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Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 19:19 UK

Carl Froch's bout with Mikkel Kessler to defy ash cloud

Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - WBC super-middleweight title
Date: Saturday 24 April, approx. 2130 BST Venue: Herning, Denmark
Coverage: Live coverage on Primetime (Sky channel 480), BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Nottingham, live text commentary on BBC Sport website.

Froch preparations affected by flight ban

By Ben Dirs

Carl Froch's clash with Mikkel Kessler will go ahead in Denmark on Saturday, despite the travel havoc across Europe caused by a volcanic ash cloud.

Nottingham's Froch, 32, had earlier said he wanted the fight to be put back "a couple of weeks" so that his fans and family would be able to attend.

But Froch will be flown in by private jet on Tuesday afternoon.

Froch defends his WBC super-middleweight crown and the fight is also part of the Super Six tournament.

"We are delighted to have things sorted out and bring the 'Cobra' to Herning for his Super Six showdown with Mikkel Kessler," said Kessler's promoter Kalle Sauerland.

"He will manage to defy one volcano by hiring a private jet, but he will be in trouble when another volcano - the 'Viking Volcano' - erupts in the ring on Saturday night."

606: DEBATE

In an official press statement, Froch said he was "happy that all travel arrangements were sorted" and that he "knew he was going to get there somehow", but in an earlier interview with BBC East Midlands Today he said it would "suit him to reschedule".

Froch added: "It is frustrating, I was supposed to fly out Saturday. In my mind now I'm starting to switch off a little bit and starting to think maybe the fight's not happening, which is a bad thing because once I start switching off mentally then if it does happen I'm not going to be fully on my game.

"I'd rather put it back a couple of weeks and know that all my fans and family and friends can be out there, but at the minute I'm being dictated to by the paymasters, which is [American network] Showtime TV and Team Sauerland."

Kessler said: "I am glad that Froch has finally decided to show up. Maybe he is a little scared. I don't know and I don't care - I will knock him out on Saturday."

I've got Kessler, then Abraham, then I've got Ward or Dirrell again, a queue of people lining up to fight me

Carl Froch

Froch, who was due to fly to Denmark on Saturday, has vowed to become the first man to knock out Dane Kessler, telling BBC Sport: "He hasn't got a chance against me."

He added: "It makes for a humdinger. Kessler is going to be knocked out for the first time in his career, unless he's a lot tougher than I already think he is."

Froch, who is unbeaten in 26 professional encounters, will be making the third defence of his world title against Kessler, who was outpointed by Wales' former world champion Joe Calzaghe in 2007.

Froch won his first fight in American network Showtime's Super Six tournament, beating American Andre Dirrell, and a victory over 31-year-old Kessler would go a long way towards assuring him a semi-final spot.

Kessler, who has two defeats from 44 professional fights and was beaten in his first Super Six encounter on a technical decision after suffering cuts against Andre Ward, would face an uphill task to qualify were he to lose to Froch.

Froch commented: "Kessler's a great fighter, don't get me wrong, he's got a lot of things going for him, a lot of experience and he's strong and tough and knows how to box.

"He's a proud warrior but he's not had the best preparation for fighting me - Kessler's coming in off the back of a warm-up fight and a bad loss - so all you can do is wish him lucky really.

"We might see the best of Kessler but it will be the best of the last of him because he'll get beaten on the night by the best in the world.

"Early on he'll have a real strong go, he'll chuck everything at me, really have a fight but it won't be enough.

"I'm coming off the back of wins over Jean Pascal [who Froch beat in 2008 to claim the vacant WBC belt], who's now the WBC light-heavyweight champion of the world, and Jermain Taylor, who I pretty much finished off [Taylor was stopped by Germany's Arthur Abraham in his first Super Six fight and has since withdrawn from the tournament].

"Then I beat Andre Dirrell, who was the mandatory challenger for my belt. I've had three world-class, top-level performances on the spin and I'm going in against Kessler with that in the bank."

Froch added that he doubted Calzaghe would make a comeback, as has been touted in some sections of the media, despite the Welshman recently saying he was disillusioned by promotion and hitting out at Froch in an interview.

"Now Calzaghe is retired, he is scratching around thinking, 'what can I say about Carl Froch this week?'" stated Froch.

"He could be getting itchy feet but let's be honest, he's going to struggle to come back and if he does want to come back and fight me he needs to get in line.

"I've got Kessler, then Abraham, then I've got Ward or Dirrell again, a queue of people lining up to fight me.

"But he won't be back, he's finished and it's getting embarrassing for him now."



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