Froch: 169.7 lbs
Kessler: 166.7 lbs
Prediction: Three years is a lifetime in boxing, and that’s the period since these two elite super-middleweights faced each other in arguably the best, and definitely most competitive, bout of the Super Six tournament.
Since the first clash, both men have posted winning records. Kessler has a streak of three straight KOs over Mehdi Bouadla, Allan Green and Brian McGee. On the other hand, Froch suffered a defeat at the hands of Andre Ward, but also notched dominant wins over Lucian Bute and a hapless Yusef Mack.
Although both men are just outside of their physical primes in their mid-30s, Froch has not had to deal with the serious injuries that have plagued Kessler (shoulder, eye). The past few years have shown a steep decline in Kessler’s once ramrod jab, a weapon that served him well in the first Froch fight. It will need to reappear, because if the relentless Cobra of the Bute fight shows up, Kessler will have major problems getting the room he needs to punch effectively. Once inside, Froch holds a massive punching edge.
While it is a safe pick, I’m going with Carl Froch via seventh round TKO. Although Kessler’s never been stopped, I expect Froch to make it an inside battle instead of the stretches of technical gamemanship we saw in the first fight. Froch won’t need to do that with Kessler’s jab not being what it once was.
Kessler will be dangerous, but Froch’s game has been elevated by the Bute win and he should be too much for the Viking Warrior to overcome.