HERNING // Carl Froch has vowed to walk away from the high-profile Super Six tournament unless an agreement is honoured that his next fight be held in Britain. Froch claimed to be the victim of a hometown decision when he lost his WBC super-middleweight title to Mikkel Kessler in Herning, Denmark, on Saturday night.
The Nottingham boxer lost his first professional bout, bringing his record to 26-1, as Kessler won a thrilling fight by unanimous decision in their second Super Six group stage contest at the MCH Messecenter. Froch believed he won the fight and insisted afterwards that the verdict would have gone his way had it been on English soil. With a win and a loss from his two tournament outings, Froch next faces German-Armenian Arthur Abraham in his final group stage fight. The Englishman and Mick Hennessy, his promoter, claim to have a long-standing agreement that the fight would be held in Britain but Sauerland Events who promote both Kessler and Abraham are now claiming they want it in Berlin.
But Froch is having none of it. "I am adamant that the next fight, with Arthur Abraham, will be taking place in Britain," he said. "I won't be fighting in Germany, it's as simple as that. "It would mean me pulling out of the tournament if they forced me to fight in Berlin. So I want to get that straight from the start: it has already been agreed that I would fight at home, fight away and a fight back at home. It has been agreed with Ken Hershman at Showtime, the Super Six organisers.
"So my fight with Abraham is in England or the fight is not happening and will make a mockery of the tournament. It's as simple as that." Wilfried Sauerland, the German promoter, confirmed they want to take the Abraham-Froch fight to Germany, however, and insists any agreement was simply for the contest to be held in Europe. The argument is likely to be won or lost on financial grounds, with the fight likely to take place wherever it will earn the most revenue.
While Froch insists he is willing to abandon the tournament, he knows it is also his best chance of reclaiming the WBC title and even perhaps unifying it with the WBA belt. "As the Super Six World Boxing Classic rolls on and gets more interesting, a win against Abraham puts me in the semi-final and then there is the final," Froch said. "I can still be undisputed champion in my next three fights, let's not forget that. This fight is going to make me stronger, better and more determined."
Froch, who suffered a perforated eardrum in training, admitted he was not at his best against Kessler. He started slowly until a strong fifth round saw him hurt and floor Kessler though the referee did not judge it a knockdown. Froch battled on but seemed to be frustrated by the Dane until a thrilling last three rounds which culminated in both men going at it hammer and tongs in the final three minutes. It was Kessler whose work impressed the judges, however, as he took the win with scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 116-112. Kessler - who lost his WBA belt in his Super Six opener to Andre Ward and next faces another American in Allen Green - praised Froch's effort.
"It was a spectacular fight, Carl came to fight me and was a very, very physically strong fighter," he said. * PA