Saturday, June 4 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (Showtime):
WBC Champ Carl Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) vs. Glen Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs), super middleweight (168 lb.) semi-final Prediction: Froch by decision
Glen Johnson, one of the sport's great people, also represents its ultimate truth serum. After sharing the ring with "the Road Warrior" or "Gentleman Glen," we find out what fighters have inside. Many, such as Allan Green, Yusaf Mack and the 2004 version of Roy Jones, couldn't survive his pressure, while others like Antonio Tarver and Chad Dawson were pushed to the brink but hung on.
Froch's supporters and detractors can equally argue about his resume on paper. One could say that he's beaten some of the best in his division over the past three years and could easily still be undefeated, if not for a debatable decision loss in Denmark to Mikkel
Kessler. Or you could claim that he was very close to losing three in a row, having to come from far behind to KO Jermain Taylor with just seconds left and surviving a controversial decision win over Andre Dirrell at home.
This is why you don't analyze fighters on paper. Anyone who's followed Froch since his impressive win over Jean Pascal for the WBC crown has to admit that he's shown great progress and has proven his worth as an elite super middleweight. In fact, two of the nine boxers involved have greatly benefited from the Super Six Classic: obviously Andre Ward, its star; and Froch. He's tough, he can box and he has the heart, stamina and savvy to perform at a championship level in the championship rounds.
It won't be easy Saturday night against Johnson - it never is - but Froch will take advantage of the nine year age difference and gut out another win to secure a spot against Ward
in a compelling final.
Saturday, June 4 in Denmark (Showtime):
Mikkel Kessler (43-2, 32 KOs) vs. Mehdi Bouadla (22-3, 10 KOs), super middleweights (168 lb.) Prediction: Kessler by TKO
Showtime offers this rare showcase in its Championship Boxing series, attempting to set up a Kessler-Lucian Bute IBF title fight this fall to complement the Super Six final and possibly set the stage for the Super Six winner versus the Kessler-Bute winner. Once again, Showtime displays the foresight that HBO completely lacks.
However, for now we're forced to endure this mismatch between one of the best jabs and one-twos in the sport in Kessler agianst a fighter who's never beaten anyone. Kessler usually has a field day with this level of competition and should again on Saturday, so hopefully he'll take care of business in short order so that we can move on to
the Froch-Johnson showdown.
Saturday, June 4 at the Staples Center, Los Angeles (HBO):
WBC Champ Sebastian Zbik (30-0, 10 KOs) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (42-0-1, 30 KOs), middleweights (160 lb.) Prediction: Zbik by decision
Why pick against boxing's next chosen one, the son of JCC? Let's see, he's underachieving, lazy, spoiled and a cheater - not exactly the formula for championship material. He actually possesses good boxing skills and the right frame for success, but he doesn't push himself across that fine line between those with manufacted records and the real, first-rate contenders.
Zbik's a hand-picked title opponent for a reason, but he at least has faced solid competition in Germany and has earned his title shot by knocking off other talented young Europeans.
Expect a competitive fight between two second-tier middleweights, but
when it comes to digging deep for the win, Chavez, Jr. won't have anything to go to in his reserves, which don't just show up in the middle of a fight.
Miguel Garcia (25-0, 21 KOs) vs. Rafael Guzman (28-2, 20 KOs), featherweights (126 lb.) Prediction: Garcia by KO
If you like Mexican and Mexican-American bangers like Alfredo Angulo and Brandon Rios, you'll like Miguel "Mikey" Garcia, another tough, aggressive puncher who softens up his opponents with combinations and body work, then usually stops them short due to absorbing too much punishment.
Despite a fairly glossy record, expect much of the same from Guzman, who's built it in the tough Mexican cards, but against mostly suspect competition. He hasn't held up against his toughest competition, and Garcia should prove his best opponent to date. Garcia is defensively vulnerable at times, but he should eventually and impressively walk down