Carl Froch redeemed one of the two worst nights of his career this evening in London. The 35-year-old, Froch, was coming off of one of the most scintillating victories of his career, pummeling Lucian Bute in five rounds to capture the IBF super middleweight championship of the world. That victory would wipe away the nasty taste within the mouths of many fight fans who witnessed the most dreadful night of Froch’s career, a schooling by Andre Ward. Tonight Froch(31-2, 22 KOs) would not only match, but in fact upend his previous victory by beating a highly touted foe within the division and unifying two world championships; something Froch had never done before. He decisively took out fighter Mikkel Kessler, 34, who had formerly beaten him in April of 2010.
Much like Froch and Kessler’s first fight, which was fought in Kessler’s home turf of Denmark, this sequel produced ebb and flow with plenty of fireworks. Although, in this encounter, Carl Froch was slightly more superior to Mikkel Kessler(46-3, 35 KOs) than Kessler was to Froch the first time around. Not even objective boxing enthusiasts from Denmark, with a pinch of bias, could play devil’s advocate for Mikkel Kessler to have been the victor after the thirty-six minutes of fighting between the two. From rounds one to nine, Froch produced more activity and was buckling Kessler slightly more often, building a lead heading into the final rounds. Froch was surprisingly out jabbing Kessler through large portions of the bout, mixed in with a lot of movement that seemed to befuddle Kessler. In the tenth Kessler would hurt Froch and again in the eleventh, but was not able to finish to job. Froch would survive and make it to his corner to receive one final sixty seconds of recuperative time and would then come out and beat on Mikkel Kessler to prove to all objective spectators that he indeed was the better fighter in this unification bout. Many fans across the cyber world are already shouting, some justifiably so, that the score cards tallied by the official judges ringside were all too far in favor of Carl Froch. What they are not debating with the three officials assigned with the duty, however, is whether or not they selected the correct fighter to walk away the winner and that is what is most important.
This victory should deservedly put Carl Froch in the hall of fame discussion with Froch, maybe not being a first ballot entry, but a member at some point none the less. His only two losses are to Andre Ward, who is on his way to a first ballot hall of fame career, and Mikkel Kessler who, like Froch, only defeats and loses to hall of fame fighters.
With that being said, Froch may no longer be a top ten pound for pound fighter in the world anymore. Do not take that sentence out of context though, Froch is still championship class. It is just that Froch defeating the elite likes of Andre Ward are unlikely. A rematch with Ward is unappealing. For Froch, a fight with Bernard Hopkins, the IBF light heavyweight champion of the world and United States icon, is possible when it makes a lot of dollars and sense on a multitude of levels. Hopkins, as said before, is an icon within Boxing and Froch is a golden goose for the U.K., as evidence by how many thousands of Brits he drew to London this evening. Each bring a very solid following and can carry a marquee on their own. The two of them mixing it up on U.S. soil or overseas in Europe would make both champions a lot of money, and legacy wise, both would have a significant amount to gain. For Hopkins, another good young fighter on his dossier. For Froch, he could add Hopkins’ scalp and become a two-division world champion. Of course, if all else fails, a trilogy with Mikkel Kessler would not garner disdain from any parties. Regardless of Froch’s future decisions and where he goes from here, he has had one of the finest hours of what has culminated into a very good career.