Froch, Abraham to fight in Monaco
Updated: July 15, 2010, 18:18
Send to a friend
NEW YORK(AP) Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham will fight on neutral ground in Monaco in the third stage of the World Boxing Classic, as both try to secure a spot in the tournament semifinals.
The fight will take place Oct. 2 at the Chapiteau de l'Espace Fontvieille in the principality on the Mediterranean Sea. Froch had wanted the fight in his native England, Abraham wanted it in Germany and tournament backer Showtime discussed staging the fight in Montreal.
"The intensity of the selection process for this venue speaks to the enormity of the moment,'' Showtime vice president Ken Hershman said in a statement. "All the fighters in the tournament have set out to prove that they are the world's best at 168 pounds by fighting their peers - the most dangerous men in the division - fight after fight.
"Any perceived advantage or disadvantage has been calculated.''
The outcome is critical for both fighters to advancing in the tournament, which rewards points based on three guaranteed bouts in the opening stages. Knockouts are worth three points, a win by decision is two points and a draw is one point.
Andre Ward is the only fighter to win his first two bouts and leads the tournament with four points. Abraham has the only knockout and is second with three points, while Froch is tied with Mikkel Kessler and Andre Dirrell with two points each. Late substitution Allan Green has zero.
The four with the most points after their third fights will advance to seeded semifinals, with a championship bout tentatively scheduled for early next year.
"Froch is a hell of a fighter, but so am I,'' Abraham said. "This will be the biggest, most important fight of my career, and I will put on a special performance to please boxing fans in Monaco, France, Germany, England, America and all over the world.''
Abraham didn't please anybody the last time he stepped into the ring.
The hard-punching native of Armenia, who now fights out of Germany, was well behind on the scorecards when he faced Dirrell in March. During the 11th round, Abraham landed a hard shot to the side of Dirrell's head while he was down, bringing with it an instant disqualification.
"I cannot wait to get back in the ring,'' Abraham said. "I must admit the disqualification against Dirrell still haunts me. Only a victory over Froch can put my mind at rest.''
Froch lost his WBC version of the super middleweight title in his previous bout, a close and entertaining match against Kessler on April 24, and promoter Mick Hennessy believes the fight against Abraham will be even better.
"This has all the ingredients to be the fight of the decade,'' Hennessy said. "(Froch) will prove he is the best and will secure three points for a knockout win, showing the world once again that he is a very special fighter.''