Another Win For The ‘Warrior’

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: April 26, 2010

Normal 0

NEW YORK (BASN) — Heading into his second round-robin, Group Stage 2 bout with undefeated defending WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler was desperate for a win to remain in the inaugural Super Six: World Boxing Classic tournament.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

Fighting in his native Denmark, Kessler, a 31-year-old native of Copenhagen proved why he is still “The Viking Warrior.”He still proved that he still has what it takes to grind out a gritty and well executed win when all of the marbles are on the line.

Kessler (43-2, 32 KOs) displayed amazing heart and superior technical boxing skills in a unanimous 12-round decision against Froch (26-1, 20 KOs) to win the WBC 168-pound title on Saturday.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

All three judges scored the bout unanimously for Kessler: 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113. The victory forced a four-way tie between Kessler (2), Froch (2), Andre Dirrell (2), and Andre Ward (2) for second place.

Arthur Abraham leads all combatants with three points.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

Having lost his WBA 168-pound title to Ward during a Group Stage 1 bout in November, Kessler’s back was against the wall. He needed to perform better against a tall, lengthy, and powerful fighter in Froch.

In his last three bouts, he handled Dirrell’s hand-speed for a split nod.

Froch, 32, Nottingham, England, came from behind on the judges’ scorecards to knockout Jermain Taylor in the final round. He also upended Jean Pascal, now the reigning WBC light-heavyweight champion.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

Kessler did what any good fighter would do when their back is against a brick wall.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

He came out fighting. Unlike the Ward fight, Kessler got off to a fast start and was eager to establish his left jab. He also followed his jab with a straight-right to Froch’s body.

Ward was able to measure Kessler with straight potshots because, he didn’t move his head. Kessler made sure he showed more head movement, use his legs, and simply outwork Froch by throwing more punches.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

Kessler was simply beating Froch to the punch. Everything Kessler did was behind his jab. Froch was being forced to fight going backwards. Towards the end of round two, Kessler landed a four-punch combination to punctuate his winning the round.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

It wasn’t until rounds four and five when Froch became more assertive. When Froch landed, it was clear Kessler felt his power and moved back. Froch wobbled Keesler after landing a solid right to the jaw in round five.

But in round six, Kessler returned the favor by sticking Froch with a right to the jaw. Kessler also caught Froch with a lunging left hook from the outside as trhe champion was moving backwards.

He also buckled Froch’s knees with a perfectly-timed right hand to the face.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

Froch had his moments. His jab was effective when it landed, but missed a lot with his lunging right hook. As the bout approached the championship rounds, Kessler appeared headed toward redemption while Froch inhaled defeat for the first time.

Kessler placed a cut across Froch’s nose, as Kessler suffered a nasty cut above his left eye. Remember, Kessler was cut above his left eye in the Ward fight last November and went on to lose a technical decision.

undefined undefined undefined undefined

There were no stoppages or knockdowns, but both fighters tried hard to take each other out on a stretcher. The bloodied Kessler absorbed a lot of right hands from the brave Englishman, but the gritty Danish-Warrior was intent on outworking Froch.

Kessler threw more punches and had Froch against the ropes badly hurt in the final round.

In order to remain in the tournament, Froch is going to have to defeat Abraham in his next fight during the Group Stage 3 bracket.

Kessler will defend his WBC title against Allan Green in Group Stage 3.