Carl Froch v Mikel Kessler could be career defining

Boxing Gloves

Carl Froch is quickly becoming British boxing’s poster boy, despite being the grand old sporting age of 35.

Saturday’s demolition of America’s Yusaf Mack at the Nottingham’s Capital FM Arena has sent Froch’s reputation sky rocking into the stratosphere.

He was already a three-time world champion after a series of tough encounters, but the ease in which he dispatched his IBF super-middleweight opponent left pundits and experts purring with delight.

Froch is one of boxing’s nice guys, a true warrior in the old-fashioned mould of Thomas Hearns or Steve Collins.

But, this week he has now, rightly, been labeled as one of the very best. However, Froch is in no mood to milk the praise and rest on his laurels. He has been extremely vocal since Saturday night, being interviewed by various multinational and domestic media outlets and, though Froch is enjoying the attention and praise being lavished upon him, he is eager to get back into the ring as soon as possible.

So, who does “The Cobra” want as his next victim?

Simply put, he wants Mikkel Kessler “any time, any place”. Froch has stated a fight against either Kessler or Andre Ward - the only two fighters to defeat him in a 32-fight career – tops his priority list, and he wants to do it in style.

His focus on fighting in front of his adoring supporters at one of the football stadiums in Nottingham – Forest’s City Ground or County’s Meadow Lane – should whet the appetite for even the most hard-to-please fight fan.

Outdoor boxing bouts are the stuff of legend in the UK. There have been many over the last couple of decades - with varying success - but the most tend to live long in the memory for us boxing aficionados. As I much as I would love to go into detail about all the colossal encounters, particularly Benn v Eubank at Old Trafford, this is Froch’s time.

However, I will briefly discuss one fight that draws a parallel with his and promoter Eddie Hearn’s proposal. Joe Calzaghe v Mikkel Kessler on 3rd November 2007 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium was one of the greatest fight atmospheres I have ever witnessed.

The monotonous undercard subdued the passionate 50,000 Welsh crowd, until the silky-voiced Michael Buffer uttered his immortal “Let’s get ready to rumble” line. Then, from Kessler’s ring walk, to Joe Calzaghe being announced as the eventual winner of the bout, the crescendo of noise from every corner of the stadium was deafening.

I have never heard such a vocal fanatical crowd, and I felt honoured to be in attendance.

Both men came in as unbeaten and, although Kessler lost his record, both men left to a standing ovation. Backed by over 50,000 people at 2am on a bitterly cold Sunday morning, Calzaghe solidified his reputation as a Welsh boxing legend.

And whose to say Froch could not replicate that atmosphere, and outcome, in Nottingham. He is now a genuine world-class fighter, who deserves his career defining fight.

Kessler helped give Calzaghe one of the greatest nights of his life. Is history about to repeat itself, with the Dane helping Froch to accomplish his?

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