Calling the injury to Mikkel Kessler a "surprise and a disappointment," Showtime is nonetheless not panicking over the loss of the Danish titleholder to its ongoing Super Six World Boxing Classic. In fact, the network is getting right down to business and moving forward with the tournament.
"Ken Hershman has a plan," said a representative from the network. What that plan is, exactly, is not yet clear, but with the injury making headlines just this morning, nothing concrete can be expected yet.
It's worth saying that the Super Six was bound to have things like this happen. The way the tournament is set up, and with the frequency of injuries in boxing, getting through it all without someone getting hurt was going to be near impossible. Eye injuries in boxing are nothing to mess around with, and Kessler can't be blamed for pulling out. It's no ploy, either -- how could it be? Kessler stood to make very good money for a fight he was heavily favored to win against Allan Green, and then he would have been into the elimination rounds, with a chance to win the whole thing and come out of the tournament as a major star.
Sauerland Event has also said that Kessler will likely vacate his WBC title, which could put that belt up for grabs between Arthur Abraham and former titlist Carl Froch on October 2 in Monaco.
As for Allan Green, who loses a date with Kessler and a chance to lift that WBC belt if not advance in the Super Six, he would surely be compensated with a TV date if Showtime does decide to move forward with Ward-Dirrell and Froch-Abraham as the semifinals of the tournament. Even if you gave Green two points for a forfeit of Kessler, he still would be on the outside looking in, and the semifinals would be what the third stage fights were supposed to be anyway. You'd have the #1 seed (Ward) against the #4 seed (Dirrell), with #2 (Abraham) meeting #3 (Froch).
All in all, if that's the path taken, the Kessler injury certainly could have done more damage to the tournament. Nobody would have wanted this to happen, of course, and everyone obviously wishes Mikkel a speedy recovery, but if an injury had to happen, this was the best way for it to happen, as far as the fluidity of the tournament is concerned.
Bad Left Hook will have more on this story as it develops, but as expected, the Super Six World Boxing Classic will move forward, one way or another.