Following the major announcement from Jermain Taylor that he's out of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, the focus of the tournament will now shift 100% to the upcoming fights at hand. Perhaps the most important of round two is the April 17 battle in Denmark between WBC super middleweight titlist Carl Froch and former WBA titleholder Mikkel Kessler.
Froch writes in the Nottingham Evening Post that he hopes the fight will be in Copenhagen, rather than Herning, which is the current idea, apparently. He feels that his traveling fans will have more fun in Copenhagen, which I suppose is true, but I don't really think he can be too sure that he's going to have a whole lot of traveling fans.
He's not talking trash about Kessler, though, offering brief words about his coming opponent.
Kessler is naturally left handed, but fights right-handed like myself and thus has a great left jab.
He is a big strong guy and can punch with either hand. He does nothing spectacular but everything he does, he does well.
The thought of fighting him in his home country spurs me on and I think that will be that extra motivation I need. Maybe his fans will think this is an edge for Kessler. But he is the one with the pressure, coming off a loss with a lot of expectation.
Kessler's team at Sauerland sent out a press release discussing the bout, too. Here's an excerpt:
The fight against Froch is the most important of my career. I will work my butt off to win this battle and show my great fans what the Viking Warrior is really made of.
Most of the release was stock stuff about Kessler being excited to have a new trainer and all that.
When I say this is maybe the most important fight of the second round, it's because it's a humongous turning point for Kessler. Froch is not Joe Calzaghe or Andre Ward. He's not as tricky, not as clever, not as quick, not as multi-faceted. But we do know that Froch can adapt, and when all else fails, he's got the guts to seriously go for broke and storm his opponent offensively. He can also -- as Ward did -- fight dirty when he needs to.
Kessler may well find Froch easier than Ward was, because he's far more straightforward and not quite so dynamic. But Kessler getting a new trainer doesn't automatically mean he's going to suddenly become a fighter that makes mid-fight adjustments very well. It might help, but it might not. If Froch is troubling him and he can't adapt, Kessler's career has hit a wall.
This is a fight I'm really looking forward to for these reasons. It's got a lot going for it on paper.