In a tremendous fight that likely leads the Fight of the Year race for 2010, Mikkel Kessler outpointed Carl Froch to take Froch's undefeated record and his WBC title, and get himself squarely back into the Super Six World Boxing Classic race.
Kessler (43-2, 32 KO) won on scores of 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111. Bad Left Hook scored it 115-113 for Kessler, with the "Viking Warrior" sealing the deal in an electric, Rocky-like 12th round effort from both men. It was Kessler who controlled most of the fight, pressed most of the action, and just did the better overall work. Froch had his moments, and won some rounds, and was close in some more, but he came up just short. Carl Froch has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and immediately post-fight he didn't complain too much. He simply said if it was at home, he feels he would have won. (In a bit of hilarity, the in-ring interviewer basically said, "Yeah, we saw that in your last fight," and moved on.)
This is probably the biggest, best and most important win of Kessler's career. He looked relaxed in the ring, and even when a bad cut was opened late in the fight, he didn't panic or get out of his gameplan. Froch seemed a bit off in this one, truthfully, but that was probably more caused by Kessler not ever getting too flustered. Froch just did not get the openings he might have expected, and found himself in a dog fight with a guy who supposedly could be beaten mentally.
Froch (26-1, 20 KO) faces Arthur Abraham next, tentatively in August. Kessler's third Super Six fight will be against Allan Green, who fights Andre Ward on June 19. Froch-Abraham is shaping up to be a crazy war of a brawl, as both will have everything to gain and lose in that one. The updated Super Six standings have Abraham still ahead at 3 points (two fights), followed by Andre Ward (one fight), Andre Dirrell (two fights), Kessler (two fights) and Froch (two fights) at two points apiece. Green has no points. Can you imagine if Allan Green upset Andre Ward in June? This whole thing would be bananas.
Hats should be off this evening to Mikkel Kessler, who came back strong from a terrible loss to Ward and out-fought the always-game Froch, who gave his all as usual and can hold his head up high. It was a fantastic fight and a gritty display from both men.