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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kessler Outpoints Froch, Wins WBC Super Middleweight Championship

After suffering a one-sided defeat to Andre Ward in his last bout, Mikkel Kessler (43-2, 32 KO's) responded superbly, winning a 12 round unanimous decision against Carl Froch (26-1, 20 KO's) in Group Stage 2 of Showtime's "Super Six" Tournament. The official scores were 117-111, 115-113 and 116-112.

Kessler, 31, and Froch, 32, battled fiercely the entire bout. In the opening round, Kessler pressed the action and scored with a right to the body. Kessler utilized his left jab, while using various angles when charging Froch. In contrast, Froch consistently fired his left jab to keep Kessler from pressuring him.

In round two, Kessler backed Froch into the corner, but Froch jabbed his way out. Then, Kessler connected with a left hook to the body. Few punches landed cleanly in the round, although the majority of them came from Kessler.

In the beginning of the third round, Froch stood his ground and jabbed effectively, but Kessler was very active, throwing and landing hard rights to the body. Later in the round, Froch connected with an overhand right to Kessler's head.

Both fighters increased their punch output in the fourth round. Froch hammered Kessler with a clean overhand right. After that, Froch successfully struck him with a lunging right uppercut.

Froch backed Kessler into the corner when he connected with a solid left hook in round five. Yet, Kessler kept charging forward, but he abandoned his use of angles. As a result, Froch rocked Kessler with powerful overhand right. Kessler answered moments later by connecting with his right hand, however, Froch landed the most effective punches in the round.

Kessler continued attacking in round six, scoring with rights and left hooks. It was a close, competitive round as both men went toe-to-toe. Again, Froch scored with overhand rights to Kessler's head.

Toward the end of round seven, Kessler landed a couple stinging left hooks followed by an overhand right to Froch's head.

Froch repeatedly used his left jab in the eighth round, but Kessler was busier and landed a damaging right hand blow to Froch's nose, which momentarily buckled the WBC champion. From there, Kessler threw a barrage of punches as he trapped Froch in the corner.

In the ninth round, Kessler maintained a steady body assault, connecting again with a right to the body. Froch's punches were a bit wild and seemed to have lost some steam, while Kessler increased his pace.

Kessler sustained an enormous cut above his left eye in the tenth round, which bled rapidly. Froch settled down and exchanged with Kessler at a furious pace. Next, Froch landed a massive left hook to Kessler's head. Still, Kessler came on strong in the final seconds, landing a potent straight right.

In the eleventh round, Froch hurt Kessler with a counter right. Soon after, Kessler stunned Froch with an overhand right.

Both Kessler and Froch showcased their entire offensive skill set in the twelfth and final round. Neither man could have fought with greater intensity, as a bloodied Kessler dazed Froch with huge left hooks. Then, Froch bewildered Kessler with a series of straight rights and left hooks that landed precisely on Kessler's chin. Nevertheless, Kessler displayed much more energy than Froch in the final minute, and unleashed a torrent of punches while Froch lay on the ropes.

In Group Stage 3, Mikkel Kessler will square off against Allan Green, who replaced Jermain Taylor, while Carl Froch will battle Arthur Abraham. Also, Andre Ward takes on Andre Dirrell.

Currently, the "Super Six" standings are as follows:

Arthur Abraham - 3 points (1-1, 1 KO)
Carl Froch - 2 points (1-1)
Andre Ward - 2 points (1-0)
Jermain Taylor - 0 points (0-1) *Replaced by Allan Green, who will face Andre Ward to conclude
Group Stage 2*
Andre Dirrell - 2 points (1-1)
Mikkel Kessler - 2 points (1-1)

Tournament Rules

Each fighter will have the opportunity to compete against one another in a series of scheduled twelve round bouts during the first three “Group Stages” of the tournament. There is also a point system in place:

A win is 2 points (with a 1-point bonus for a KO/TKO).

A draw is 1 point for each fighter. A loss equals 0 points.

The four highest point scorers will move on to the semifinal rounds, while the two fighters with the least point totals will be eliminated. The winners of the semifinal bouts will meet in the final round of the championship series in early 2011.

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