Froch vs Kessler 2: Does retirement await the loser?
By Thomas Cowan: Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler have officially confirmed their highly anticipated rematch at the O2 Arena in London on May 25th. I’m going to save my prediction on this fight for another day but there is an interesting question surrounding this fight. What’s left for the loser?
I want to begin by saying that I’m a massive fan of both of these fighters. Kessler is unbeaten in Denmark and if you’re going to have two losses on your record, you couldn’t ask for two better opponents than Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward. Froch also has had a great career, also losing to Andre Ward and just coming off second best in a 2010 war with Kessler. Froch has never ducked anyone and his bout with Kessler will be his 10th world title fight in a row.
However, if Froch loses to Kessler then he’ll be turning 36 in July with no title and coming off a loss in his home country. He’s already a three-time world champion and he’s proved he’s world class so does he really want to be fighting non-title fights with contenders like Thomas Oosthuizen and Edwin Rodriguez to try and work his way back up? I highly doubt it. Despite this, there is another option for Froch if he loses this fight. The Brit has made no secret off the fact he craves a huge all-British world title fight. He didn’t succeed in enticing Joe Calzaghe out of retirement in 2009. However, a fight with WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly is a very attractive option for Froch. It would be a massive fight in Britain and I see Froch easily beating Cleverly to become a two-weight world champion. Cleverly and his promoter Frank Warren have made no secret of the fact they want to get the Cobra in the ring and they’ll be hoping Froch loses to Kessler because if he wins, he’ll be gunning for Andre Ward and the undisputed super middleweight championship.
If Kessler loses, the Dane also faces a difficult decision. He’s younger than Froch, at 33 years old but he has had 16 more fights. If Kessler is knocked out by Froch, he might decide that enough is enough and move from his boxing career. There was talk of Kessler retiring after he was dominated by Andre Ward in 2009, although it must be said that Kessler was only ever really hurt by Ward’s headbutts not his punches. Despite his critics, Kessler bounced back from that loss by beating Froch and he’s looked good in the 3 fights he’s had since he took a year off because of a eye injury, albeit those fights were against 2nd tier opposition. Even if Froch beats Kessler, as long as the Viking Warrior fights well there’s good opportunities for him to bounce back and win titles again. He could move up to light heavyweight where is see him dominating WBO champion Cleverly and WBA champion Beibut Shumenov and I’m also pretty sure he’d beat IBF champion Tavoris Cloud. I think WBC champion “Bad” Chad Dawson would have the edge on Kessler but that is still a winnable fight for the Dane.
I think if Froch loses this fight, he’ll be hanging up his gloves by the end of 2013 and if Kessler loses then he should probably except his powers are waning and move up to the weaker light heavyweight division to make sure he can challenge for titles in his later years.