Boxing


Mikkel Kessler, Back To His Very Best? The Best Of The 168-pound Champions?

by James Slater - Unlike would-be star Jeff Lacy, Denmark's Mikkel Kessler has suffered no ill effects to speak of due to his points loss to Joe Calzaghe. The only loss of his fine career, the Calzaghe defeat doesn't appear to have affected the current WBA super-middleweight champion the way Lacy's all but finished his once sparkling promise..

Mikkel KesslerIndeed, "The Viking Warrior" looked as good as he ever has last night in Germany. Destroying Danilo Haussler in just three rounds - and this a guy who had never been stopped before in over 30-bouts - Kessler once again made believers of many when it comes to him being the best in the world at 168-pounds. When considering Kessler against the rival super-middleweight champions it's easy to call the 29-year-old Dane the best of the lot.

Mikkel has already beaten the iron-jawed Librado Andrade who, by rights should be the IBF 168-pound champ right now, and the WBA boss would, in my opinion, be too strong for a Lucian Bute who may never be the same again; while the WBC belt is vacant at present. This leaves just Denis Inkin, the current WBO ruler, as a rival world champion who would be looked at as a good shot to beat Kessler. And, as good as the unbeaten Inkin appears to be, most would agree Kessler is the better, more proven fighter. What we need now is a unified champion.

Next up, Carl Froch and Jean Pascal meet to decide Joe Calzaghe's vacated WBC belt, and Mike Marley has already discussed the possibility of a Kessler fight with "The Cobra" should he win on December 6th. That would get us half way there. And if Jermain Taylor does as most people think he will and beats Lacy in November, and then wants to prove he is the number one man at super-middleweight we could, just maybe, have a unified WBC and WBA champion some time in 2009. Then, Bute and Inkin could fight, leaving the winner from that one to meet the eventual WBA and WBC champ.

Sure, it's never quite this easy in boxing, but it should be. Supposing the match-ups I've just mentioned did take place, though, who would you pick as the fighter to wind up being on top of the pile? My choice, without a doubt, would be Kessler. It could be argued that no super-middleweight pushed the unbeaten and all-conquering Calzaghe as hard as Kessler did. And before and after that close loss the great Dane has met and beaten some pretty good fighters - perhaps fighters better than any of his rivals have on their CV.

There are some potentially thrilling battles to be made in today's 168-pound division. If they are made this writer's money will be on Mikkel Kessler to prove he is the top dog at the weight.

Article posted on 27.10.2008



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