• Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler

Kessler needles Froch: Calzaghe would beat you

ESPN staff
May 1, 2013
Mikkel Kessler is ready to go to war with Carl Froch © Getty Images

Mikkel Kessler has turned up the heat ahead of his forthcoming clash with Carl Froch - by suggesting Joe Calzaghe would win a fight with the British super-middleweight.

Froch, the IBF champion, has long struggled to fully escape the shadow of the undefeated Welshman - who opted to retire in 2009 without every facing the Nottingham fighter, despite numerous attempts from Froch to engineer a meeting.

WBC titleholder Kessler is in the rare position of having fought both men - losing to Calzaghe in Cardiff in 2007, before winning a narrow points decision over Froch in Copenhagen three years later - and believes that Calzaghe would perhaps have edged any contest between two very different fighters.

"It is difficult to say who is best," Kessler said, according to the Daily Mail. "Joe was not a puncher - he was fast but he was hitting with the inside of his glove but he got the points when they landed. He was mentally strong. He was in very good shape all the time.

"Carl is more of a fighter and throws lots of punches one after the other. He wants to trade punches. If Carl was in there throwing his big punches and his uppercuts then he would have hurt Joe.

"Who would win out of those two? I would think Calzaghe. Maybe."

Kessler and Froch are good friends, having stayed in touch since their first fight, meaning the trash talk before their May 25 rematch is unlikely to get particularly heated.

Nevertheless, the Dane is confident in his chances - and knows that spectators at the O2 Arena are going to be in for an exciting fight.

"I feel I am a better boxer and a better fighter than Carl," Kessler added.

"[After the first fight] Carl was annoyed because he felt I got a hometown decision. But I think he now accepts I won it fair and square.

"It was a great contest. We fought each other like dogs of war. It will be the same again in London. This is not going to be one of those dull fights where the boxers stare at each other for 12 rounds. Both Carl and I will go at it.

"The audience are in for a fantastic night because I'm not taking a single step backwards and I know Carl won't either."

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