Boxing: Revenge for Carl Froch with unanimous decision over Mikkel Kessler
London’s O2 Arena sees impressive victory in much-hyped unification bout with Dane
Sunday 26 May 2013
Finally they met again, and the tension was enormous. Three years after a pitched battle had seen Nottingham’s Carl Froch lose his WBC super-middleweight crown to Mikkel Kessler in his Danish homeland, the boxing buddies faced up to each other at London’s O2 Arena in a much-hyped unification bout. And the fight did not disappoint. The intensity was exquisite, the punches kept on coming. By the end it was a war in the ring.
Froch won on a unanimous decision, gained his revenge for one of the two blemishes in his 33-fight career and grabbed a version of the WBA belt at the same time. He richly deserved all three outcomes. He had begun the campaign in orderly fashion, dominating the early exchanges, smiling at his opponent as he landed a succession of left jabs. He looked confident, fighting with controlled aggression and concentrating fiercely, all the while keeping Kessler at a distance.
At the start of the fourth round, Froch landed his first big right hand, which may have awoken the great Dane somewhat. Kessler clawed his way back into the fight and unleashed a big right of his own midway through the fifth. Then a low blow in the sixth left Froch gasping for a few seconds, and Kessler took advantage of his opponent’s discomfort with a left-right combination.
Froch reasserted himself thereafter, starting to jab from distance again as he had to start with. When Kessler did make contact, the Briton’s granite jaw saw him walking through the hits. Then came the last 30 seconds of the seventh when both fighters unleashed a furious flurry of blows. It was to be a taste of what would unfold in the rest of the fight.
The trading began a round or two earlier than it had done three years ago, and the pace was relentless. In the 11th, Kessler unfurled a left hook as if it was in slow motion but it clattered into Froch next to his left eye and cut him. He managed to keep the wound away from the flailing fists of Kessler as the fight disintegrated into an all-out brawl.
The final round was simply thrilling. It was almost as if Kessler felt he had to get a knockout to secure a decision on foreign soil. Or maybe the old adversaries just couldn’t resist having a right old go at each other. The crowd went wild, and such was the ferocity that the referee seemed as though he might step in with just 15 seconds remaining. Except he would not have known which fighter to stop.
At the final bell, the fighters fell into each other’s arms in a meaningful embrace. Froch was a generous victory, saying: “The only thing that feels bad is that I’ve had to beat a real gentleman in Mikkel Kessler, and a real warrior. The fight was unanimously mine but he hit me hard a couple of times, as you could see.
“He made the mistake of telling me a few weeks ago that my arms of too long,” he added with a wink at his opponent, who was sitting beside him. “No excuses,” he concluded, “We’ve made it right, that’s one apiece. You fancy another one?” Kessler wondered where it might happen but after their riveting home-and-away displays it should be staged in some kind of puglisitic paradise.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Follow the latest events from this Champions League fixture
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£100 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: This good to outstanding school...
£25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£100 - £160 per day + mileage and expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: This out...