Super Six Classic dealt another blow

The Super Six World Boxing Classic, already teetering on the brink of falling apart, took another big hit when Carl Froch, citing a back injury, withdrew from a scheduled Oct. 2 fight in Monte Carlo against Arthur Abraham.

"We were informed [Monday] morning of a back injury that prohibits him to fight on Oct. 2, but that would allow him a fight about seven or eight weeks later," Chris Meyer of Sauerland Event, Abraham's promoter, told ESPN.com.

There is no new date set for the fight, however. Sauerland Event and Froch promoter Mick Hennessy need to huddle with Showtime as well as with their European broadcast partners to figure out a new date.

"Froch claims he has a back injury and the promoters are talking to [Showtime's] Ken [Hershman] about a new date," Showtime spokesman Chris DeBlasio told ESPN.com.

Froch's withdrawal is the latest issue that threatens to derail the Showtime-bankrolled six-man tournament that features a collection of the top super middleweights in the world.

Hailed by fans and media around the world as an innovative and exciting concept when it was announced 14 months ago, it has been coming apart in recent weeks.

Previous postponements, injuries and the withdrawal of Jermain Taylor after his first fight of the tournament have been overcome. But now the issues are mounting.

Titleholder Mikkel Kessler withdrew from the tournament on Aug. 25 because of an eye injury.

When Kessler dropped out, his Group Stage 3 bout with Allan Green was canceled, leaving the status of the two other Group Stage 3 bouts -- Froch-Abraham and titlist Andre Ward against 2004 U.S. Olympic teammate Andre Dirrell -- uncertain.

Group Stage 3 was supposed to complete the round robin portion of the tournament with the four fighters with the most points through their first three bouts moving on to the semifinals. Fighters are awarded three points for a knockout win, two points for a win and one point for a draw.

Ward had already locked up a spot in the semifinals, but the remaining three slots would have been determined in the Group Stage 3 bouts. However, with Kessler out, Showtime was working on a scenario in which it would simply eliminate Group Stage 3 and make Froch-Abraham and Ward-Dirrell the semifinals, since those four fighters had the highest point totals of those remaining in the field.

Green, the replacement for Taylor, who dropped out after a bad knockout loss to Abraham in Group Stage 1, had no points after inheriting Taylor's total and losing his only fight in lopsided fashion to Ward.

Besides the problem with Kessler, Showtime also is dealing with a messy situation surrounding Ward's defense against Dirrell.

Despite continuing to advertise the fight for Sept. 25, which Showtime did again during its "ShoBox" telecast on Friday night, the fight is not happening, at least on that date.

With the fight only two weeks away, nothing remotely associated with promoting a fight has happened. The promoters have not secured a site, there are no tickets on sale and there has not been a news conference. More important -- neither fighter is in serious training.

Ward promoter Dan Goossen and Dirrell promoter Gary Shaw refuse to discuss the issues. However, Showtime has continued to press for the fight and last week threatened Goossen and Shaw with legal action if it's called off.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.