3 More Rounds

Froch-Kessler II: It’s War Time Once Again

This Saturday night, Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch will go to war one more time, as the two meet at the O2 Arena in London for Froch’s super middleweight title.

The two first met during the Super Six World Boxing Classic in 2010 in a fight that Kessler won via decision in his home country of Denmark.

This time around Kessler will be fighting in Froch’s backyard. The 34-year old Dane knows he is taking a big risk by facing off against Froch again, but promised him that he would be true to his word and give the IBF champion a rematch.

“I can say that in my first fight I promised Carl that if the fight should ever happen again I’m going to be on his home turf. And I’m a man – a man of my word,” said Kessler earlier this week.

“And of course it’s always dangerous to – you know what – I have tried it before – I’m talking Calzaghe against 55,000 people and from this date for me first defense, you know, against Mundine – 33,000 people.”

“You know, I have tried it before and it was very hard in the start but I feel like I can avoid it now. I don’t feel the pressure and I know I have a lot of fans. I don’t know. Maybe enough of my fan’s coming to England.”

“And I’ve never tried, in my whole professional career,I never tried to fight the same guy again.”

Kessler has insisted that he is not using the Froch fight to get a rematch with the king of the 168 pound division, Andre Ward. He says that he is certainly not looking past Froch in order to get that fight.

“No, I don’t think about Ward at all. I want to think about Carl, you know. He’s the kind of fighter who wants to fight.”

“It’s a very different kind of fight. I wasn’t there that day everything went wrong. I also – we also learned about that, me and Kalle. And when you are fighting not on your home turf then you’ve got to also have a lot of other things clear before you go over.”

“So it’s all – only about boxing for you. You learn that – you learn from, on each fight, what – I’ve never thought about Ward yet. I’m – my thoughts go to Carl Froch and training for him. And after that fight we can talk about Ward.”

“Carl needs to have a rematch. He came to Denmark, I am going to England.”

“You know what, I promised Carl that I would give him a rematch and it’s, you know, we had a talk about it, fighting again one day. And here weare.”

“And, of course, also talk about Joe Calzaghe – I’m going to – I never got a rematch. And he took off and I can remember – I just hope he will come back and take that rematch against me, but he didn’t.”

“I never had the rematch, you know. Of course it’s dangerous to give Carl a rematch and – but, you know, I have something in me that I have to show the boxing fans around the world. I know it’s going to be tough.”

“I know it’s going to be a tough fight and – but you – I have to show me – I have to be a man about this. You know, how it is and he will probably talk about it, you know, if I put my gloves away tomorrow in boxing he’ll say he never gave me that rematch, you know.

Carl Froch will come into Saturday’s fight looking to avenge his first professional loss of his career against Kessler. Being able to fight in his home country is certainly going to be a much more positive experience for the Brit than the first time around.

“And being at home affects you in a positive way because you’re rewarded for the work you do. So, I think the home crowd advantage in boxing is an advantage. And I’m going to relish in that and take that, you know, with a positive on the night, because when I’m letting my shots go and landing, and backing him up, the crowd will be erupting and going crazy as opposed to hearing a pin drop.”

“And then when you’re opponent is letting shots go, you know, there’s no noise as opposed to the opponent throwing shots that miss you and the crowd goes mad because he’s pushing you back.”

“My mindset’s going to be the same, my preparation’s going to be the same, it’s just – it’s going to help on the night being at home I think – especially in front of 18,000, I mean I don’t know what that’s going to feel like because I’ve never boxed in front of such a big crowd. I’m looking forward to it.”

As Kessler talked about a possible rematch with Ward if he is victorious, Froch responded to a question regarding a possible fight with Bernard Hopkins.

“I think he’s been around too long, but he’s still doing it so you can’t knock him for it. And, you know, one day in the future, it would be an honor to fight somebody like that.

“I feel I know how to beat him. But it’s one step at a time, but I’ll you know, I’m not a light heavyweight, so he’s going to have to come down to a catch weight. I don’t expect him to do super middle, but don’t expect me to do light heavyweight.”

Froch is one of England’s biggest sports stars, and may finally move past Ricky Hatton status as the most popular British Boxer in the last 10 years when he steps into the O2 Arena on Saturday. He talks about the level of stardom he has reached in his home country.

“It feels really, really good and it feels satisfying and humbling as well to finally get the recognition and acknowledgement of the career that I’ve had for the last 10 years – the last 11 years. And the world title fighter back to back again, such a high caliber of position is now finally being recognized and looked at.

“People saw the Bute fight and they thought to themselves wow – that was a good fight, he just beat an unbeaten fighter there. He lost to Ward and then he’s gone and done that. Who is it, people that didn’t watch Carl Froch before – I don’t like to talk to in third person.”

“But people who didn’t watch me before, they’re going to say all right, lets have a look at Carl Froch now and then they’re going back and they’re seeing the Jean Pascal, and the Jermaine Taylor, and the Andre Dirrell, and the Arthur Abraham and they’re thinking wow, what a fighter this guy is. He puts it all on the line, he leaves it in the right, he takes on all comers

“I’ve not won them all. I’m not undefeated but you know, I bounce back and I come back fighting and stay strong and that’s what people love. People love a fighter and people love somebody who picks themselves up off the floor and comes back after a defeat.

“ It’s like Rocky Balboa said, it’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how you get yourself back up and come back and keep coming back. And, you know, I’ve lost a couple of close fights, one to Kessler, one to Ward, but I’ve never been out-classed.”

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