After an assortment of roadblocks and unexpected twists and turns, Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic will finally reach its pinnacle when WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward faces WBC titleholder Carl Froch on October 29 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
The road to the Super Six final was anything but smooth for Showtime, which had to endure promotional squabbles, venue issues and the loss of three boxers from the tournament, which began in the fall of 2009 with six fighters.
For Ward (24-0, 13 KOs), who earned a trip to the final with dominating wins over Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green Sakio Bika and Arthur Abraham, getting through tough times is a part of life.
"This tournament wouldn't be what it is if we didn't have those bumps in the road," Ward said. "Sometimes it makes you appreciate things a lot more when you go through things."
"I think it's just a testament to the fact that this is real life . . . injuries happen," Ward explained. "And we're in a sport like boxing where anything can happen."
Froch's road to the final was a bit more dramatic. Froch lost his WBC belt in a unanimous decision to Kessler on April 24, 2010.
But the native of Nottingham, England regained the title in a lopsided unanimous-decision victory over Abraham in November. Froch's latest win was a majority-decision over veteran Glen Johnson in a semifinal bout in June.
"It was a very tough road. But that's why I fight," said Froch (28-1, 20 KOs), who predicted a win by knockout.
As for the opportunity the fight presents, both fighters acknowledged it could lead to worldwide stardom. "To be in five fights against five fighters like this . . . It's something that wouldn't have happened outside of this tournament," Ward said.