It’s still unclear if Froch will face Kessler or Stevenson next
By Scott Gilfoid: It looks like the IBF will allow IBF super middleweight champion Carl Froch to bypass his mandatory challenger Adonis Stevenson to get a $2 million payday unification bout against WBA World super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler.
That’s obviously the fight that Froch will take if his promoter Eddie Hearn can negotiate the fight. However, we’re hearing that Froch is suddenly starting to show interest in facing Stevenson next instead of Kessler. This is likely a ploy to give Froch and Hearn better bargaining room in the Kessler negotiations, because I can’t for a second believe that Froch and Hearn would volunteer to face a talented fighter like Stevenson unless the fight was absolutely forced upon them.
Stevenson is too fast, too dangerous and too talented for the slow of hand and wide open Froch. Believe me, Froch and Hearn aren’t likely going to take the fight with Stevenson unless they’re physically dragged into it, even then I have a feeling Froch will just vacate the IBF strap to avoid the fight.
Hearn and Stevenson’s promoter Jean Bedard have been sending offers back and forth to each other for a fight, but it doesn’t mean jack because the Kessler fight is the one that Hearn and Froch really want. That’s the big cash that they’re really looking at. I guess Kessler’s promoter at Sauerland Events aren’t going along with the program and marching in lockstep to what Hearn wants them to in the negotiations for Hearn and Froch to be talking to Stevenson’s people.
Besides the money issue, which won’t be easy to negotiate, there’s also the venue. Froch and Hearn badly want the fight to take place in the UK, because they feel this gives Froch a big advantage. Kessler obviously is smart enough to know what a bad deal that would be on many levels for him to be fighting in front of over 20,000 screaming Brits that cheer for every missed punch that Froch throws. By agreeing to fight Froch in the UK, Kessler might be putting himself into a situation where he needs to knock Froch out just in order to guarantee he gets the victory.
I don’t see Kessler being given a decision in the UK, no way. With all the screaming for Froch, I see a Froch-Kessler 2 fight being a heck of a lot like the Froch vs. Andre Dirrell fight, which took place in Nottingham, England. Froch won a decision that many boxing fans think Dirrell should have won by a lopsided decision. I scored the fight 10 rounds to 2 for Dirrell, and yet Froch was given a 12 round split decision in a fight where he was unable to lay a glove on Dirrell all night.