The stage was set – in front of 18,000 at a sold out O2 Arena – for two warriors to clash in a much-anticipated rematch that promised fireworks. And fireworks are exactly what it produced.
Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler… The Cobra vs. the Viking Warrior… Froch – Kessler II was finally upon us.
The boxers entered an electric atmosphere at the O2, with the fans buzzing with excitement and support for Froch.
The fight started with Froch in control; working well behind his jab without landing any meaningful shots. As the round progressed Froch continued to control the fight – finishing the round with a nice flurry of punches. Comfortable round for Froch.
Round two continued in a similar pattern, with Froch keeping his range and working behind the jab. This work would eventually lead to Froch stunning Kessler with a right hook midway through the round – leaving the Dane looking uncomfortable. Another round to Froch.
Round three saw the fight continue with Kessler struggling to get into range. Froch’s jabs were beginning to leave marks on Kessler’s face and the Dane really had no answer to Froch’s approach.
Then in the fourth, Kessler began to work his way back into the fight. He began getting in range and working his own jab – eventually doubling up on it. Both men traded jabs for much of the round with very little action. Tight round; Kessler may just have edged it.
The fifth saw Kessler, all of a sudden, begin to take control of the fight. He began stepping in with his jab and landed a few good left hooks. The round continued with Kessler rocking Froch with a big right after two minutes of the round. Froch ended strongly but Kessler got in the last word and took the round.
Kessler continued his new found control in the sixth. Froch was now just pushing his jab and there was no longer any kick to it. Both boxers exchanged throughout the round but Kessler was landing the more vicious shots – including a low blow, which he was warned about – during the round. Another round to the Dane and he was right back in the contest.
The seventh began with both boxers swinging but then settled back into the pattern of the first three rounds, with Froch using his jab to nullify Kessler’s attacks.
This would result in Froch rocking Kessler badly in the final 30 seconds but the 34-year-old responded and both boxers ended the round in a flurry. Both boxers went for it but Froch ultimately landed the better shots – his round.
Round eight would begin with a solid left hook from Froch, only for Kessler to come back with a stiff right hook in reply. Kessler then began to taunt the Englishman and Froch responded to these taunts with several heavy shots.
Kessler began to look slow but continued to land shots of his own – only to see Froch continually walk through his best shots. Kessler was on the back foot but both men were swinging for the fences; going hammer and tong. However, Froch was on fire and landing the bigger shots.
In the ninth, both men took a breather after their previous hectic round and decide to both just sit in behind the jab. The pace suited Kessler and he probably just nicked the round.
The man from Nottingham continued to walk through all of Kessler’s best shots in the 10th and hit a fascinating flurry after two minutes; that knocked the Dane back on his heels. Froch looked in control once again.
The 11th began with the boxers at it from the off. Froch was now strutting round the ring with an assurance; however Kessler was able to harm this confidence with a couple of good combos. Kessler then rocked Froch with a cracking counter punch – causing a cut over the left eye – but Froch composed himself and came back with a flurry of his own. Another close round.
The 12th and final round saw the crowd erupt once again, although they had not been quiet all night. The round started with Kessler landing a few good shots, only for Froch to continue to walk straight through them.
Froch then wobbled Kessler and was smothering the Dane in the final minute of the round. It looked like the referee might stop it, with Kessler all over the place, but the Dane survived to the end. Froch ended the night with a flourish and a victory.
The official scorecards read 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 – all in favour of the reigning IBF super-middleweight champion and new WBA super-middleweight champion of the world: Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch.
Another incredible fight between two titans of the boxing world comes to an end. Lived up to its hype and was every bit as good as their first encounter.
It was also nice to see that at the end of the fight both fighters were once again friends and proud to have shared the ring with each other.
But where does this result leave both fighters?
This defeat could spell the end of Kessler’s fantastic career; there was talk prior to the fight that this could be his last, whatever the result.
Froch, on the other hand, at 35-years-old, is in line to face either the legend Bernard Hopkins or Andre Ward in his next fight.
Both fights would be massive draws and certainly develop a lot of revenue; Hopkins due to his status, Ward due to his claims to be the best in the division.
Whichever fight does come into fruition, I am sure it will be a pulsating encounter like most of Froch’s fights.
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