This Saturday from the O2 arena in London see’s the long awaited rematch between Nottingham’s Carl Froch, and respected rival Mikkel Kessler.
A little over 3 years from the first encounter, a brutal back a fourth war which culminated in Kessler the home fighter walking away with a decision win, the time has come for the second instalment. Kessler is coming good on his word that would not only rematch Carl, but also that he would do it on home turf. While the fight might not be taking place exactly in Carl’s hometown of Nottingham, there is no doubt that practically all of the 18,000 sell out crowed will be behind the cobra come Saturday night.
Kessler has not lost since defeating Froch, racking up 3 wins all inside the distance against a not elite but steady level of opposition. Three fights in as many years however does not exactly give the impression of an active fighter, what may be more worrying also for the Viking Warriors fans is that despite those three fights Kessler has only boxed a total of 13 rounds and many of which he was able to do as he pleased.
There is a clear hunger for the Danish man in this fight, he has a strong desire to prove to Froch and anyone who questions him that his victory in the first fight was neither a fluke, or a home cooked decision. After testing the water in a brief foray into the light heavyweight decision by knocking out Alan Green, Kessler’s most recent activity came in a three round demolition of tough contender Brian Magee. There can be no doubt however that Froch represents Kessler’s biggest and most dangerous opponent since the two last fought, it will be interesting to see if his inactivity proves to be either a blessing or maybe a contributing factor to his downfall.
Froch comes into the fight still in many ways riding the wave he created in his destruction of then top two rated Lucien Bute. He has been out since that in a one sided beat down of Yusuf Mack, but his confidence and belief will primarily be fuelled by his destruction of the highly rated Canadian almost 12 months prior to Saturday’s big fight.
Froch appears to be the pundits pick along with fighters, names such as former conqueror Andre Ward and potential future foe Bernard Hopkins both predicting a Cobra victory. Hopkins has expressed an interest in a potential fight between him and Froch pending a result on Saturday night, insisting that neither travel to the UK nor Froch’s apparent suggestions of a catchweight would be an issue if the financial sides make sense.
Both camps could not have said more to convince the public that there man is in the best shape of his career; neither man could have said anything else to convince the public of how confident they are. Saturday night represents a rare moment in today’s boxing in which a fight will happen with the result really defining how either fighter will be talked about in years to come.
Froch has mixed at a higher class on a more frequent basis, but another loss to Kessler will hurt him mentally and given today’s views of anything but an undefeated record lead to the harshest of critics maybe dropping him a place or two on Britain’s best super middleweight ladder. Talking of fellow super middleweights, it is very reasonable to suggest that Froch will not want an uncorrected loss on his record to a man his former foe Joe Calzaghe defeated.
For Kessler a loss on Saturday in his own words would more than likely bring to an end a hugely successful and respected career. Victory however opens up doors for him to both go on and face Hopkins should the executioner share his desire for that fight as he has to face Froch. Failing that maybe a trip over to the states in an attempt to put right one of only two blemishes on his record the number one rated Andre Ward. Above anything it would give Kessler perhaps the most significant win of his career to date, Froch is largely considered a more improved fighter since the first fight.
While neither Froch nor Kessler are ranked as the number one fighter in the division, this fight has really brought the Super Middleweight division back in contention again since the super six. Two fighters who all fans know what to expect when they fight, the added history of such an exciting first encounter leaves Saturday night a fight not to be missed.
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