Leading into their rematch at the O2 Arena in London, England, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler appeared to be fighters on different trajectories. Since their first fight in 2010—which ended in a close unanimous decision for Kessler—Froch has continued to face the best opposition available. A loss to eventual Super Six Tournament winner Andre Ward was mitigated some by defeating Arthur Abraham, outworking Glenn Johnson in the rugged Jamaican’s last quality performance, and savaging Lucien Bute in five lopsided rounds. With his flattened nose, insolent sneer, and belligerent casualness, Froch is proof that a loss is not the death-knell of a career. Froch overcame defeats by refusing to deviate from the same gauntlet that caused him to stumble. Kessler, on the other hand, spent nearly fourteen months out of the ring after beating Froch, recovering from an eye injury before feasting on three easy marks in re-acclimatizing to combat. Questions abounded regarding Kessler’s durability, his decline, even his zest for fighting when he said he would retire if he lost to Froch “fair and square.” After twelve fervent rounds before a raucous throng of over 18,000 spectators, Kessler indeed fell to Froch by unanimous decision in a performance that should quell the rumors of his demise for the time being.
Read “That Insolent Sneer: Carl Froch W12 Mikkel Kessler” on The Cruelest Sport.