Carl "The Cobra" Froch (31-2) avenged one of only two losses in his career on Saturday. The 35-year-old from Nottingham delighted his countrymen in attendance at the O2 Arena in London.
He defeated Mikkel "The Viking Warrior" Kessler (46-3) by unanimous decision to unify two portions of the super middleweight championship.
After another epic battle, Froch and Kessler must agree to a tie-breaking third fight. The next time the two elite super middleweights clash, it should be at a neutral site.
The first bout took place in Kessler's native Denmark. The best place for a third fight is somewhere outside of both men's home countries.
Ryan Bivins @sweetboxing
Would rather watch #FrochKessler 3 than #WardFroch 2... #boxing2013-5-25 23:31:47
Froch deserved the unanimous decision in a thrilling bout.
Per the HBO telecast, the official scorecards read 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 in favor of Froch. Though most would agree Froch won the fight, an eight-point edge was a bit exorbitant.
Froch's jab controlled most of the fight. He established it early and rode that weapon to victory. In the 12th round, the Cobra left no doubt who the winner was. He fought like he wanted to finish Kessler and cemented a strong performance.
Kessler had said he would retire if he didn't beat Froch, but boxing fans know retirement pledges aren't always truthful.
It is difficult to think the 34-year-old would walk away after having his share of moments on Saturday. The Viking Warrior landed a few hard shots on Froch's chin that wobbled him.
The 11th round was especially good for Kessler. Froch's chin was tested in this round as hard lefts and rights found their mark.
Kessler landed 55 percent of his power shots, but Froch outworked him by throwing 366 power punches to just 165 for Kessler, per CompuBox.
Kessler landed 55% of his power punches (90 of 165) but threw 201 less than Froch (135 of 366) @HBOboxing #boxing2013-5-25 23:30:42
With each man owning a win over the other as the predominant crowd favorite, it is time to see them duke it out in front of fans without such a clear rooting interest. Froch said in his blog he would be open to a third fight, if second fight was as good as the first.
Saturday's clash was certainly another stirring confrontation. In a third meeting, perhaps Froch would win again, or maybe Kessler will prove to be the better man.
The point is, nothing is settled just yet between these two men. A rubber match without the energy of the crowd spurring one over the other would be a nice close to a great rivalry.
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