Boxing: Carl Froch gives British fans a thrill, beats Mikkel Kessler

Fans at London’s O2 Arena got the show they came for as Froch got his revenge in the rematch with Kessler. Stay tuned for Froch-Kessler III. Photo: Carl Froch defeats Mikkel Kessler / AP Photo Sang Tan

SAN DIEGO, May 25, 2013 – From the ring walk to the anthems to the opening bell, it sounded more like a major soccer match than boxing at London’s O2 arena for the rematch between super middleweights Carl Froch of Britain and Mikkel Kessler of Denmark.

The bout repeats tonight on HBO at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET and PT. If you missed it while enjoying your holiday weekend, set the DVR or TiVo to enjoy it before the weekend is over. This is a fight no fan should miss.

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Froch and Kessler got to the action immediately, and the crowd rewarded them with boisterous chants and cheers. The 18,000 fans present sounded like double that amount.

Froch and Kessler are exceptionally well matched physically and in their crowd pleasing offensive style. Froch was the aggressor from the start, but after a few rounds in which he was the dominant presence, Kessler began to pick up the pace.

Carl Froch of Britain celebrates his win against Mikkel Kessler of Denmark at the end of their super-middleweight world title unification boxing match at O2 Arena in London Sunday. AP Photo/Sang Tan

By the seventh round, the pair were trading power shots instead of taking turns. Froch rattled Kessler with a right to the head in the eighth round. Due to his earlier aggressive and the fact he was fighting in front of a home town crowd, Froch appeared ahead on the scorecards and Kessler needed to push for a knockout.

In Round 11, Kessler made his best play for the victory, by far his best round of the fight. He battered Froch opened a cut above the left eye of Froch, which started streaming blood. Froch closed the deal in the final round, unleashing everything he had left. In the final seconds, it appeared American referee Pete Podgorski was about to stop the fight, but wisely let the two warriors in the ring finish on their feet, as they deseved.

Judges Adalaide Byrd of Nevada scored it 118-110; Carlos Sucre of Venezuela (but lives in Florida) had it 116-112; and Jean-Francois Toupin of France scored it 115-113, all in a unanimous decision for Froch. As the result was announced and the confetti fell in the arena, the British fans started talking about the rematch.

Mikkel Kessler of Denmark, left, rocks Britain’s Carl Froch in their super-middleweight world title unification boxing match at O2 Arena in London Sunday. AP Photo/Sang Tan

Froch said in his post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman he knew he couldn’t take Kessler down with a single blow, so he worked to fight fast and light rather than heavy. He said he didn’t want to let Kessler dictate the pace as he did in their first fight.

Froch said while it may have appeared he took a lot of punishment from Kessler, he blocked many of his punches. Froch admitted got complacent, even “lazy” with Kessler in the 11th round, and let him in when he shouldn’t have.  

About that rematch? “I’ll happily do it again, and make it 2 and 1,” said Froch.

Stay tuned for Froch-Kessler III, but perhaps not right away. There is still the matter of American champion Andre Ward in the way. Ward is the number one ranked boxer in the division, and handed Froch his only other defeat besides Kessler. When asked about Ward, Froch said he always said he wouldn’t like to fight Ward again. “No disrespect, he’s a purist, but he’s not an entertaining fighter. He’s an effectve fighter, but he’s not a fightet that gets the crowd excited…. I could beat him if I get it right. Let’s get a fight on, get him over to England,” said Froch.

Ward has never fought in Europe. He’s only fought twice outside the United States, in the Caribbean. Eight of his last nine fights have been in California. The only one that wasn’t? His victory over Froch in Atlantic City in 2011.

Ward, who was working as a commentator for HBO, said Froch “respects me,” but “when you can’t defeat a certain style, you tend to knock it.”

Ward is a skilled defensive fighter, one that fans can respect but not necessarily enjoy watching. Froch knows how to give the fans what they love, and given the choice of Ward vs. Froch II, or Froch vs. Kessler III, it’s the third rematch with the Dane they’d pay to see every time.  But who says we can’t have both?

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at” when quoting from or linking to this story.   


Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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