Mikkel Kessler vs. Carl Froch Fight Preview and Prediction
When: Saturday, April 24, 2010
Where: MCH Messecenter Herning in Herning, Denmark
Weight Class: WBC Super Middleweight Championship: 12 Rounds
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Mikkel Kessler, 42-2 (32 KOs), Copenhagen, Denmark. Vs. Carl Froch, 26-0 (20 KOs), Nottingham, United Kingdom, WBC Super Middleweight Champion.
Fight Odds: Mikkel Kessler (-170), Carl Froch (+140)
Over/Under: Over 11.5 (-120), Under 11.5 (-120)
Fight Analysis: Round two of the Super Six World Boxing Classic continues in the unlikely site of Herning, Denmark, as Mikkel Kessler fights WBC Champion Carl Froch. There is a lot on the line in this fight. Froch’s WBC title will be at stake, but more importantly, the winner of this fight positions himself better to possibly win this tournament. For those unfamiliar with the structure of the Super Six Classic—it is a 6-man round-robin tournament featuring the six best fighters at 168 lbs. It is a fight fan’s dream, with a series of guaranteed matches featuring the best. With many top fighters going out of their way to avoid tough matches, this tournament has been a breath of fresh air.
Kessler, the tough Dane, will enjoy the fact that this fight is in Denmark, where he is a national hero. He needs a win. After being outclassed by Andre Ward in the first round of the tournament, a loss here could spell doom for the former champion. His loss to Ward was an upset. Kessler was favored and expected to be too tough and seasoned for Ward, who was relatively unproven against world-class foes. The fight turned out to be a nightmare for Kessler and a coming-out party for Ward.
Froch won his first-round bout, but not without controversy. It appeared to many that Andre Dirrell had actually outboxed him. Fighting in Froch’s hometown of Nottingham seemed to help Carl. If the fight were in Detroit, it would have been hard to imagine him getting the decision. After watching Dirrell have his way with tournament favorite Arthur Abraham last weekend, suddenly Froch’s performance against Dirrell doesn’t look so bad.
So both men have something to prove in this fight. Kessler needs to show he still belongs among the best and Froch needs a clear-cut win to get people talking about him again. The Americans, led by the two Andres—Ward and Dirrell—have stolen a bit of the thunder from the favored European contingency. Now it is up to these two men to get some positive momentum going and steal some of the momentum back from the young upstart Americans.
Both Froch and Kessler struggled in their last fight against young, athletic, boxer-types. This style matchup should be more suitable for both men. They will not be difficult for each other to find. Froch is the less-refined fighter of the two. He charges ahead looking to land power shots. He is not particularly difficult to hit, but he has a great chin and almost unparalleled grit and determination. Kessler is better schooled and more refined. He also offers toughness and a good chin. While Froch probably holds the better one-punch power, Kessler is not a guy you want to make a habit of taking punches from either.
Kessler might have a touch more urgency approaching this fight. There is a cloud of doubt surrounding his viability following his unimpressive showing against Ward. This is not to imply that Froch doesn’t have a lot to fight for, but Kessler’s back is against the wall. The site of the fight should theoretically be a big boost to Kessler. Herning is a tucked-away city in the middle of Scandinavia. It could be a little unsettling for Froch to be fighting in such a remote location amongst a rabid throng of Kessler supporters.
Scotty's Pick to Win: Froch will come out and try to land his power shots. He may find success, as Kessler is not difficult to find. I think Kessler can begin to time Froch with counters as the fight wears on. It is difficult to not imagine an entertaining fight here. The exchanges should be plentiful and heated. Kessler’s better form will serve him well in the middle rounds, which I envision him winning after a rough start. Froch, as dogged as they come, will turn up the heat in his pursuit. The final three rounds will be difficult for Kessler. Froch has shown great late-rounds power and his stamina is great. It could be a race to the final bell, but I think Kessler has enough toughness and durability to finish the fight with his nose ahead. Lay the –170 on Mikkel Kessler to win.
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