WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel “The Viking Warrior” Kessler has lost only two fights in his professional boxing career. Those who defeated him, Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward, are certain to be in the boxing Hall of Fame one day.
On May 25 at O2 Arena in Greenwich, London, Kessler (46-2, 35 KOs) will take on a man that many believe will be the third boxer to beat him. Kessler disagrees, but defending IBF super middleweight champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch (30-2, 22 KOs), who lost to Kessler in 2010, is confident that their sequel will have a different ending.
“He’s in trouble. I’m gunning for him and I’ll be looking for the stoppage,” said Froch to Sky Sports in March. “I wasn’t one-hundred (for the first fight) and I still nearly beat him. Now I’m on the crest of a wave.”
Froch, 35, has a point. Last year he obliterated defending champion Lucian Bute in five rounds and destroyed Yusaf Mack.
Kessler, 34, has kept his head down and worked. After a series of injuries, he returned to the ring eighteen months ago and scored three consecutive knockouts.
In an exclusive interview for doghouseboxing.com, Kessler talked about his preparation for the Froch rematch, how his injuries have healed, and what will happen on May 25.
John J. Raspanti: Has your training camp differed for this fight?
Mikkel Kessler: My team is the same. But, of course, you do things differently ahead of each fight, depending on the opponent. I know what I have to do.
JJR: You've had some eye issues in the last few years. How are you feeling?
MK: I am in the best shape of my life. This will be my third fight in one year. I haven’t fought that many times for quite a while. So, I am in great shape!
JJR: Your eye is no longer an issue
MK: Yes, the eye is fine, no problems any more.
JJR: Froch is a year older than you. Many feel that you are the older fighter as far as wear and tear goes. How do you answer that?
MK: Like I said, I haven’t made three fights in a year in a long time. I’m in very good condition physically and I am mentally fresh, too.
JJR: How do you answer the age critics?
MK: My answer will be my performance in the ring.
JJR: How difficult is it to fight on the road?
MK: For me that’s no problem. I’ve fought in Australia, Germany, the US and in front of fifty-five thousand fans in Cardiff against Calzaghe. That’s what champions do, they travel to fight the very best…so for me that’s no problem at all.
JJR: Tell me how you see your fight with Froch playing out.
MK: All I can say is that I am going to win again. Don’t miss my fight with Froch on May twenty-fifth. It will be a war again!
JJR: Good luck Mikkel.
MK: Thank you John.
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