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Boxing: Froch wants Ward rematch

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Carl Froch on Sunday called on Andre Ward to meet him in a rematch after unanimously out-pointing Mikkel Kessler in a world super-middleweight title unification fight.

The Briton relieved Danish fighter Kessler of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super-middleweight title to add to his International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt after being awarded scores of 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 at the O2 Arena in London.

Froch, 35, dictated behind his jab and there were moments in the enthralling encounter when both traded toe-to-toe, exactly as they had done in their first fight three years ago which saw Kessler win on points in his homeland.

After avenging one blemish on his 33-fight record, Froch now wants to put right the other: a December 2011 points defeat to American Ward.

Ward, who does not hold a title after relinquishing the World Boxing Council (WBC) belt last week, was ringside as a commentator for US television and was challenged by Froch after the fight to meet him in a rematch, but this time in Britain.

Ward, 29, plans to return to the ring in September when he will have been out of action for a year due to a shoulder injury, but is still considered the super-middleweight division's number one.

Froch hopes his possession of both the IBF and WBA titles will put pressure on Ward to meet him again.

"Mikkel Kessler was the first step on the road to redemption," Froch told a news conference.

"If I could avenge the Andre Ward after avenging the Mikkel Kessler loss, it would be unbelievable. I've got two world title belts so what choice has he got?

"I've boxed him in the USA. Now he needs to box me over here -- let's get him out of the USA.

"No one gets excited about Andre Ward. I had a little word with him after the fight and explained to him it wasn't personal but about his boxing style. His style would put a glass eye to sleep. He's tricky and knows how to win a fight but he's not exciting.

"If we fight in the UK it will be one of the most exciting fights seen because I've had a chat (to my trainer) Rob McCracken about it. I will hurt him. He's a big lad and I think he's struggling at the weight but I'm great at the weight. I feel I can make him work late on."

Three-time world champion Froch generously paid tribute to Kessler, 34, after their fight, which became explosive in the later rounds. The eighth was brutal and Kessler was shook by a right, yet absorbed the punishment to come back firing.

It was Froch's turn to take some hefty hooks in the 11th, but they did not seem to rattle him too much before both forgot defence and went looking for the knockout in a thrilling last round.

As exciting as both fights have been, Froch is unsure whether a third and deciding fight is possible.

"Stylistically we make good fights. I think I dominated him behind the jab and I don't know if he really wants it (a third fight)," he said.

"But it's 1-1. If there was a third fight it would have to be on neutral territory. I will listen to options and who ever I fight next it will have to be a defining fight because of where I'm at in my career.

"I'm 35 but feel fresh enough to have three or four top level fights."

Kessler admitted he ran out of energy in the later rounds and could not capitalise on an attack in the 11th round which he felt troubled Froch.

"It was a very tough fight, and very tough coming over here, but it is nice to fight a warrior who wants to fight," he said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130526/boxing-froch-wants-ward-rematch