DETROIT — (March 25, 2010) — This Saturday, March 27, live on SHOWTIME® (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast), “King” Arthur Abraham and Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell begin what will be an excellent series of Group Stage 2 bouts in the Super Six World Boxing Classic on SHOWTIME.
The undefeated Abraham (31-0, 25 KOs), of Armenia, and the once-beaten Dirrell (18-1, 13 KOs), of Flint, Mich., will clash at the Joe Louis Arena. Abraham will enter the scheduled 12-rounder atop the tournament standings with three points. Dirrell needs a victory to get on the board.
The fight will be available to a record 54.4 million households as part of the SHOWTIME ALL ACCESS Free Preview Weekend on SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME HD™ and SHOWTIME On Demand. From Thursday, March 25 through Sunday, March 28, viewers across the country will have the opportunity to sample the premium network’s award-winning programming via linear service, On Demand and in HD, including two live events from SHOWTIME Sports.
Saturday’s event is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Sauerland Event.
What the fighters had to say Thursday at the final press conference at Detroit’s MGM Grand:
“I’m definitely ready to shock the world.
“I feel really good about this fight. I’ve had a solid camp, worked really hard for this and couldn’t be in better shape. I’m cool, calm and relaxed and ready to fight my fight. There is no reason to tense up. I’m not fighting a machine. Abraham is a strong guy but I’ve fought lots of guys like him.
“I am going to box but I am also going to make him fight me. He is going to see the best of both worlds. He is going to get the full package and get me at my best. I don’t feel like he is going to be able to adapt to what I offer and throw at him.
“I’m bigger than him, and faster, and am definitely a better boxer.
“I feel like I have a false record. I didn’t come out of my first tournament fight with (Carl) Froch feeling like a loser. He got the split decision but I definitely felt I did enough to win the first tournament fight although I didn’t quite do enough in the eyes of the judges. I thought I definitely won the first five or six rounds and demolished Froch the last three.
“I thought, at the worst, I won eight rounds to four. But you can’t dwell on the past. That’s the great thing about this tournament. Win or lose and you know you always have a very important fight right ahead of you. My focus is totally on beating Abraham in front of my hometown fans on SHOWTIME.’’
LEON LAWSON SR. (Dirrell’s Trainer)
“I’d like to thank everyone involved, Gary Shaw and SHOWTIME for making this fight and for everyone for their support. Andre is truly prepared and we are all excited about Saturday. I think you’re going to see a good boxing exhibition.
“We know what we’re up against, but Andre is up for the challenge and will leave that ring at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday victorious.
“I guarantee you are all going to see a very good fight.’’
GARY SHAW (Dirrell’s Promoter)
“Andre is a standup guy and someone I am very proud to be associated with as his promoter. He is the bigger, strong fighter in this one and Saturday is going to be his night.
“I believe Arthur Abraham is in for the shock of his life. He’s not used to seeing across from him what he will in the ring against Dirrell. This will be a great fight for the Dirrell, SHOWTIME, the fans at Joe Louis Arena and the city of Detroit.’’
“I am here to fight, not talk, but I have respect for all human beings and all boxers. Every fighter fights for pride, family and his country.
“I’m accustomed to fighting in big arenas – there were over 15,000 fans at my last fight – and I don’t mind fighting in his back yard. The crowd may be against me in the beginning but they will all be on my side after four rounds. Everybody has a favorite in this tournament, but, really, nobody is the favorite. The winner at the end of the three rounds is all who counts.
“Dirrell is a good fighter and I respect him as a fighter, but it’s all about fighting smart. You fight smart, you win. You don’t fight smart; you make it tougher on yourself.
“I really don’t really care who the judges are. My task is to fight and win. I leave the other tasks to my manager. I am looking forward to a very good fight Saturday and a victory.
“I have enjoyed all my time in the United States but I am looking forward to winning this fight, then I can go home and rest.’’
ULLI WEGNER (Coach)
“Arthur is in great shape and I think he actually benefitted from the extra time. I know he is ready, and all of us are ready for him to finally step into the ring. This should be a good, competitive fight but I have total faith in Arthur. I am sure he is going to give a memorable performance. I can’t wait until Saturday to get his fight started.
“I wish both boxers the best and may the best man win.’’
WILFRIED SAUERLAND (Abraham’s Promoter)
“I am happy that Saturday is almost here. I know that Arthur is ready and very anxious to get in the ring with Dirrell. He is looking forward to fighting in America again and making another good impression.
“We have nothing but respect for Dirrell and all the fighters in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. But Saturday will be Arthur’s night to shine.’’
For information on all SHOWTIME Sports telecasts, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries from its events and complete information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic, please visit the website at http://www.sports.sho.com
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