It’s week old news now, but the Super Six tournament set up by Showtime is in the toilet. It was a great idea on paper: six of the best (I said of the best, not the best) super middleweights in boxing in a round robin to determine the best. Of course, on paper doesn’t always translate to reality very well and the Super Six had issues form the start.
The fact that it would literally take years to crown a winner was the big complaint from many. Another was that Lucian Bute, arguably the best fighter in the division wasn’t part of the mix. Bute being an HBO fighter was most likely the reason he was left out, but it was still an issue for a lot of fans. Disagreements on venues, personal issues with matchups and now between withdrawals and injuries, the legitimacy of the Super Six is nil and the tournament itself is hanging by a thread. So with all the turmoil I wonder: when it comes to boxing tournaments, is The Prizefighter series the way to go? On it’s way to show number 14, it’s hard to say that it’s not a success but will the structure of the series appeal to the fans here in the U.S.?
Back in 1993, Don King put on something similar to Prizefighter in Bay St. Louis. It was a mix of new and established heavyweights in a series of three round bouts. Tony Tubbs won it all fighting four times that night, 10 rounds total. It was a pay-per-view event that night but if the Prizefighter structure was brought here on free TV would it work?
When it comes to boxing, it’s a pain in the ass to get one super fight made, let alone a series of them between any number of top fighters. Money, venue, injuries and ego are all wild cards that could throw the whole plan out of sync at any time as we’ve seen with the Super Six. A one night tournament is much more direct and easy to remedy if there’s a setback and there’s no waiting period to determine the winner, we all know by the end of the night.
Of course a series like this would mean using B or C level fighters, you’d never see boxers on the level of Floyd Mayweather or the Klitschko’s in a show like this but who cares? Most fight fans are more interested in watching a good fight than they are in watching a dull fight between two popular guys. This is a great way to please the fans and allow lesser known fighters some exposure, maybe even give a old timer a shot to revive his career even if it’s for a limited time.
This isn’t to say big tournament style fights should be abandoned, the Super Six was a great idea and the upcoming bantamweight tournament should be just as good, but maybe we can find something short term to watch while we wait for the big ones to unfold.