Hearn says Kessler vs. Froch III a possibility for January 31st, 2015
By Scott Gilfoid: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn says that former WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (46-3, 35 KOs) is a possibility for IBF/WBA super middleweight champion Carl Froch’s next fight on January 31st in 2015 at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
This would obviously have to be a voluntary defense for the 37-year-old Froch, because the 35-year-old Kessler hasn’t fought in a year and half since his loss to Froch in May of 2013. With Kessler being out of the ring for close to 2 years, all four sanctioning bodies have dropped him from their top 15.
As such, this might be a fight without any of Froch’s titles being on the line. You’d have to assume that the International Boxing Federation will move in and strip Froch of his IBF title if he fails to defend it against his No.1 IBF challenger James DeGale in early 2015, but I doubt Froch is too worried about that, given that he’s winding down his career.
“Mikkel Kessler is definitely one of the options with it being 1-1 and I’m talking to his promoter all the time,” Hearn said to the Dailystar.co.uk. “The O2 Arena is penciled in for January 31 and it might be Froch-Kessler III or it might be Froch-DeGale but I’m not sure.”
I don’t know that Hearn is going to be able to sell a third fight between Froch and Kessler with Kessler having sat on his backside for a year and half without fighting. It would be a fight that would interest boxing fans if Kessler had continued to fight after his loss to Froch in early 2013, but with Kessler having done zero since then, it gives some boxing fans the impression that this is just a money grab fight without it being a real sporting event.
In other words, some fans see it as a retirement fight for Kessler to get a final payday before he retires. You can’t blame Kessler for wanting to get another payday against Froch, but with Kessler not fighting at all, it just looks bad. I still don’t know why Kessler didn’t go through the motions of showing that he was still interested in fighting, because he could have fought pretty much anyone and it would show that he was still serious about his career.
“I am sitting by the phone, hoping something is going to happen soon – I want a decider with Carl,” Kessler said via Ringside.
I hope Hearn isn’t thinking about putting Froch-Kessler 3 in Wembley Stadium, because I can see this one not selling well. I wouldn’t be surprised if it only sells one-fourth of the stadium. In that case it’ll be a huge waste for Hearn to stage the fight there.
The smart thing to do would be for Hearn to tell Kessler to at least fight one body in the next month before he goes and announces a Froch-Kessler 3 fight. By Kessler fighting someone, the casual boxing fans will think he’s still relevant and not just some guy that is looking to finish out his career with another payday fight against Froch.
Obviously, it would better if Kessler fought someone good in the top 10 before he fought Froch again, but I can’t see that happening. Kessler looked so awful last year against Froch that I think Kessler would lose to a lot of top 10 contenders at this point.