Froch’s recent form has been top drawer. An obliteraton of Lucian Bute and a thumping stoppage of Yusaf Mack has seen him gain national exposure he deserves and he has been installed as pre-fight favourite. However its worth noting that bookmakers are just as susceptible to being swayed by general concensus fuelled by an emotional investment of punters who will always back their own British with pride.
Kessler has been equally impressive in his last two outings. A sensational one punch knockout of Allan Green rendering the American unconscious and a crippling body shot that disposed of veteran Brian Magee are often overlooked.
Unlike Bute, who had never fought outside Canada against carefully matched opponents, Mikkel Kessler will not be overawed by the occasion- he’s been in a fight of this magnitude back in 2007 against Calzaghe in which he put up a good display against a man who is genuinely a british boxing great. Froch’s claims to be in the process of cementing his legacy but for me he will go down as a good world champion, not a great. Unlike Calzaghe Froch failed to beat the best American’s. He was comprehensively outclassed by Andre Ward, was a country mile behind against Jermaine Taylor before he caught him in the last seconds and won a very dubious decision against Andre Dirrell due to home advantage in Nottingham. That is all before mentioning his loss to Kessler in what was a close tough fight but none the less, Kessler beat him at his own game. He outgunned the gunner who usually only struggles against slick skilled boxers. Although it represents tremendous resolve the “three time champion” tag is overated. As good as it sounds it is worth noting it is not necessarily better than a one time champion as the fighter hasn’t had the ability to retain their belts.
To his credit though the Cobra has endeared himself to the fight fans and will be backed vociferously by the Nottingham Forest fans. An innately staunch determination added into an already deadly concoction of granite chin and lethal right hand has seen the Cobra rise to the heights. Froch is very heavy handed but Kessler has never been knocked out and has proven over the years he can take a shot, not least in his first fight in which he shook off a good few of Froch’s best right cross bombs.
The Viking Warrior has had top quality sparring in the shape of Froch’s fellow stablemate and up and coming rival in George Groves as well as WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly.
If you analyse the fight clinically without bias the two fighters are very evenly matched. If it’s a very close fight as expected, Froch is likely to get the decision anyway as often seen in boxing. Two true warriors, evenly matched. A bet on the outsider Kessler offers great value and after all he has just as much chance of winning. We’ll all be routing for Froch but it is Kessler who makes betting sense.