Boxing: Battered Froch bemoans 'home' judges but was guilty of sloppy swings

It was a bad, bad night for Carl Froch here on Saturday when he lost his unbeaten record, his World Boxing Council super-middleweight title and issued a threat to withdraw from the Super Six tournament.

Froch dropped a tight but decisive unanimous decision to the local idol, Mikkel Kessler, in front of 10,000 rabid fans in his second series fight as part of the unique Super Six tournament.

The Dane had lost his World Boxing Association title in his first fight of the tournament last year in America. Froch now faces the daunting task of fighting in Berlin in the tournament's last group stage meeting. The Super Six involves six of the best boxers at super-middleweight who agreed an exclusive deal to fight each other in stages before a final in 12 months' time.

Here Froch looked tired and hurt at times by an opponent who was expected to rise to the crowd's expectations for a few rounds, before gently fading away in the second half of the fight. The reality is that Froch was in control after six rounds, looking comfortable, composed and dangerous before Kessler, cut and dazed on several occasions, rallied with the crowd on his back and refused to fold.

"I was hurting him, I was wobbling him but I didn't step on the gas," admitted Froch, who was bruised and cut at the end. "I guess I'm guilty of not making sure and not following up. I still think that it was close." It was, but Kessler deserved the decision.

The problem for Froch is his next fight, when he might have to go to Berlin in front of 20,000 to meet Arthur Abraham, possibly in August. The winner of the crucial third stage fight would automatically make the semi-final stage of the tournament. Abraham lost his second stage fight to Andre Dirrell, whom Froch narrowly beat last October.

"If I've got to go to Germany I will walk away from the tournament," claimed Froch. "I spoke about bad decisions, home-town decisions before the fight and I feel that in Nottingham I would still be the champion." On Saturday night, sadly, one of the three judges returned an outrageous scorecard of nine rounds to three in Kessler's favour, which was both a joke and an insult.

Froch's promoter, Mick Hennessy, and Abraham's man, Kalle Sauerland, have an agreement in place, which would in theory satisfy Froch, but Abraham will rightly insist on the fight taking place in Berlin. The destination dilemma was inevitably going to cause friction in the Super Six and this particular impasse will require the type of diplomacy that is notoriously missing in the boxing business.

If Froch had won here, it is possible that his claim for home advantage would have carried more persuasive weight, the edge at the negotiating table, but he lost in a performance that was poor. In the ring he seemed to be pulling the right up short in addition to moments of almost comically bad swings, swipes and desperate swats at Kessler, who is not an elusive fighter. It was, at times, a baffling performance from Froch.

In round five Kessler tumbled off balance to the canvas – it was ruled a slip – and at that point Froch was in total control and cruising. Kessler caught and hurt Froch with a simple right in round eight, which both buckled the Briton's knees and left an ugly cut across the bridge of his nose. In the final two rounds the pair, both cut, tired and bruised, exchanged punches all over the blood-stained canvas in an old-fashioned slow-motion slugfest of raw emotion and heart. It was not what Froch needed to do and at the end both looked sickened by the savagery of the previous 36 minutes. Amazingly, both insist they will be ready for the final stage fights in the Super Six at the end of August or in September.

Froch looks like he needs a break. This was his fourth 12-round championship fight in just 16 months and it completes an amazing quartet, arguably the best-ever consecutive sequence by a British champion. It was a great night for boxing fans, less so for the men in the Froch business, and perhaps it is now time to step back and take a breather from the ruinous schedule of the fabulous Super Six.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
Wigan Athletic’s back-of-the shirt sponsor Premier Range has pulled out due to Malky Mackay’s arrival
Football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines