LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Carl Froch got his revenge with victory over Denmark's Mikkel Kessler in a unanimous points decision to retain the IBF super middleweight title in a thrilling clash at a packed 02 Arena on Saturday.
The 35-year-old Froch, who lost to Kessler in Denmark three years ago, put on a typically gutsy performance to win with a scorecard that read 115-113, 116-112 and 118-110 in favor of the Nottingham fighter to the delight of the 20,000 crowd.
Froch's record is now 31-2, with his only other defeat coming at the hands of American Andre Ward in Atlantic City in 2011, compared to Kessler's 46-3 after an action-packed fight that saw the Dane hanging on near the end of the final round.
"It feels really, really good, only thing that feels bad is I have had to beat a real gentleman and a nice man, Mikkel Kessler," Froch told Sky Sports. "It's 1-1 now, who knows do you fancy a third one? Best of three maybe?
"I deserved to win, but he won't lie down for any man and massive respect to him," added Froch before turning his thoughts to a possible rematch with unbeaten WBA title holder Ward who was watching at ringside.
"The winner of this fight should be moving on to avenge their other loss and now I move on to the second best boxer in the world," said Froch. "Let's get Andre Ward over to the UK and fight him here."
The 34-year-old Kessler, whose only other defeats were against unbeaten Welshman Joe Calzaghe in 2007 and Ward in 2009, said: "I gave it my all but didn't have the energy and couldn't cope with Carl. It is nice to fight such a warrior."
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)