15.01.06 - By Per Ake Persson: WBA supermiddle champ Mikkel Kessler retained the title with a tenth round stoppage over brave but outclassed challenger Eric Lucas. Lucas lost all nine completed rounds, was badly cut on two places around the eyes and was taking a beating when his corner threw in the towel at 1.51 of the round. There were no knockdowns but Lucas´ face began to swell already in the second from the steady stream of sharp, precise jabs from the champion..
Kessler kept Lucas at bay, using the jab, moving well and as the rounds progressed he began to use his right hand more. Puerto Rican referee Luis Pabon began checking on Lucas in the corner after the eighth and Eric could well have been retired already then. His best punch, a right in the fourth, had no effect on the champion.
The show as a whole marked the comeback for major league boxing in Denmark after a few lean years as far as public interest goes and there were about 6000 fans at the Brondby Hall.
Russian Maxim Nesterenko won a split decision after six tough rounds against Christian Bladt in a battle between former EBU welter champs in the show closer.
Supermiddle Rudy Markussen floored Alexander Zaitsev twice in the third but had to settle for an eight round unanimous decision. Markussen will now fight on the Gatti vs Damgaard undercard in Atlantic City Jan 28.
Prodebutant Anders Hugger Nielsen survived a knockdown in the fifth to win over Martin Nielsen in a heated six-rounder in an all-Danish matchup at cruiser.
Lightweight Martin Kristjansen again looked good as he outscored Frenchman Adolphe Avadja over six.