Fight night flutters
Sky Bet's Jamie Casey picks out the best betting options ahead of Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler.
By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey. Last Updated: 25/05/13 4:59pm
Fight Night: Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler square up after Wednesday's press conference
With the large majority of London's O2 Arena crowd expected to be behind Carl Froch on Saturday night, 'The Cobra' is odds-on to inflict revenge on Mikkel Kessler.
Froch is going all out to avenge his 2010 defeat to the Dane, one of two losses on his 32-fight record, and he's generated the large majority of the betting interest in the build-up to the most anticipated re-match of the year.
Since the orthodox duo last went toe-to-toe, Froch has won four of his five fights, losing only to the super-middleweight division's best in Andre Ward, while Kessler has only fought three times since, accumulating just 13 rounds of boxing en route to a trio of convincing victories.
However, despite those two relatively recent defeats on his record, Froch has improved over the past three years, particularly his defence - which was labelled complacent after his loss in Denmark - while Kessler has merely maintained his high level of competitiveness.
To win, Froch needs to keep his shape and avoid that instinctive straight right hand from Kessler, a punch which opened up a small wound to the bridge of the Englishman's nose during their original bout, but he must counter his opponent swiftly when he does get caught.
Where possible, the fighter from Nottingham is expected to advance with quick hand-speed before stepping out of the danger-zone, denying Kessler the chance to evade his space.
If the 35-year-old can master that and impose himself on his counterpart on a consistent basis, then he stands an excellent chance of winning on points, which is an 11/8 shout.
However, Kessler is prone to getting cut, particularly above the eyes, so the home favourite may look to force a stoppage in the latter rounds, with Froch to win in rounds 9-12 a 7/1 chance.
With two of the most durable chins in boxing on display, neither fighter to be knocked down should not be passed up at 8/11, though the major occasion may play on their minds when inside the ring, with both fighters to hit the canvas a 14/1 shout.
The heavily-tattooed Kessler has 48 professional fights on his record to Froch's 32, despite being a year younger, so expect Froch to produce an array of body shots in a bid to wear the Dane's battered body down, with the 'Viking Warrior' 5/2 to hit the deck.
Certainly, the first three rounds will be crucial and could set the tone for the night, but either fighter to win before the fourth isn't expected to come in at 15/2, while Froch to win in the 10th round (28/1 ) has proved the most popular bet of the round betting.
Many will recall the brutal 12th round between the pair in Denmark, in which both were bruised, bloodied and rocked, and either fighter to win in the final three-minutes is an excellent value punt at 20/1.
Best bet: Either fighter to win on points (4/7)
Best value bet: Froch to win in rounds 9-12 (7/1)
Odds are subject to change