The biggest fight to occur in the UK this year takes place on Saturday night and you’ll need some money on it to settle the pay-per-view fee!
Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler meet for the second time after the Dane edged their first encounter on the score cards but not before a real war had broken out between these two experienced warriors.
Before I get my teeth into that fight, though, I’m going to take a little look at the other big re-match happening on the bill at the O2 Arena, which sees Tony Bellew going up against Isaac Chilemba.
The Bomber had been well fancied to win this world title eliminator first time around but was actually very lucky not to lose on points after being made to miss badly for the entire bout with wild, uneducated, swinging punches.
And yet despite being taken to school in his home town, Bellew is still the bookies’ 31/50 favourite to win the re-match, with Chilemba a 7/5 outsider.
The only thing that can possibly be influencing these odds is the fact that Chilemba is once again having to fight away from home, but it would be a brave man to bet against the visitor this time around.
In fact, I believe that the likeable Scouser has missed his chance to beat Chilemba.
Before the first contest, Chilemba had reportedly been ill and also showed signs of nerves, which led to him giving away some crucial early rounds.
Take away that slow start and for me, Chilemba would have won at a canter.
That said, Bellew has managed to keep his overly active jaw under control in the build-up to the return, which hopefully means he’ll be training hard and not getting himself into the frenzy of rage which can quite often make him forget any gameplans he and his team may have devised.
Both fighters will have made improvements and adjustments, but in my opinion, Chilemba is just a more skilled and well-rounded fighter who will give Bellew fits for a second time.
The one thing Chilemba didn’t display in the first fight was an abundance of power so a KO victory in his favour seems unlikely, but a more than tasty 9/4 on him winning on points should be seriously considered, even by the staunchest of Bomber fans.
And so to the big one.
Still to this day, Froch maintains that had his first fight with Kessler been staged in the UK, he would have got the decision.
I happen to disagree with the Cobra as I had the Viking Warrior up by a couple of points when the final bell rang that night.
Is this like the Bellew fight, though? Will history repeat itself again or can the vanquished man come good in the return?
In this instance, I see the Brit coming out on top.
Froch has been busier lately both in terms of the amount of fights he has had and the way he fights in the ring.
Gone are the days of the Sheriff of Nottingham needing five rounds just to warm up (as we saw against Jermain Taylor).
Now he has the stamina, the strength, and most importantly the confidence to go full steam ahead right from the first bell.
I see Froch pushing the action early in this bout and forcing Kessler on to the back foot, where he isn’t comfortable.
These tactics could easily lead to a stoppage for Froch near rounds seven to nine at odds of 5/1, which would return £120 for any new customers successfully backing it with their free £20 bet after regsitering.
If that’s a bit too much of a punt for you, the 8/5 for the fight to go less than ten rounds could prove a viable alternative.
However, my pick is for Froch to win clearly on points.
Kessler is rarely ever hurt and when he does get caught, he is savvy enough to know how to survive, so for me, Froch on points at 7/5 – hedged with a mid-rounds KO for the UK fighter – is how to play this one.
But however it pans out, be sure to pay up and then sit back and watch what could be one of the best fights ever seen on these shores.