The theme of comparing the rematch between Carl “the Cobra” Froch (31-2 22KO) and Danish-born Mikkel Kessler (46-3 35KO) to the old wars between England and the Vikings proved to be an appropriate metaphor for the battle these two fought in London.
In addition to the belts, the number 2 spot (Andre Ward being the lineal champion) in the super middleweight (168 Ibs.) division was at stake.
The fight started off with both guys landing their jabs and power punches. Kessler had success with his hooks and Froch found his range with his jab and right hands.
Froch controlled most of the early rounds as he landed solid combinations due to the use of his jab and Kesslers unwillingness or inability to get his offense going.
Kessler finally began to pick up the pace in round five when he landed several thudding shots on Froch, including an overhand right. Although Froch didn’t seem that hurt by the punches, they scored points for Kessler and he seemed to be gaining momentum.
However, Froch fought back and eventually took back control of the fight by the eighth round. Kessler continued to score with hard punches but he couldn’t keep a consistent pace going and his punches didn’t seem to hurt Froch for the most part.
The only exception was in the 11th round when a solid counter-right and a series of punches staggered Froch momentarily. The British fighter managed to survive the onslaught and actually had his moments of success in the final seconds of the round.
The final round was one of the best of the year so far as both fighters sought to gain knockouts over each other. Froch threw more punches and seemed to overwhelm Kessler with sheer activity in spots, which gave him the edge in the final seconds of the fight.
Froch won by a unanimous decision with scores of 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113.
Kessler looked to be a shadow of his former self and he wasn’t able to keep his offense going and couldn’t keep up with the pace of Froch, although he did show some improvements in defense and power punching. Kessler said he would retire if he lost that fight although nothing is official as of this post. Kessler could still beat most of the super-middleweights and light-heavyweights in the world, but he’ll struggle with the elite of either division.
Froch showed he learned from the first fight with Kessler by taking control of the pace of the fight early and not backing away so much. He also chose to outwork Kessler instead of trying to knock him out with every punch he threw. He expressed desire in a rubbermatch with Kessler if he wants it but he also wants to fight Ward in the United Kingdom. Whatever option he does pick, it’s become clear that Froch is certainly one of the best, if not the best, fighters to come out of Great Britain in quite some time.
Ward said that he’d be willing to fight Froch again but said the only reason he would go to the United Kingdom was if he wanted to rather than being forced to go there.
For now, Carl Froch remains King of the Britons.