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Quest For The Best Current Welterweight by Larry B.

The Super Six World Boxing Classic was one of the most exciting events in the world of boxing in the twenty first century. Over the last twenty years, we have seen some major fights including Alvarez vs Golovkin one and two, Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko, Francisco Vargas vs Solido, Pacquiao vs Marquez four times, Mayweather vs anyone he faced and remaining undefeated, Khan vs Maidana, and most recently two major upsets in the heavyweight division including Ruiz defeating Joshua, Joshua reclaiming his titles over Ruiz, Wilder and Fury drawing, and then the fight that stunned many people, Fury defeating Wilder by forcing a seventh round stoppage back in February. Many of these fights were classic bouts of the last two decades; however, The Super Six World Boxing Classic was absolutely that, classic. Six fighters of the middleweight division would fight in a round robin style tournament consisting of three group stages, a semifinal, and a final. Boxers were awarded one point for a victory and two points for knock outs. The field would consist of Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch, Andre Ward, Jermain Taylor, Arthur Abraham, and Andre Dirrell. Taylor and Dirrell would end up withdrawing in the tournament and they were replaced by Glen Johnson and Allan Green.


On October 17, 2009, the first two fights took place (Arthur Abraham knocked out Jermaine

Taylor 12th round and Carl Froch defeated Andre Dirrell in a split decision) and the third would take place on November 21st, 2009 (Andre Ward defeats Mikkel Kessler technical decision in the 11th round). Stage two would take place on three different days, March 27, 2010 (Andre Dirrell defeating Arthur Abraham by disqualification in the 11th), April 24, 2010 (Mikkel Kessler defeating Carl Froch by unanimous decision), and June 19th 2010 (Andre Ward defeating Allan Green by unanimous decision). Stage three was shaken up quite a bit as Andre Dirrell and Mikkel Kessler withdrew from the tournament due to injuries and Andre Ward had to end up fighting Sakio Bika in a non-tournament bout. Regardless, two bouts were fought in stage three as Glen Johnson knocked out Allan Green in the 8th round and Carl Froch defeated Arthur Abraham by unanimous decision.


The Final Four, or the semifinals, consisted of Andre Ward with six points, Carl Froch with four points, Arthur Abraham with three points, and Glen Johnson with three points. Andre Ward would defeat Arthur Abraham by unanimous decision on May 14th, 2011 and Carl Froch would defeat Glen Johnson majority decision on June 4th, 2011. The final would take place on December 17th, 2011 at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey as Andre Ward defeated Carl Froch by unanimous decision retaining the WBA Super Middleweight Championship and earning the WBC Middleweight Championship. Though The Super Six World Boxing Classic wouldn’t turn out the way most boxing fans would’ve wanted with the withdraws of a few fighters and the replacing of those fighters, the tournament still delivered some memorable fights and most boxing fans would agree that the best boxer at the time won.

It’s been nearly a decade since the conclusion of The Super Six World Boxing Classic, but its concept could bring forth a legendary boxing tournament in the most competitive weight class to date if the stars align to permit it. The welterweight division has always been extremely competitive, but it’s hard to argue that this isn’t one of the most competitive eras in 147s in boxing history.


The amount of work that goes into a tournament such as The Super Six World Boxing Classic is vast because the promoters must all agree on terms and conditions, the venues must be booked, the fighter must be willing, and after things didn’t pan out idealistically in The Super Six World Boxing Classic, the promoters would have to believe that it would work out differently this time around. But suppose the stars did aligned and the promoters were all for this idea with the current deep field of welterweights. How would they match up and could there only be six fighters?


The Tournament

This is my purposed idea for a tournament with today’s welterweights: Eight boxers, three stages, two fights a year, semifinals, and a final. The scoring would be the same as The Super Six Boxing Classic with one point for a win and two points for a knockout. The boxers would be split up into two pools and there would be a draw to see what pool each boxer competes in. Once the draw is completed it will be round robin like The Super Six Boxing Classic where all boxers will face one another in their pools. After the three stages are completed, the top two will advance as the winner of Pool A will face the runner up of Pool B and the winner of Pool B will runner up of Pool A in the semifinals. The winners will go on to face each other in the final. Though all eight of these boxers won’t face one another due to the pool stage, this tournament can still determine the best boxer in the current welterweight division.


The Boxers

The eight boxers that I would select for this tournament would be the current WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford, (has held titles in three different weight classes, came up from lightweight), former WBC Welterweight Champion Danny Garcia (held titles in two weight classes, WBC Welterweight Champion from 2016 to 2017), former WBC and WBA Champion Keith Thurman (WBA Champion from 2015 to 2019 and WBC Champion from 2017 to 2018), former IBF and WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter (IBF Champion from 2013 to 2014 and WBC Champion from 2018 to 2019), the twelve time champion in eight different divisions and the current WBA Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao, the 2008 bronze medalist Yordenis Ugas, the current WBA and WBC Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr., and the former IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook (IBF Welterweight Champion from 2014 to 2017).


The field would be deep, the fights would be competitive, and the moments would be memorable. There’s no doubt that this tournament would identify the best welterweight in the world. Though the majority of these boxers have already faced one another, it’s safe to say that this tournament would bring out the best in them.

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