Why Mikkel Kessler will beat Carl Froch
By John J. Raspanti (April 1, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
Carl Froch likes to fight. He’s a throwback, a brawler with a pretty good chin and a strong right hand. The Cobra is also a fighting cliché, the old “I’ll take three to get in my one”. He’s parlayed this particular style into a very successful professional career, with a gaudy record of 26 wins and 0 loses with 20 knockouts…
Doesn’t matter, I still believe Mikkel Kessler is prepped to give him a licking on April 24th.  I know…I know…Kessler looked terrible against Andre Ward last November. I was there and saw it all. But…it wasn’t so much Kessler as Ward and his unique style. Kessler couldn’t handle Ward’s hand speed and cleverness, his movement and angles. He also came into the fight overconfident. Somehow he figured Ward was a pushover, a joke of an Olympic gold medalist. Andre did what he wanted and Kessler was picked apart, befuddled and bamboozled. After eleven rounds Kessler resembled a monster more then a model.
Carl Froch is no Andre Ward. His hands aren’t particularly fast, he’s slow and his defense is spotty at best. His biggest assets are his personal toughness, heart and above average power in his right hand.  Though he’s undefeated he hadn’t really fought anybody until he defeated former Middleweight Champion Jermain Taylor in a very close fight, where Froch’s stamina played a big part…along with that right. His next fight was against the slick Andre Dirrell who easily out boxed Froch in the first half of the fight. Froch came on as the fight progressed and ultimately was awarded the decision which stunned a lot of people and had others shaking there heads. A hometown decision…??
Could be.
Kessler should be able to hit Froch rather easily. His record of 42 wins and 2 loses is also pretty impressive but like Froch he hasn’t exactly fought a bunch of top notch fighters.  To defeat Froch he needs to control the action…and the pace. Slugging with Froch could prove to be problematical, though at times impossible to avoid. Staying on the outside, jabbing and timing Froch with his right makes sense. Kessler is the more rounded fighter, but he can also be predictable. He needs to have a plan B if A isn’t working, which I doubt will happen. There’s also another factor that one shouldn’t underestimate. I’ll get to that in a moment. Froch on the other hand should do everything in his power to turn the fight into a pier six brawl; he needs to push the Dane to his limit. Froch has never lost and his confidence is sky high, he will not quit easily. He will keep coming, taking punishment and throwing punches. Kessler is stronger then Dirrell and should be able to keep Froch off him. The question that remains is whether he has the mental strength to handle the super tough Nottingham slugger.
I think he does. Oh…and that other factor I mentioned…Mikkel Kessler is desperate. A desperate fighter can be an extremely dangerous one, he knows one more loss and his career is toast. Kessler will be very motivated and better prepared then in his last fight. That loss to Ward probably brought him (along with his overconfident corner) back to earth. The fact that the fight is taking place in Denmark is another plus for Kessler. That home style cooking is almost always delicious…and victorious. (right Carl?)
As for the fight itself I see an entertaining battle where Kessler tries to box and Froch comes at him like the raging bull throwing punches with bad intentions. The fight could get very physical early with Kessler being tested. If he can avoid the big bombs he should be able to sting Froch repeatedly, cutting him and possibly flooring him. Kessler has the skills…it’s just a matter of using them accordingly, I think he does and either stops Froch late or  more likely wins a unanimous decision allowing him to continue his quest in the Super Six Tournament…

Questions/comments john.raspanti@activant.com

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