Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mikkel's Taken My Best So I Must Hit Harder; Carl Froch Tells Mihir Bose Exactly How He'll Get Revenge Tomorrow after Losing His First Fight with the Battle-Hardened Dane

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mikkel's Taken My Best So I Must Hit Harder; Carl Froch Tells Mihir Bose Exactly How He'll Get Revenge Tomorrow after Losing His First Fight with the Battle-Hardened Dane

Article excerpt

Byline: Mihir Bose

CARL FROCH would never cast himself in the mould of Muhammad Ali. But tomorrow, when he defends his IBF super-middleweight title against Mikkel Kessler at the O2 Arena, he is willing to borrow one habit of the greatest: predict what round he will win the fight.

"I am going to stop Kessler in round eight, nine or 10," says Froch. "I can't see it going the distance. My gameplan is in my head. When I close my eyes I visualise what I need to do from round one: get a good start and be fast and strong. All I need to do is concentrate early on and make sure I am jabbing with my right hand and am very busy.

"Then as the fight draws to the late rounds I will knock him out. I can't see him staying with me."

But even as Froch makes this confident prediction, he acknowledges that his Danish foe, who has featured in Froch's dreams the last few days, will take some beating.

"He is very fit, strong and tough," says Froch. "I need to be busier than I have been in other fights. We are both cut from the same cloth, both warriors.

Kessler can fight inside up close, can punch hard and he has taken my best punches in the past. So I need to give him more than my best punch, three or four times my best punch like I did against Lucian Bute."

And in that fight last May, as Froch reminds me, Bute was unbeaten in 30 fights, with 24 knockouts.

"Not only did I win," he says. "I absolutely obliterated him, smashed him to pieces [a technical knockout in round five]. I was the underdog, everybody expected me to lose that fight."

Froch did lose to Kessler in 2010 but quickly points to mitigating factors.

"I wasn't 100 per cent," he says. "The volcanic ash cloud in Iceland grounded all flights and I was told the fight was cancelled. I had a barbecue with friends and family, ate junk food and fizzy pop with sugar. …

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