Froch vs. Kessler II: HBO reportedly has interest in airing fight

John Gichigi

With Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler set to do battle again, HBO is reportedly showing interest in airing the super middleweight clash.

After weeks and weeks of turns and twists, Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler are ready to have another showdown in the super middleweight division. Though Andre Ward has defeated both of them to prove his 168 pound supremacy, there is much interest in the rematch between the two European titleholders. Their first fight, which took place in 2010 as part of the Super Six tournament, started slowly before turning into an all-out war by the final bell. Their rematch, set to take place on May 25 in front of an ecstatic crowd in London, could very well pick up where the first left off.

Now, according to Mike Coppinger of Boxing Scene, United States premium cable giant HBO is interested in showing the fight on their airwaves. A staple of Showtime's boxing programming over the last few years, Froch would be making his HBO debut if they indeed purchase the fight. Kessler has been on HBO twice in the past, both in 2007.

The super middleweight division has largely aired exclusively on Showtime in the United States. Beginning in 2009, Showtime put the ambitious Super Six tournament together to crown the world's top super middleweight (with the notable exception of Lucian Bute, at the time). It concluded at the end of 2011 with Ward earning a decision over Froch. It also was the platform that allowed the first fight between Froch and Kessler to take place.

Recently, Ward has come to HBO, making his debut last September with a stoppage over Chad Dawson. HBO has not been an eager investor in the super middleweight division in the past as the weight class tends to be filled European stars that may not register as much with American fans. However, with Ward now under contract, HBO may be looking to make a play in the division, starting with the Froch/Kessler rematch. Each man has said they would welcome a rematch with Ward, and it would appear that is what HBO could be building toward.

In other words, I'm not sure if HBO is showing a sudden interest in the super middleweight class in general or European boxing. This is likely just to allow American audiences to view who could be Ward's next opponent.

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