(The fateful moment between Abraham and Dirrell?)
This is Super depressing.
The Super Six lost another member of its original lineup Thursday when Andre Dirrell pulled out of the super middleweight tourney, citing an injury. When after his savage knockout loss the tournament lost Jermain Taylor, who never should have been there to begin with, it survived. When the tournament lost Mikkel Kessler due to his own cited injury, skepticism mounted. With Dirrell out now, this is the Super Six tournament in name only. You can't lose half your original lineup and say it's the same event. What's left now, best-case scenario, assuming there aren't yet more disasters, are a handful of good fights -- Arthur Abraham-Carl Froch, Allan Green-Glen Johnson, Andre Ward-somebody, and whoever meets in the semifinals and finals -- along with the memories of some good, intriguing bouts and compelling stories, as well as the gratitude of most boxing fans to Showtime for its herculean effort for making it even this far with so ambitious an idea.
For Dirrell, the story is far more dire, one way or the other. The automatic reaction to him dropping out of the tournament from many fans was that he was a coward faker or at best too much of a gentelman and not enough of a professional because he hoped to avoid fighting his friend Ward next. If this injury is an excuse, and there is justifiable cause for skepticism of the injury, then Dirrell joins the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Andre Berto and David Haye as the most despised figure in the sport. Indeed, from the reaction out there so far, the damage is done to his reputation. If it's the other -- that he has a severe, worrisome neurological problem that threatens his entire career, as his team maintains -- then Dirrell becomes a gifted fighter cut down before he even maximized his potential by that terrible disqualifying foul by Abraham, the flush cheap shot issued a March night in Detroit after Dirrell slipped to the canvas.