Boxing: Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler promise 'epic' rematch

Pair to fight at the O2 in May

Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler today promised an “epic” May showdown as they came together to launch their rematch fight.

The super-middleweight duo went face-to-face at London O2 Arena to announce a unification fight on Saturday May 25, a bout many are predicting to be one of the tear-ups of the year.

Kessler inflicted Froch's first professional defeat on him when he beat him on a unanimous decision in his home country of Denmark in April 2010, with fight considered to be one of the most brutal in recent memory.

Both men are renowned for their heart-on-their-sleeve, all-action style, and take two of their rivalry is expected to be no different, with Froch, who also lost his world title that night, desperate to make amends.

He has since won, lost and won that world title again - memorably getting the IBF belt against Lucian Bute last May - and he wants to make sure there are no tears this time around.

"When my head hits the pillow on a night I still think about the defeat to Mikkel," he said.

"I think about it because he took away my world title and my career was in tatters. I have since avenged it by coming back, but that was a bitter pill to swallow and I need to make amends.

"Mikkel is an honourable man and I thank him for coming over for what will be an epic contest."

The box-office fight will come on the same night as the Champions League final at Wembley, but according to promoter Eddie Hearn, that is a good thing.

Hearn, who heads up Matchroom Sport, has worked with Kessler's promoters Team Sauerland to make the fight and believes that fight fans are going to be in for a memorable night.

"Many people have reminded me it's the same night as the Champions League but that is very deliberate," he said.

"There is a great footfall of people watching sport that night, it's a tried and tested formula and we are going to give people a great sporting event.

"We expect to sell out the O2 with 17,000 people and it has given me enormous pleasure to bring these two warriors together."

Hearn was quickly reporting that ticket sales had gone through the 8,000 barrier inside the 20-minute mark, with those numbers justifying the hype surrounding the fight.

Kessler's only other appearance on British shores saw him beaten by Joe Calzaghe in front of 50,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium - the defining night of the Welshman's career - and the 33-year-old is glad to be heading to London.

He is still irked that Calzaghe never gave him a rematch after a unanimous decision went against him and has granted Froch a second bite of the cherry with that in mind.

"I am ready for this. I never got a rematch against Calzaghe and I told Carl that I would do the honourable thing and give me one.

"I told him it would happen and now I'm here and I am ready."

Froch's last outing saw him despatch American Yusuf Mack in three rounds in Nottingham last November, while Kessler saw off rugged Irishman Brian Magee over a similar distance.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...