Blogs & Opinion


Mikkel Kessler is looking in good shape, says Johnny Nelson

Johnny Nelson Posted 15th April 2013 view comments

On last week's Ringside you saw me travel to Copenhagen to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Mikkel Kessler is shaping up for his May 25 rematch with Carl Froch.

You can watch some footage from my trip again here.

Kessler: Will want a war with Froch on May 25, says Johnny

Kessler: Will want a war with Froch on May 25, says Johnny

While I was in the gym watching Kessler in action it struck me how similar he is to Froch, in terms of his attitude to training and the amount of work and commitment he puts into getting himself ready for a big fight.

Between sessions I got the chance to chat to him about his opponent and Kessler, as he has been since the fight was announced, was very respectful of Froch - even when the cameras weren't rolling! I got the impression Kessler is really looking forward to the fight and is very confident he'll come out on top.

It struck me how similar Kessler is to Froch, in terms of his attitude and the amount of work and commitment he puts into preparing for a big fight.

Johnny Nelson
Quotes of the week

I also got to speak with Kessler's trainer, Jimmy Montoya. The pair of them seem to work well together and in Montoya Kessler has found someone who can motivate him, inspire him and push him to new levels in the gym.

During my time there they were focussing on getting solid shots in but it's clear they have a game-plan in place to stop Froch fighting the way he wants to as well.

We saw when Froch and Kessler first fought in April 2010 that Kessler wants to go toe-to-toe with his opponent, while Froch's best chances of success are if he gets inside, does his work and then gets out.

Now, Kessler, as he did in the first bout, wants to make it a war with the Nottingham man and dominate the centre of the ring again. When Froch moved in and out during that first fight he disrupted Kessler and prevented him from working at a pace. That frustrated the Dane and Froch was actually out-boxing him for periods midway through that fight.

So, this time Kessler's focus is on cutting off the ring, closing Froch down and keeping the pressure on him. They were working on that in the gym while I was there - but it will be interesting to see whether they can pull it off on the night, because of course Froch will be trying to implement his own tactics as well.

Workout

Also in Kessler's gym was former European light heavyweight champion Danny McIntosh. The experienced English boxer is acting as a sparring partner for Kessler - and he told me he's loving the opportunity of training and fighting with the WBA champion.

Normally in Europe they like to break their sparring partners down, physically and mentally. To me, that doesn't make any sense - surely you want your sparring partners on a high so they perform to the best of their ability against you?

Well, that's exactly how Kessler feels as well. Danny told me he's been treated to meals out and put up in nice accommodation by Kessler's camp. He's relishing his role out there and, as a result, giving Kessler some good workouts in the ring.

We'll see whether all that hard work pays off next month.

This week I'll get to see the other side of the coin when I travel to Froch's training camp to gauge how his preparations are going.

I'm sure he'll be working just as hard as his Danish opponent - and seeing the amount of commitment each of them is putting into this fight is really whetting my appetite for this huge bout.

It's going to be a great night at the O2 next month!

back to top

Other Boxing Experts:

Latest Posts in Boxing:

Jamie Moore

Blackpool shock?

Jamie Moore goes through the eight-strong Prizefighter line-up and of course, picks his winner....

Latest News RSS feeds

Smith: I'll beat 'old' Abraham

Paul Smith believes Arthur Abraham is past his best and plans to pull off a convincing win over the WBO champion.

Floyd: Manny deal not done yet

Floyd Mayweather Jr has poured cold water on recent reports claiming a mega-fight with Manny Pacquiao has been agreed.

Limond faces Jenkins in Leeds

Willie Limond will defend his British light-welterweight title against Chris Jenkins on April 11, live on Sky Sports.

Smith receives Eubank support

Paul Smith received advice from former world champion Chris Eubank ahead of his rematch with WBO king Arthur Abraham.

Rose shock on Valentine's Day

Brian Rose was controversially stopped in the first round by Carson Jones in front of his home crowd in Blackpool.

Features

Prizefighters: Meet the middleweights who will be scrapping for success in Blackpool

Prizefighters: Meet the middleweights who will be scrapping for success in Blackpool

There will be no love lost on Valentine's Day as eight middleweights gather in Blackpool for Prizefighter.

Prizefighter has produced plenty of drama since it started in 2008

Prizefighter has produced plenty of drama since it started in 2008

Prizefighter is back on Sky Sports this weekend and we have marked it's return by looking back at memorable moments in the tournament's history.

Isaac Chamberlain spent a month sparring Deontay Wilder before his pro debut

Isaac Chamberlain spent a month sparring Deontay Wilder before his pro debut

Spending a month with Deontay Wilder in Alabama before his world title fight is not the usual preparation for a 20-year-old Londoner ahead of his pro debut.