(Sept. 17, 2009) — It was a day of many answered questions as World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight champion Mikkel “Viking Warrior” Kessler and hometown undefeated hero Andre “S.O.G” Ward met face-to-face and then with Bay Area media followed by a national conference call on Thursday.
Kessler and Ward will take part in the first Super Six World Boxing Classic match in the United States on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). The scheduled 12-rounder will be for Kessler’s WBA 168-pound title and is a first-round matchup in Group Stage 1.
“The favorite in this tournament is Kessler,” Ward’s promoter Dan Goossen, President of Goossen Tutor Promotions said on the media conference call. “There’s no doubt about it. As a matter of fact, the experts have already made their picks: Kessler, (Arthur) Abraham, (Carl) Froch, Jermain Taylor, and then it’s Ward and (Andre) Dirrell, the two young pups. So it’s a big challenge for America right now. But Ward’s going to be up to the task and I think at the end of the day there will be two Americans left standing in that inaugural World Boxing Classic Championship bout.”
Kessler’s promoter Kaller Sauerland of Sauerland Events wouldn’t tab his fighter as the favorite. “I don’t think there’s any favorite in this tournament,” he said. “You’ve got six of the best super middleweights. Mikkel’s got to travel to California which speaks volumes about the kind of boxer Mikkel is. For him to travel into this guy’s backyard with a chance to take away his title … Again, it just speaks volumes to what this tournament means to the guys involved.”
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