Froch all set for Kessler clash

  • Last Updated: May 20 2013, 18:15 BST

Carl Froch admits Saturday's huge super-middleweight unification rematch with Mikkel Kessler has been "a long time coming" after waiting three years for his shot at revenge against his Danish rival.

Froch: Building up to the Kessler rematch
Froch: Building up to the Kessler rematch

The current IBF champion lost his first fight as a professional in a thrilling war with Kessler when the pair fought in Herning back in 2010.

Froch has always craved a rematch after losing in difficult circumstances on away turf, in a bout which saw his preparation suffer due to the volcanic ash cloud which grounded many flights in the week leading up to the fight.

He now finally has the chance to avenge the loss and add Kessler's WBA title to his own belt in one of the most eagerly anticipated scraps in the sport.

"It's a big, big fight," Froch said.

"It's a rematch I've waited three years for.

"I've done a lot and achieved a lot in the time since our first fight and it's been a long time coming but I'm going to take full advantage of my opportunity now.

"I've improved a lot since our first fight because I've had over 40 rounds of competitive, elite level fighting against the best fighters in the world such as Arthur Abraham, Andre Ward and Lucian Bute.

"All the fights I've had have been against quality opponents. Maybe the Yusaf Mack fight, people argued over that but he gives people tough fights and is a decent boxer.

"I've improved offensively, defensively and mentally I'm very strong. I'm a lot more experienced now too and I feel going into this fight I'm a lot more rounded fighter now."

The Englishman added: "You're always learning even at 35. You do little things in the gym and try new things in sparring. Some things work, some things don't, but whether it's positive or negative, you're learning."

Froch and Kessler famously get on well with each other ever since their paths first crossed before their original fight three years ago.

Both share the same interests and respect each other as both men and fighters and there has never been any animosity between them. However, Froch revealed there has been little geniality in the lead-up to a fight both men are desperate to win.

"I've not really seen him or heard from him," he said. "We did a little bit of filming for the television promo but we've not really had much in the way of chit-chat, to be honest.

"It's all very serious and very formal now.

"There's no such things as friends in this business. I think a lot of Mikkel Kessler. I've got nothing against him and there's certainly no needle but I won't be having Sunday lunch with him, that's for sure.

"We've got respect before the fight and respect after the fight because we're both consummate professionals but there won't be any respect during the fight."

Froch has been taking advantage of his contacts within the Team GB set-up once more for this fight, working at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield and sparring with former amateur star Callum Smith, usual partner Tony Bellew and the likes of Warren Baister.

"I've done loads of sparring for this fight," he revealed. "I was going through my diary the other day and I've done nearly 200 rounds of open sparring and 70 rounds of technical.

"That's a lot of different sparring with a lot of different sizes, shapes and styles. It's been really good."


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