Super middleweight king Andre Ward and living legend Bernard Hopkins both believe Carl Froch will get the duke this Saturday when he rematches Mikkel Kessler in London.
Ward, who has beaten both men decisively in the past, thinks a stoppage is quite possible:
"I think Kessler has kind of dipped a little bit since he and I fought, and even since he fought Froch the first time. Even though it's going to be a tough fight, it's going to be back and forth, I can't see Kessler winning this.
"Kessler's last two performances, he hasn't fought the best guys - a shopworn Allan Green then Brian Magee who's very tough but limited - and he's going to look good against them but I don't know if he has the same fire as when he fought Froch the first time. I would be shocked if Kessler got his hand raised. I think Froch wins and I wouldn't be surprised if Froch caught and stopped him."
Hopkins, who has said he'd love to fight Froch if he wins, also favors the man with home field advantage (the link is also worth clicking to hear Hopkins say this and try to pronounce "Froch"):
"I like Froch. I think he has experience not only from the first fight but the tournament. Of course he didn't win the tournament, it was Andre Ward who won the tournament. But Froch got better. And I'm not just saying that because maybe, maybe not there's potential for me and him to lace it up one day, but he's got better. I see Kessler has not been too active, and I don't see him having gotten better in the last two or three fights, or even two or three years. So I'm going with Froch. I believe it'll be an exciting fight, but I think he'll win it precisely. I don't think it'll be close. There's going to be some back-and-forth, but I think Froch will win at least eight rounds."
Like Ward, Brian Magee is a man who has faced both fighters, though he fought Froch way back in 2006, when Carl was simply not as good as he is now. Still, Magee believes Kessler will pull it out:
"I fancy Kessler to beat him because he is a better boxer and he hits as hard as Carl. Kessler came back from a good break and has won all three fights by stoppage, so he's fresh. Carl is more about big swinging shots but Kessler is more accurate. His mobility was excellent against me. He still has the hunger and this fight could make him one of the all-time greats."
Froch (30-2, 22 KO) seems to be the solid if not heavy favorite against Kessler (46-2, 35 KO), with the belief that Kessler has simply aged a bit more, which could be the case given his injury troubles, which knocked him out of the #wretchedsupersix, #showtimeisdisgusting.