By: William Holmes
HBO was originally supposed to show two fights from different venues tonight but an injury to Bute forced the cancellation of the light heavyweight bout between Lucian Bute and Jean Pascal in Montreal, Canada.
However, London England is home to some of the world’s most passionate boxing fans and they came out in full force for tonight’s WBA/IBF Super Middleweight title fight between Mikkel Kessler (46-2) and Carl Froch (30-2).
Ironically, both Froch and Kessler had lost to Andre Ward, one of tonight’s commentators.
Even though Carl Froch was fighting in his home country Carl Froch was the first person to be announced by Michael Buffer, and he was met with a loud ovation as “Welcome to the Jungle” blasted on the speakers.
Mikkel Kessler came out second with a more subdued entrance and a very hostile crowd.
The crowd was singing loudly before the fight even started. Froch and Kessler wasted little time in feeling each other out and were engaging in the first round. Froch’s jab was effective and was very accurate.
Kessler landed an overhand right in the second round that momentarily slowed Froch down but not for long. Froch continued to stay behind his jab and the second round with a strong combination. Froch looked more confident as the fight continued and dominated the third and fourth rounds with his left jab.
Rounds five and six were the best rounds for Kessler and stunned Froch in the fifth with a two punch combination. Froch looked to be the more visibly tired fighter in the sixth round, but Froch’s corner urged him to fight smart and he turned the tide back in his favor in the seventh round.
The seventh and eight rounds featured some very hard exchanges by both fighters but Carl Froch was getting the better of his opponent. Froch continued to outwork Kessler in the later rounds. Kessler fought valiantly and occasionally landed a strong hook but it did not deter Froch and he ate the punches well.
Kessler opened up a cut over Froch’s left eye in the 11th round and had him momentarily stunned but Froch was able to fight back.
Kessler clearly needed a knockout in the last round to win the fight, and Froch did not attempt to coast or play it safe, but Froch poured on the offense near the end of the last round and almost forced the referee to stop it.
The final scores were 118-110, 116-112, and 115-113 for Carl “The Cobra” Froch.