Tag Archives: Kessler

Mikkel Kessler Rematches Carl Froch @ O2, London

Dateline: May 25, Saturday, the O2 Arena in London. Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch look to reprise their first classic encounter 3 years back that featured paralyzing exchanges and dramatic shifts in momentum as they battled ferociously to the final bell.

Last Time Out

Last Time Out

Kessler pulled away in the championship rounds to edge a unanimous decision,  winning the battle as it were, yet losing the war when he was forced to withdraw from the Showtime tourney, citing double vision. Froch went on to fight in the finale against Andre Ward in Madison Square Garden, losing a tough decision where he finished as the stronger fighter.

After taking a year off for rest and recovery, Kessler has staged a comeback against lesser competition to win back his WBA title. Meanwhile, Froch continues to fight the best opposition in boxing today, dethroning undefeated P4P phenom Lucian Bute who had scarcely dropped a round in his dominant multiple IBF defenses.

As such, Froch is expected to be the favorite, but there is no counting out Mikkel Kessler yet. With a record of 46-2, 35 KO, he knows a win here will further cement his already stellar career when he retires. Carl Froch is up there in credentials as well, even while sporting the lessor record on paper of 30-2, 22 and the slightly older age, 35 to Kessler’s younger 34 years.

The title fight numbers favor Kessler at 10-2 to Froch’s 7-2 record, but numbers won’t tell the story of this fight. I expect Kessler to box smarter this time as the more “damaged” fighter. It remains to be seen if he can in fact win a fair decision in England, but he took the fight knowing that Carl Froch has never been knocked out nor even buzzed much while on his run at the top levels of boxing, so the money available for such a prestigious fight was just too tempting to pass up.

Froch for his part knows that he could have boxed a bit smarter going down the stretch last time. He’s grown as a fighter, using previously untapped ring smarts since the Kessler battle and knows he’s the stronger fighter on the upswing. Whether he has the skills to tap into that strength to beat Kessler is his unknown in this fight. While doing a textbook job on taking Lucian Bute out of his comfort zone with unbelievable pressure, Froch arguably cracked as well when he and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, engaged in terribly unseemly celebrations in the ring as the beleaguered out of his league referee , Earl Brown, administered a count to Bute after a knockdown. Such transgressions in properly officiated fights almost always result in a disqualification for the fighter who’s training team entered into the ring while the fight was still in process.

Could be a great fight with proper officiating that does justice to the high level these fighters will be operating at, so the BBB of C has a chance to correct their sloppy oversight of the Bute fight. The fighters have relatively clean styles, usually foul and controversy free, so their fights are usually fan friendly  throwbacks to textbook boxing and slugging in context to the past history of great fighters.

It’s Time for REAL Broadcast Volume Control

by Bobby Mac

OK, time to come clean.

I truly confess, mine ears and sensibilities never got along with the blithering sonorous proclamations handed down to captive viewing audiences by the imperious Howard Cosell.

Tip O' Toup

Tip O’ Toup

We only wanted to watch a good fight and here was some bald noggin sandwiched between a toupee and yeller suit trying to tell us what we were already watching. He was near clueless about the sport and often launched into stories unrelated to the ongoing ring action. What was that all about?

They did give Howie his own show and it was cancelled inside 3 months because nobody showed up to watch……….DUHHHHHHH!!!!!!

At least when my critics wish to skip over me, they are allowed to do so in complete freedom of choice since they are not held captive to this page for boxing content.

I was not alone. Numerous sports and entertainment figures as well as the general public clashed with Cosell‘s personality and broadcast style. Certainly he had his moments of prescience as we all do from time to time, and he was an icon for decades in boxing and near as recognizable figure as Ali himself. Yet he was only just this year elected to the IBHOF because it took 15 yrs for the bile he produced to settle out from his career.

I was reminded of those days most recently in the Showtime broadcast of Kessler/Froch. Gus Johnson has an annoying habit of barking into his shorts anytime a shot lands that he actually sees, leaping into dramatic hysteria about the fighter being hurt that was Cosell’s signature. 

Indeed, Froch landed a decent right hand on Kessler, but in this case Kessler immediately jumped on Froch, blasting him to the ropes, going for a finish as Johnson is still lagging on about Kessler being hurt.

Really? And Johnson got paid how much for that load?

Then there is the specter of fruitless attempts to reach into the screen to strangle Jim Lampley running off at the mouth about punch numbers as Max Kellerman preens for airspace with his Uncle Howie impersonations of nonsense.

Now, I’ve got two strong arms, so why can’t I throttle the two simultaneously as is needed to restore peace and harmony to the world? 

Sure, turn the volume down, but I’m trying to listen to the crowd, the punches, the exertions by the fighters, the instructions by the ref, and so forth to get a feel for the fight, so why do major broadcasters over-dub the sound of The Sport of Kings with what could best be described as fingernails screeching across a blackboard? 

Wouldn’t a popcorn machine popping in the background at least cost less, be more soothing, and induce some “Official Sponsors” to market flickering caption banners of related food and beverage products and give us a more palatable sound for the moment?

If not, why can’t we have a broadcast volume control to adjust the event noise separate from the broadcast, with me turning the broadcast down to a whisper….or less?

It’s no wonder boxing is losing market share to other sports. Good, God, man, at least put some mufflers on the gas bags and impose a word limit so we can watch the spectacle unfold in something resembling it’s proper context.

And make em speak Polish so I can at least hold out hope they really do know what they are talking about!