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Kessler vs. Froch: Fight of the Year?

Joe OneillCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2010

HERNING, DENMARK - APRIL 24:  Mikkel Kessler of Denmark (R) lands a right cross on Carl Froch of England during their Super Six WBC Super Middleweight title fight on April 24, 2010 at MCH  Messecenter Arena in Herning, Denmark.  (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
John Gichigi/Getty Images

Wow.

I mean—Wow!

I was expecting a snoozer. A daydream of Carl Froch beating down a demoralized Mikel Kessler.

Kessler, who lost decisively to Andre Ward in his last fight, looked like a very, very beatable fighter. A guy with suspect defense, predictable offense, and sparse hand quickness.

Froch, on the other hand, had all the momentum with a 26-0 record and a win, albeit controversial, against Andre Dirrell.

From the opening round, these guys put on a battle royale. A slugfest reminiscent of the Greeks vs. the Romans.

Kessler pressed the action while Froch continually countered. He showboated, taunted Kessler, and responded with some devastating rights.

Still, Kessler prevailed. Coming forward and hurting Froch a few times.

There wasn't one round that stood out from the rest. Well, there was one, but more on that later.

Both fighters were so evenly matched, either one of them could have easily won any round. Neither really dominated at any one time.

If there was a brief moment in the fight where one fighter appeared better than the other, it was probably the seventh and eighth rounds when Froch appeared to tire.

Then he roared back with four solid rounds.

Which brings us to the 12th round, which is my early vote for round of the year.

Two fighters completely exhausted, bloody, and just throwing bombs at one another. No defense. No strategy. Just two guys going at each other trying to win the fight.

This fight was in Denmark. I think Froch knew he needed a KO or to completely dominate the fight.

He did neither and he paid the price.

The final decision was a unanimous one: 15-13, 17-11, 16-12, all in favor of Kessler.

Yes, the scoring was a joke. Froch should have won on at least one scorecard and there's no way Kessler won by more than two rounds.

Froch, his usual deviant self, felt he won the fight and had some pointed words for how many times the fight had been postponed.

Still, many feel Froch stole a win from Andre Dirrell in his native England. So, he can't complain too much.

I can't help but feel admiration for Mikel Kessler. He showed so much heart and determination after a devastating loss. Good for him.

In the tournament, Arthur Abraham still leads with three points. Froch, Kessler, Dirrell, and Ward each have two points. Alan Green fills in for Jermaine Taylor with no points.

In other words, this is a wide open race.

If only some more of the fights could be as competitive and entertaining as this one.

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