Carl Froch finally wreaked his revenge on long-time rival Mikkel Kessler in a stunning, hair-raising fight at the O2 on Saturday, in a dual sure to raise the bar for boxing.

The Nottingham-born boxer scored a unanimous win against his Danish rival in front of an 18,000-strong crowd, who roared and cheered for every punch thrown and every contact made during the unification bout. The electrifying atmosphere was a true testament to the fighters, who came together to box for the WBA and IBF super-middleweight champion titles under the fitting tagline "Warriors Call".

As Froch's promoter Eddie Hearn said in a post-fight interview, the pair were "two warriors, a credit to their sport".

carl froch

Froch and Kessler hug it out after the 12th and final round of their bout

Froch, who previously donned a sarong to dress up as Kratos of PlayStation's God of War Ascension fame, certainly lived up to his alter-ego, winning a convincing 115-11, 116-112, and a more questionable 118-110. The 35-year-old threw almost a thousand punches in the 12-round battle, which many spectators said was the finest fight to have graced a ring in Britain for years.

"I deserved to win," three-time world champion Froch said after the fight - although he admitted there were some "close rounds".

"[Kessler's] a great fighter and a great man. It was my aggression towards the end that won it for me."

Froch had vowed revenge on Kessler, 34, after losing to the Dane in 2010, when his flight to Iceland was disrupted by the volcanic ash cloud. The boxer previously told HuffPost UK during his training as PlayStation's Kratos the rematch was "the biggest thing to happen in my boxing career to date".

Despite Froch making a "threat" during a press conference to kill Kessler, the pair have never engaged in trash talk, out of respect to each other - something which was evident during Froch's post-fight interview.

"It feels really good," Froch told Sky Sports after the fight. "The only thing that feels bad is that I have had to beat such a real gentleman, a real warrior and real nice man. He did hurt me a couple of times; I think everybody saw that."

"I was close to getting the stoppage towards the end but, when I went in for the finish, what did he do? He fought back with a couple of big, hard shots. Big respect to him."

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  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED PHOTO. Carl Froch (left) and Mikkel Kessler react after there IBF Super Middleweight Championship bout at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED PHOTO. Carl Froch during in the post bout press conference at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED PHOTO. Carl Froch (left) and Mikkel Kessler react after there IBF Super Middleweight Championship bout at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED PHOTO. Carl Froch poses after the IBF Super Middleweight Championship bout at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2013. See PA story BOXING London. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED PHOTO. Carl Froch (left) and Mikkel Kessler react after the twelfth round of there IBF Super Middleweight Championship bout at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2013. See PA story BOXING London. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 25, 2013. See PA story BOXING London. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) laughs with Mikkel Kessler following their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch celebrates defeating Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch is congratulated by Mikkel Kessler (right) following their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch celebrates defeating Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch celebrates defeating Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch celebrates defeating Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch celebrates defeating Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch celebrates defeating Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch celebrates defeating Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (top) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (left) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

  • Boxing - IBF Super Middleweight Championship - Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler - O2 Arena

    Carl Froch (right) in action with Mikkel Kessler during their IBF Middleweight Championship fight at the O2 Arena, London.

Froch's respect for his rival is perhaps more admirable than his win - and is a sterling example of how sportsmen should behave. Likewise, Kessler, who undoubtedly would have been reeling from the defeat, had nothing but good words to say about the victor and can go home to Denmark with his head held high.

"It's not nice to come into such an Arena when it is not your own people, but it is nice to see so many boxing fans here," the Dane told Sky Sports. "I gave it my all but I didn't have the energy and couldn't cope with Carl.

"It is nice to fight such a warrior."

And, if you missed out on the gripping fight? You may not need to panic just yet, the pair haven't ruled out a third fight.

"Best of three?" Kessler suggested after the fight. "You never know."

Carl Froch trained as God of War in the build-up to his re-match with Mikkel Kessler. PlayStation God of War Ascension is out now. www.godofwar.com

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  • Boxing - Carl Froch handout photo

    Undated handout photo provided HPS Jardine of Carl Froch is made up as God of War in build-up to his re-match with Mikkel Kessler. PlayStations God of War: Ascension - out Friday 15th March.

  • Carl Froch God of War event

    NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Carl Froch is made up as God of War in build up to his re-match with Mikkel Kessler. PlayStation's God of War: Ascension - out this Friday 15th March on March 11, 2013 in Nottingham, England.

  • Carl Froch God of War event

    NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: Carl Froch is made up as God of War in build up to his re-match with Mikkel Kessler. PlayStation's God of War: Ascension - out this Friday 15th March on March 11, 2013 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • Carl Froch God of War event