Boxing


Froch-Kessler teleconference highlights

Kessler vs FrochSuper Six World Boxing Classic competitors Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler along with their promoters Mick Hennessy and Kalle Sauerland participated in an international media conference call to discuss their crucial Group Stage 2 bout in the tournament on Saturday, April 24 on SHOWTIMEģ (9 p.m., ET/PT, same-day delay) from MCH Arena, in Herning, Denmark. After one round in the tournament, Froch (26-0, 20 KOs) has two points, while Kessler (42-2, 32 KOs), who has never lost a fight in his hometown of Denmark, needs a victory to get on the board. The Super Six World Boxing Classic bout will be co-promoted by Hennessy Sports and Sauerland Event.

Carl Froch: ďItís good to fight a proud man like Mikkel Kessler. Itís a great opportunity for me. Iím already very established on a world-class level so I donít have much to prove. Iíve beaten Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor and then Andre Dirrell, and we all saw what Dirrell did to Arthur Abraham. I think Iím already established as a world-class fighter so I donít have to give myself any accolades. Itís already there. I just have to deal with Mikkel Kessler, cement my super stardom and do what I have to do on April 24, cement my lead in the Super Six World Boxing Classic, which is a fantastic tournament and Iím proud to be a part of it..

ďYou have six super elite fighters in this tournament and so far all the fights have been pretty close, and in some you could not even pick a winner. None of the results have totally shocked me to be honest. I can take the lead in this but Andre Ward still has another fight. I think (Allan) Green can win that fight. Heís obviously got the punching power. But Iíve obviously got the ability to be a front-runner in this tournament.

ďWeíre both two proud athletes at the top of our game and we know whatís on the line here, so one thing is for sure, youíre not going to get any cheap talk from either of us. And I think Mikkel will back me up on that.Ē

Can you get motivated to fight a guy that you generally seem to like?

ďOf course. Iíve boxed friends before. I boxed a guy named Damon Hague (in 2004) for the British title and I almost decapitated him in the first round and I won the fight with a knockout. One week later I was at his house having dinner with him so thatís not going to be a problem, I can assure you.

What makes you a better boxer than Mikkel Kessler?

ďStronger, quicker, a champion, undefeated, taller, more elusive. Thatís it. Thereís your answer.

ďI donít feel like I need the knockout. I donít need to look for the knockout. Iím a big puncher. If the knockout comes it comes, but I donít feel like I need a knockout to win. Iím the WBC champion. Itís an honorable title and an honorable governing body and I donít go into any fight expecting to have to knock someone out.

ďI donít think you can really put a finger on a puncherís power. Itís just something youíre born with like a good chin. There obviously are some technical issues going on. Iíve got little chicken legs and a very big back so I have to land my punches accurately and correctly and with a lot of force behind them. My dad was strong and my granddad was very strong. I think it was just past down through the genes.

ďI really donít need the fan support. Itís obviously a great feeling to have people follow you all around the world to watch you fight, but at the end of the day when the bell goes you donít hear too much anyway. Youíre just so concentrated on your opponent. If the crowd is cheering against me that is fine. The Danes that I have met have been great so Iím not expecting any kind of animosity at all.

ďThis fight has nothing to do with Dirrell and everything to do with Kessler. The fight with Dirrell was close because Dirrell didnít want the fight. He was running and holding and he got points deducted because of it. He was bitching and moaning and looking to the referee for help against Abraham. That my fight with him was close is totally irrelevant because we both spent the whole fight running around the ring trying to make the fight happen. It was an unfortunate set of circumstance what happened to Arthur Abraham. I donít think Arthur knew what had happened and accidentally punched him in the face when he was on the floor not realizing he was down. Thatís my opinion. Arthur Abraham is an honorable man in my opinion and not a cheat. But thatís just my opinion and everyone has their own opinion of it. But thatís got nothing to do with myself or Mikkel Kessler.Ē

Did you get used to having the SHOWTIME guys around during the filming of Fight Camp 360?

ďItís not I like it or dislike it. The guys who do it are perfect gentleman, they really are. And they donít do anything without asking you first. I let them come into the house and I let them come over to the hotel. The SHOWTIME crew are all gentlemen and I have to say I quite enjoy it. I canít say Iíd do it next week, but I donít mind doing it. Theyíre just so professional. You get a little bit about the other fighters watching it, but itís not what these guys do out of the ring thatís important but what they do in the ring.

I donít really draw too much from it, but it is compelling viewing.

ďMikkel Kessler doesnít run around the ring. I do expect fireworks and I know Kalle reckons there will be fireworks. Mikkel Kessler is going to have to box and move and keep out of the way. If he does that I might even try to jab and move. Styles make fights and I think itís going to be an all-out fight. Itís going to be a totally different fight than I had with Andre Dirrell.

ďMy undefeated record means everything to me. Some people look at knockout ratios but I fight to win. An unblemished record is very important to me.Ē

Mikkel Kessler:

ďItís a big opportunity to be fighting for a world title again. You know, I had to go back to boxing school after my last fight. Iím so happy to be in this tournament with another chance to show all my boxing fans that I am the best.

ďI learned from my mistakes after the Ward fight. I learned I made mistakes outside the ring. I had to pick my sparring partners better three or four weeks out of the fight. I just feel Iím better than ever now. Iím ready to fight this fight, I really canít wait.

ďIn the Ward fight I was really afraid of getting disqualified, like you saw with Abraham in his last fight. I was just very afraid if I was going to head-butt him or hit him with an elbow so I was a little bit tentative in that fight, but I will never be that again.

ďOf course there were a lot of mistakes in my last might. I feel like a new fighter. I hope Carl is ready because Iíve trained very hard the last three months. Iím in my best shape ever and Iím ready to fight.

ďI donít like to talk about money. But, when Iím the ring, Iíd rather have a belt than no money.

ďI have to change a lot of tactics, of course, but I canít reveal that right now.

ďItís nice not to be the favorite in this tournament. Like Kalle said, Iím like a young warrior again. And Iím super hungry again. Iím very hungry. Iím back and Iím very sharp at this time. I made my mistake and I just want to get back up and show all my boxing fans from around the world that I am the best super middleweight in the world.Ē

Mick Hennessey:

ďI hope Carl starts to get the accolades he deserves. Weíve got some great fighters over here in the UK but Carl is by far the best of them. And the most complete package, as well. (Carl) can box, he can fight, heís got a great chin, heís got a massive heart and he can knock you out with either hand. There are always questions from the worldís media, but he has answered them time and time again. And I would like to finally see him get the credit that he deserves. These two are both warriors and we know this is going to be a great night of boxing.Ē

Kalle Sauerland:

ďThis will be the biggest fight ever in Denmark. We had 26,000 tickets and we were completely sold out of our allocation of tickets in about three hours. We think we may get about 1,000 back to be put on sale so there may actually still be a chance for people to see this fight live.

ďItís beyond anything weíve ever seen. Itís beyond the Tyson-(Brian) Nielsen fight that was here (in 2001). I think it may go down as one of the top five moments in sports history in Denmark.

ďCarl has set this up quite nicely for us. He is undefeated and we are now the underdogs and we like being that. Mikkel is like a young hungry warrior again. Weíre not going to be doing too much talking but there really are going to be fireworks when these two come together.

ďWe are not doing a lot of talking on this call as you can see. We will do all the talking in the ring. We are just supremely confident.Ē

Article posted on 09.04.2010



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