Andre Dirrell has pulled out of the Super Six World Boxing Classic — and his fight against Andre Ward on Nov. 27 — because of an injury, Showtime has announced.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Dirrell was advised not to fight or train because of neurological concerns. Dirrell took a hard blow to the head from Arthur Abraham while he was on the canvas in his last fight, leading to Abraham's disqualification. It's not clear whether that was the cause of his injury.
Dirrell is the third of the original six participants to pull out of the competition, following Jermain Taylor and Mikkel Kessler.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed with this development,” Hershman said. “We still believe in the Super Six, we think it’s a fantastic concept. It’s very, very challenging, obviously, to get through that many fights at that level of competition over this course of time. We will still have the semi-finals next year with at least three of the original participants.
“We’re excited for these upcoming fights in November and hope that you’ll all tune in.”
Allan Green took Taylor's spot and Glen Johnson replaced Kessler but Showtime is again short one 168-pounder as the tournament heads into its Group Stage 3, the final stage of the opening round.
Ken Hershman of Showtime said he has several options to replace Dirrell. The network also could decide to go with only five fighters. Hershman said he could make an announcement as soon as Friday.
Ward will still fight on Nov. 27, probably in his hometown of Oakland, Calif. That fight could be outside the Super Six because Ward already has advanced to the semis, which would allow Showtime to go with five fighters.
Abraham and Froch, the other remaining original participants, will go through with their scheduled fight on Nov. 27 in Helsinki, Finland. They both are guaranteed to move into the semis if Showtime goes with five fighters.
Johnson and Green fight on Nov. 6 in Las Vegas. The winner of that fight probably will be the fourth semifinalist.