Super middleweight tourney designed to crown champ

NEW YORK (AP) - Officials have announced a super middleweight tournament featuring Arkansas' Jermain Taylor.

The tournament was announced today at Madison Square Garden. It will begin this fall and conclude with a seeded semifinals and championship in early 2011.

The fightersare WBC champion Carl Froch, WBA titleholder Mikkel Kessler, former middleweight champs Arthur Abraham and Jermain Taylor, and former Olympians Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell.

Kessler (41-1, 38 KOs) might be considered the favorite. The hard-hitting Dane's only loss came in 2007, when he waged a slugfest with unbeaten champion Joe Calzaghe.

Froch (25-0, 20 KOs) made headlines earlier this year when he rallied to knock out Taylor (28-3-1, 17 KOs) with 14 seconds left to defend his title. Abraham (30-0, 24 KOs) was born in Armenia and now fights out of Germany, and will be moving up from middleweight after vacating his 160-pound title over the weekend.

While the tournament isn't designed to pit Europe versus America, that's how many fans will view it. Taylor was a 2000 Olympic bronze medalist, Dirrell (18-0, 13 KOs) won the bronze medal in 2004, and Ward (19-0, 12 KOs) won gold for the U.S. in Athens.

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