Pair of bouts moved to April 24
Two of the fights in Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic are moving to a new date.
Super middleweight titleholder Andre Ward's defense against Allan Green and Carl Froch's defense against Mikkel Kessler are moving back one week -- from April 17 to April 24.
Showtime did not offer a reason for moving the Group Stage 2 bouts, but it means they will no longer compete with HBO's major split-site doubleheader on the same night, which is to feature super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute defending his belt against Edison Miranda in Montreal and middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik defending the title against junior middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City, N.J.
"It was just confirmed to me by Showtime that we're moving to April 24," Lou DiBella, Green's promoter, told ESPN.com on Friday afternoon. "It's fine with us. My fighter was preparing to fight in April. One week isn't going to make a difference. I'm thrilled, actually."
DiBella is happy because he also promotes Martinez and would not have been able to be at both fights.
"I was going to attend the Green fight and have my co-promoter at Sergio's fight," DiBella said. "This is wonderful for me because now I can attend both fights."
It's not so wonderful for promoter Dan Goossen, who was in a bind regardless of if the fight was April 17 or April 24. He promotes Ward and co-promotes Miranda, and planned to be at the Ward bout. But with Ward moving to April 24, it means he'll have to pick between being with Ward, who will be making his first title defense, or being with heavyweight contender Cristobal Arreola, who is supposed to face former cruiserweight champ Tomasz Adamek on April 24 in the main event of an HBO broadcast. Arreola-Adamek is still being negotiated.
The site of Ward-Green is still to be determined, DiBella said, although Oakland, Calif., Ward's hometown, is a strong possibility.
"This is a true 50-50 promotion between Goossen and I, so the fight will be where we get the most money and the best deal," DiBella said. "It will be where we get the best economic situation and something that will work for Showtime. That means it could be in Oakland, but it doesn't mean it's definitely in Oakland."
Froch-Kessler will take place at the MCH Messecentre in Herning, Denmark -- Kessler's home country -- co-promoters Sauerland Event and Hennessy Sports announced Friday.
"With the support of my great Danish fans, I will defeat Carl Froch and become world champion again," said Kessler, who lost his title in an upset to Ward in November in his Group Stage 1 bout of the Super Six. "The atmosphere at MCH Herning is incredible. I only have the best of memories of the venue. The TKO victory over [Gusmyr] Perdomo last September confirmed my place in the Super Six. After a bad start, I am now out for a knockout."
England's Froch said he was concerned about his fans, who made travel plans for an April 17 bout.
"I am upset for my fans with the change of date but this has been unpreventable due to scheduling issues," Froch said. "I just hope that my fans will understand this change and will still come in their thousands to support me in Herning. I am looking to be the first fighter to take Mikkel Kessler out before the final bell. I have gone to Jermain Taylor's backyard and defended my belt and I am more than happy to do the same with Kessler. As the champion I will prove that I can fight and beat the best anywhere."
Group Stage 2 opens on March 6 with Germany's Arthur Abraham facing American Andre Dirrell at the Agua Caliente resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
The four fighters with the high point totals after three bouts in the tournament will advance to the semifinals. Fighters are awarded two points for a win, a third point if the win is by knockout, one point for a draw and no points for a loss.
Abraham, who knocked out Jermain Taylor, leads with three points. Froch and Ward each have two points. Kessler, Dirrell and Green (who replaced Taylor when he dropped out) have no points.
Dan Rafael is ESPN.com's boxing writer.
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