Carl Froch targets revenge in May's super-middleweight rematch with Mikkel Kessler
Last Updated: May 8, 2013 1:42pm
Carl Froch has revealed he still loses sleep over the defeat to super-middleweight rival Mikkel Kessler in Denmark three years ago.
Boxing News called their 2010 clash in Herning, where Kessler earned a unanimous decision, "one of the best fights of the modern era" and more fireworks are predicted when the pair meet again at the O2 Arena on May 25. The fight will be shown live on Sky Box Office HD.
Nottingham's Froch, who at the age of 35 is two years his opponent's senior, shrugged off a wide-margin points defeat to divisional stand-out Andre Ward by seizing Lucian Bute's IBF crown last year via fifth-round stoppage.
Froch said: "It's difficult to put into words, how much this fight means to me. I've fought nine or 10 title fights back to back but Mikkel Kessler has everything.
"Mikkel is an honourable man and is coming to the UK to give me a chance to avenge the defeat... My blood is boiling and I'm ready to go."
Froch on Kessler
"I've got so much respect for this man but he inflicted my first professional defeat. It's a bitter pill to swallow - I still think about that loss when my head hits the pillow.
"He took away everything that meant everything to me at the time. My professional career, as far as I was concerned, was in tatters. I avenged that defeat by winning my world title back in my next fight and then boxed in the Super Six.
"If you follow boxing, you'll know I've had some epic battles with top level fighters, but you'll know I've still not had the chance to avenge the defeat against Kessler, so this for me is a chance to set the record straight.
"Mikkel is an honourable man and is coming to the UK to give me a chance to avenge the defeat. Myself and (trainer) Rob McCracken are going to be working meticulously in the gym to make sure that I put right the wrong that happened in Herning. My blood is boiling and I'm ready to go."
WBA king Kessler was most recently in action in December when he halted Northern Irishman Brian Magee in three rounds and, like Froch, has just two defeats on an impressive record - to Ward and Joe Calzaghe.
The Viking Warrior said: "I'm ready for this fight too. I want him to admit that I won the fight because I thought so. I told him then that I never got the rematch against Calzaghe so I was going to give him one, and here we are.
"I wanted to go to his country to show myself as a real fighter. I'm in incredibly good shape. I think I'm going to be in the shape of my life when I have to fight Carl. I'm just ready to get it on."
"I wanted to go to his country to show myself as a real fighter. I think I'm going to be in the shape of my life when I have to fight Carl."
Kessler on Froch
On the tone of the action, Froch has no doubt the bout will match and even better the first meeting, with another no-holds-barred shoot-out surely on the cards.
Froch added: "They described our first fight as 'brutal' and if I was to forecast one word that will probably describe our rematch, then it will likely be 'savage.'
"There is going to be a bloody aftermath, because neither of us is going to concede any ground in this one. This fight is gigantic in Denmark and Mikkel has the weight of the country on his shoulders.
"During our fight, he dropped a bomb on me, I felt it split my nose - and there was no way I was standing for that, it's like autopilot, I just hit him with everything I had, he momentarily buckled, but still came forward for more - and that was the story of the entire fight.
"Some of the punches I landed would have sent any lesser fighter's head into the fifth row, but he just kept coming, walking through the pain barrier again and again. So I need to inflict more damage this time. Be clinical, not brutal.
"The rematch will be the same story during the early rounds - but the ending will be written as it should have been - and it's an ending that the Dane's are definitely not going to like - they are going to get the full ruthless Carl Froch experience."