Originally written on The Queensbury Rules  |  Last updated 10/14/14
Carl_froch_press_2f57
Anyone who thought Mikkel Kessler was "done" as an elite boxer coming into his rematch with Carl Froch got a very welcome wake-up call Saturday on HBO. It wasn't enough to beat his 168-pound rival Froch, who won a unanimous decision in London before a delirious crowd. But it was enough to at least equal, and, in my view, surpass their 2010 Fight of the Year contender. I was in the minority that scored the bout a draw; the 118-110 scorecard was bad, but the other two, 116-112 and 115-113, were well within reason. Froch got off to a hot start, working his jab and controlling distance smartly, and by the 3rd Kessler appeared flummoxed. Knowing that Kessler can be mentally fragile at times, this had the look of going downhill for him fast, and his bruised and bloody visage was evidence of what was happening to him physically. But Kessler relaxed and began to dial in left hooks and his own excellent jab, all while getting closer to Froch. He took over some of the early-middle rounds before trading too much in the 7th, when Froch did the heavier damage in an excellent round. The 8th was all Froch, with the 9th and 10th more seesaw affairs as Froch slowed down a little. The 11th was shocking: A Kessler combination rocked Froch badly, only for Froch to regain his senses and storm back by round's end. And in the 12th, Froch built on that momentum, rocking Froch right back and nearly sending him down before Kessler held on, literally and figuratively, until the final bell. Froch has options now, and the 18-19,000 on hand in London shows what kind of economic leverage he can exert to get his way. He could do it again with Kessler, with a third bout to settle the score once and for all rather than leaving the series tied 1-1. Light heavyweight Bernard Hopkins wants Froch. And HBO bought this bout because they want the winner to face their golden boy, super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who has defeated both Kessler and Froch. (HBO's commentary was ridiculously Ward-centric, and Ward himself, usually a sharp analyst, called the fight like Froch wasn't responsible for anything happening; it was all about what Kessler wasn't doing. It got very, very old.) After the fight, it sounded more like Froch was leaning toward Kessler because their match-up was more fan-friendly, and he's right. Froch has reestablished himself as a viable opponent for Ward now, but if Ward is going to be a sissy about it and not go overseas for the bout -- and he indicated in post-fight comments he didn't have to, a sign of his golden boy status with HBO -- I'm all for Froch-Kessler III. We've seen it twice. It was terrific both times, high-level action for 24 rounds. Why wouldn't it be again?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Saints benching former first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro

Magic Johnson wants Lakers to lose for high draft pick

White Sox load up, look interesting, remain nimble

Jerry Jones: I'm for two more playoff teams right now

Cubs acquire Miguel Montero from Diamondbacks

Cam Newton suffers two lower back fractures in car accident

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Pirates re-sign Francisco Liriano to 3-year deal

Mark Jackson calls out Warriors owner during Sunday sermon

Johnny Manziel reportedly to start for Browns in Week 15

Brandon Marshall on Cutler: I would have buyer’s remorse, too

Report: Cardinals, Yankees may get involved on Max Scherzer

Kobe: If Lakers were the Titanic, I’d go down with that

NFC playoff picture, Week 15: 49ers drop from contention

Sean Payton calls more than 10 players in for ‘review’

Woodson wants Jim Harbaugh to coach Michigan over Raiders

MLS Cup sees over 50%increase in viewership from 2013

Glazer: ESPN are ‘lying bastards’ over stealing Manziel report

JJ Watt featured on South Park holiday episode

Urban Meyer's wife cried tears of joy when OSU made Playoff

Kevin Klein loses part of his ear, scores game-winning goal

Jay-Z left in disbelief by LeBron's ridiculous fadeaway

NFL playoff hopefuls: Sling it at your own risk

Goodell named finalist for TIME's Person of the Year

Big Ten fans mass-ordering NJIT shirts to troll Michigan

Boxing News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

White Sox load up, look interesting, remain nimble

NFC playoff picture, Week 15: 49ers drop from contention

Glazer rips ESPN over Manziel report

Cam Newton involved in accident

Report: Manziel to start for Browns

Aaron Rodgers the favorite for MVP?

LeBron breached protocol putting his arm around Kate

Fletcher Cox introduces himself to the NFL

Lynch: Media will keep him out of Canton

Gina Carano, Henry Cavill break up again

Rondo: I'm a top-three NBA player

11 amazing NFL stats from Week 14

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.