Froch seeks to avenge loss to Kessler

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LONDON (AP) - Three years after losing his unbeaten record and WBC super-middleweight title to Danish fighter Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch has the chance to make amends at home.

Froch and Kessler meet Saturday night at London's O2 Arena in a unification bout. Froch holds the IBF title and Kessler is the current WBA champion.

Since losing on points to Kessler after 12 brutal rounds in Denmark in 2010, Froch has enjoyed an impressive resurgence and improved his career record to 30-2.

The English fighter regained his WBC title with a unanimous victory over Arthur Abraham in the Super Six Series, stopped the previously unbeaten Lucian Bute to win the IBF crown and defended that belt with a convincing win over Yusaf Mack in three rounds.

If the 35-year-old Froch could avenge his loss to Kessler and add the WBA crown to his IBF title, he would hold two of the major super-middleweight titles concurrently for the first time in his career and secure his status as one of the best fighters in his class.

"For the past 14 weeks, I haven't taken my foot off the gas," Froch said Friday. "The rematch with Kessler has been in the back of my mind. I want to get revenge and get myself back to the position where I can say that night in Denmark should never have happened."

The pair exchanged some heated words at the weigh-in, where Kessler came in at 166 pounds and Froch weighed 167 pounds.

"I know, and Mikkel knows, that I wasn't at my best in the first fight, and it was one of the things that I was letting him know (during the weigh-in)," Froch said. "I will be at my best tomorrow night, and I have told him not to be too brave, because he will be in for a shock."

The 33-year-old Dane has won 46 of his 48 fights, but since his victory over Froch has only fought three times and against much lesser opponents.

"I wanted this fight and I don't think there is a bigger one in the world right now," Kessler said. "I shook Carl's hand and said I'll fight him in his home country. I'm a man of my word and that's why I'm here.

"I feel fast, hungry, better than ever before. I've never had the IBF title. You want to try new things in life, and I want to show Carl and all his boxing fans that I'm better than him."

The fight got added hype this week when Froch tweeted he would be prepared to "kill" Kessler to win. He later apologized for the comment.

The winner is likely to seek a fight against Andre Ward, who has beaten Kessler and Froch.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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