By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
CARL FROCH says his clash with Mikkel Kessler next month will go down as one of the most exciting in boxing history.
IBF champion Froch expects a “brutal” bout with Dane Kessler in the super-middleweight world title clash, as he goes for revenge at the O2 Arena in London on May 25.
The Cobra believes he will avenge a points loss to Kessler in Denmark three years ago and capture his rival champion’s WBA belt.
But Froch, 35, is bracing himself for a ferocious scrap with Kessler, 34, and is expecting it to be every bit as intense as the 1985 middleweight title classic between Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns.
Both Americans went at it from the opening bell in what is regarded as the best first round of any big fight in history.
After three incredible rounds, during which both men had their wobbly moments, Hagler won by stoppage.
Nottingham hero Froch is preparing himself for a similar toe-to-toe tussle with Kessler, who he expects will not take a backwards step at any point in the fight.
He said: “If we come out from round one both trying to prove a point, it could be one of those where, in two or three rounds, you see that much action you think there’s no way this is going to go 12 rounds.
“If that happens, the knockout’s going to come for one of us. I’d like to think it will be me knocking him out – I strongly believe I’ve got what it takes to do that.
“If he comes out firing, I’m not going to sit back and let him get some confidence, because then that’s the fight lost. I’ve got to fight fire with fire.
“So potentially, this could be another Hagler-Hearns, it could even eclipse that.
"It could be brutal and vicious from round one.
“That will really be round 13 straight away for us as we’ve been in there and shared 12 rounds with each other, we know what we’re about, we know what to expect.
“If it does go how I think it might, which is quite worrying, it’s going to be f***ing brutal – and I’m not just saying that to put bums on seats because it’s sold out and it’s going to be a big box-office hit.”
Sky Box Office is screening a fight for the first time in two years after being turned off pay-per-view boxing by David Haye’s display against Wladimir Klitschko in 2011.
Haye’s last heavyweight title fight was a let-down – but Froch reckons his clash with Kessler will be a much-needed boost for British boxing.
He said: “People are going to get value for money. People have been upset in the past about pay-per-view fights because they got sold a lie or an illusion.
“But this time there will be no gimmicks or people rolling around on the floor and slapping each other in the face.”
Froch, a three-time world champion, reckons his success is down to being “a hard b*****d” – something he insists is not about to change.
He said: "I'm not the most skilful out there, or the most technically proficient.
“I’m not going to throw my hands up and say I’m Sugar Ray Robinson or Floyd Mayweather because the best fighters don’t really get hit by shots.
“As a professional, you have to be a hard b*****d, you have to be able to take a shot and I’ve proven that time and time again.”