Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler: What Each Man Needs To Do To Win

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Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler: What Each Man Needs To Do To Win

Carl "The Cobra" Froch

Birthplace: Nottingham, England
Resides: Nottingham, England
Age: 32
Height: 6' 1"
Reach: 74 1/2"
Current World Titles Held: WBC Super Middleweight (168 lbs.)
Former World Titles Held: None
Professional Record: 26-0, 20 KOs
Record in World Title Fights: 3-0, 1 KO
Record in Fights Going 12 Rounds: 5-0
Record at 168 lbs.: 17-0

Notable Wins: SD12 Andre Dirrell , TKO12 Jermain Taylor , UD12 Jean Pascal

 

"The Viking Warrior" Mikkel Kessler

Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Resides: Monaco
Age: 31
Height: 6' 1"
Reach: 73"
Current World Titles Held: None
Former World Titles Held: WBC, WBA Super Middleweight
Professional Record: 42-2, 32 KOs
Record in World Title Fights: 8-2, 6 KOs
Record in Fights Going 12 Rounds: 4-1
Record at 168 lbs.: 26-2, 22 KOs

Notable Wins: UD12 Librado Andrade, KO3 Markus Beyer, UD12 Anthony Mundine
Notable Losses: TD11 Andre Ward , UD12 Joe Calzaghe

 

Analysis:

There was a little scare for a couple of days thanks to the volcanic eruption in Iceland, but Mikkel Kessler will host Carl Froch in his native Denmark in the second bout for both fighters in the Super Six World Boxing Classic.

It will be the first time two of the European boxers in the tournament face each other and should be the subject of great interest for fans all over the continent.

Momentum doesn't always mean much in the sweet science, but Froch has plenty of it and the confidence that goes along with it after beating Jermain Taylor and Andre Dirrell in 2009.

What he does isn't always pretty, but he has an uncanny knack for figuring out ways to win even when things aren't going this way, plus he possesses the type of power that cane be ignored.

Kessler is a hard hitter as well, but he's searching for answers after getting soundly out-boxed by Andre Ward last November. Since he has trouble with quicker, more mobile opponents, hes no doubt relishing the chance to face someone who may stand in front of him a little more often.

Though the combined KO percentages of the two fighters might suggest that someone will end up looking at the lights, a stoppage may be easier said than done.

Kessler's two career losses both came via decision, and Froch picked himself off the mat in Round 3 of his bout with Taylor and ended up delivering a scintillating late knockout of his own.

Still, this pairing promises to deliver the type of two-way action that hasn't been all that common in the Super Six to this point.

It would not be a surprise to see some bombs landing in both directions, and the fight should have a decent chance of living up to the expectations of Kessler promoter Kalle Sauerland, who has called it "the biggest boxing fight in Danish history."

 

Froch's Winning Strategy: Keep Moving, But Don't Be Afraid to Make It Ugly

The Ward fight showed that for all of Kessler's skill and power, he is very limited in terms of his lateral movement. Froch is a better athlete than some give him credit for, so it's quite possible he'll have learned a few things from that fight that he can use.

But Froch isn't Ward, and Kessler is well-schooled in boxing fundamentals. The Cobra handled himself just fine when Dirrell made things rough (some would say dirty) on the inside, so he shouldn't hesitate to make it that kind of fight when Kessler does track him down.

The mental aspect of the fight suggests another reason for Froch to make it an ugly fight. Carl is one of the most self-confident boxers around, and he's not likely to panic if the fight doesn't go according to plan.

No one knows if Kessler can say the same. There aren't any style points in boxing, and Froch not only understands that fact, he can thrive on it.

 

Kessler's Winning Strategy: Have a Short Memory

Many observers had Kessler as no worse than co-favorite to win it all when the Super Six began. His reputation took a bit of a hit against Ward, and now the most important thing he can do is focus on what he does well instead of going crazy trying to make changes.

Kessler's strengths are body punches and uppercuts, both of which are set up by an above-average jab. Froch can move a bit, but Kessler should be able to track him down often enough to let his hands go on some combinations.

It's more likely that Kessler just ran into a boxer whose physical gifts and fighting style proved to be the wrong combination for him than it is that he was somehow "exposed" by Ward.

He has more experience than Froch and gave a prime Joe Calzaghe a difficult night less than three years ago.

The Viking Warrior needs to recall more of what he did to rack up 42 career victories than the way he floundered last time out. If he can do that, he has an excellent chance to bounce back and hand Froch his first loss.

Nick Tylwalk is the editor and co-founder of BoxingWatchers.com . Follow his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk or the site's feed @boxing_watchers .

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