on Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. ET.
Also, the debut of "Staredown: Ward vs. Froch," in which the fighters confront each other in a setting moderated by Jim Gray, has been moved to Dec. 3, immediately following Showtime's Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko II broadcast.
Ward (24-0, 13 KOs), 27, of Oakland, Calif., advanced to the final by rolling through each of his tournament bouts in dominant fashion.
He won his title against Kessler in his opening bout, scoring a dominant 11th-round technical decision. Ward shredded Allan Green for a shutout decision in his second bout. Ward's Group Stage 3 bout called off when Dirrell, his 2004 U.S. Olympic teammate, dropped out of the tournament. Ward instead faced contender Sakio Bika outside of the tournament and won a lopsided decision.
In his May semifinal fight, Ward routed Abraham in a lopsided decision to advance to the final.
England's Froch (28-1, 20 KOs), 34, edged Dirrell on a split decision in England in his opening-round bout. Then Froch lost a decision (and his title) in a slugfest to Denmark's Kessler in Denmark in Group Stage 2.
However, after Kessler dropped out, Froch met Abraham for the vacant belt in Group Stage 3 and won a near-shutout decision to claim his title. Froch advanced to the final in June by scoring a majority decision against Johnson.
Fans holding tickets for the fight on Oct. 29 can use them for the fight on Dec. 17. Fans with tickets for Oct. 29 who cannot attend on the new date can return them for a refund at their point of purchase.
Dan Rafael is the senior boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.
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