IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch added the WBA title to his belt haul with a superb display in a predicted all-out war with old rival Mikkel Kessler at the O2 Arena.
Froch came out like lightning from the start of the contest, using his stiff jab to keep Kessler at range for the first three rounds, which were duly banked as the Dane struggled to gain a foothold in the match-up.
The 35 year-old then engaged with Kessler in a close round that could have been scored either way, before regaining his composure in the fifth, having hurt ‘The Viking Warrior’ on a couple of occasions.
In the sixth, Kessler imposed his presence on the Nottingham man to make the scorecards close at halfway, but from then on Froch hardly let the fight slip as the pair had no problem trading in the centre of the ring.
Late on, Froch noticeably went for the stoppage as he himself predicted, although it could have backfired as Kessler wobbled him in the eleventh and ‘The Cobra’ had to endure a shaky end to the round as the WBA champion enjoyed his best three minutes.
The twelfth session started off slowly until exploding in the last two minutes as both warriors gave their all to the crowd – all of whom were on their feet knowing that they had witnessed something special from the two dogged operators.
At the end of the fight, the reactions said it all as Froch knew the result would be his and when the scorecards were read out, 118-110, 116-112, 115-113 could not be argued to the delight of those lucky enough to have been at the venue.
A return with Andre Ward could now be on the cards for Froch, who has just one defeat on his record that is yet to be avenged. In an interview with Sky Sports after the bout with Kessler, Froch stated that he would speak to promoter Eddie Hearn in the hope of bringing the American to the UK.