Dirrell, Taylor, Froch and Abraham weigh in on Kessler-Ward

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The other four participants of the Super Six World Boxing Classic have made their picks for tomorrow night's final stage one battle between Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward in Oakland.

Andre Dirrell:

"I'm going with Ward. Ward has the ability to win. This is his biggest fight so he'll have to stick to his game plan but I'm going with him."

Dirrell and Ward were Olympic teammates, so Andre is surely rooting for Andre. Plus it would probably help everyone if the Americans could come out of the first stage with even one win. If Ward loses convincingly, there's going to be plenty of talk that none of the Americans really deserved to be here.

Jermain Taylor:

"Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler will be a very competitive fight and both want to make a statement in the Super Six tournament. I think the key to the fight depends on who will dictate and set the pace in the early rounds. Both fighters have a lot of skills and will be well prepared to do battle. It's a very close fight to make a prediction on. I would call the fight a toss-up."

Try not to get too bold, Jermain.

Carl Froch:

"Mikkel Kessler will win because of his strength and ring experience. I'm looking forward to it because obviously it's a fight that has major implications for me in the Super Six tournament. Andre Ward has that terrific amateur pedigree, winning the Gold medal at the Athens Olympics. He's had some good wins in the pros but we will only find out how good he really is when he steps in there with Kessler."

Kessler is next for Froch, and since Froch is one of those guys that genuinely seems to want his fights to be challenges, he's rooting for Kessler so that he can knock off the tournament favorite and take his title in his next fight:

"Ward will have the benefit of home advantage, which I'm sure will play its part but Kessler is very experienced and has won on the road before so I'm sure he won't see it as an issue. I'm hoping for my own selfish reasons that Kessler wins because then he'll still have the WBA belt. I'm fighting him next so if he beats Ward then it means that our fight becomes a massive WBC and WBA unification clash and I can get my hands on his belt."

Kessler's previous road wins: Israel Ponce in Las Vegas (2000), Anthony Mundine in Australia (2005) and Danilo Haussler in Germany (2008). Not exactly Murderer's Row.

Arthur Abraham:

"Because I have not ever seen an Andre Ward fight live or on tape, I cannot say much. But Kessler is the favorite in this fight nevertheless. I have seen Kessler fight many times and he is very clever and very strong. I have to give the advantage to Kessler because of his strength, experience and cleverness. Andre Ward is not to be underestimated. He is very good. He is technically very sound and can also punch hard as he has shown in previous fights. But I hope that my new stablemate, Mikkel Kessler, wins."

Abraham's statement is my favorite. It's mind-boggling to me that he's never seen Andre Ward fight, even on tape, and he also goes from telling us he's never seen him to describing his technical skills and how hard he can punch. How would he know?! Knockout rates? Olympic pedigree? You know what happens when you assume, Arthur.

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