It has been announced this week that Nottingham’s Carl Froch, the current IBF super-middleweight champion of the world, will once again face-off against the first man to defeat him back in 2010 – the Danish WBA super-middleweight champ Mikkel Kessler – at the O2 arena in London this spring.
The first fight between Froch, aka ‘The Cobra’ and Kessler, who adopts the even more outlandish ring name ‘The Viking Warrior’, took place in April 2010 for the WBC title in Kessler’s home country Denmark – where his celebrity status is comparable to that of David Beckham here in Britain. After some concerns the contest would be put on hold due to the troublesome Icelandic ash-cloud, the fight finally got underway, although what happened in the ring that night might better be described as a gladiatorial battle rather than a boxing match. “Our first fight was pure warfare. We went at each other for every minute of every round” said Froch, who lost a close points decision on the night – the first defeat of his professional career.
Since then the Brit went on to reclaim his title and made it to the final of the Super Six boxing tournament in 2011, where he was beaten by American Andre Ward – who also defeated Kessler back in 2009.
Despite the loss to Ward, Froch has bounced back and has had a brilliant 2012 – defeating Canadian based Romanian Lucian Bute in May for the IBF crown and defending against game challenger Yusuf Mack. However, Kessler has also had a successful year, as he picked up the WBA world title against Irishman Brian Magee in December. The Dane has warned the Nottingham man that he will be raring to go went the gloves are laced in the capital. “Since that first fight, I have become even stronger. I am fresh, I am healthy and I am ready to defeat him once again” said Kessler. “I don’t care where we fight, I said anytime, anywhere… I am ready for war!”
So the stage is set, these two warriors will do battle in London this spring in a fight that will go a long way in securing each man’s legacy and could spell the end for whoever comes off second best. Indeed there is no doubting the magnitude of this event, and the styles of each fighter will ensure this contest has fight of the decade, let alone fight of the year, potential. Froch and Kessler both possess all-action, aggressive styles. Froch often has his hands low, relying in quick reflexes to dodge punches coming his way. The Brit’s known for his rock solid chin, and so taking flush shots from the Dane won’t deter him. His sharp jab, combination punches and lethal uppercut complete his arsenal. Kessler on the other hand is just as aggressive, with lightening speed and knockout power. Expect big punches and unrelenting pressure from both men, neither of whom have been knocked out and who are both happy to take a punch to land a punch. Therefore what we shall witness see in at the O2 arena the night these two meet will be nothing short of authorised warfare. In my opinion, Froch has the tools to claim victory, most likely on points. But this will be his toughest – and potentially the most entertaining – fight of his entire career.