Mikkel Kessler sports an impressive record of 42 victories and only one defeat with 31 big knockouts. He’s the former WBC and present WBA super middleweight champion. His jab is snapping and his right hand can be deadly. He’s supremely confident having stopped his last two opponents easily, barely breaking a sweat. A number of experts consider him the favorite to win the ‘super six’ tournament out right.
On November 21st he takes on untested and unproven Andre Ward. Andre is ranked fifth out of the six fighters in the tournament. He’s had exactly twenty fights. He’s never been in this kind of an event. Almost all the boxing experts are picking Kessler to win… most by knockout. He’s a heavy betting favorite at more then 2 to 1, but it’s all words.
Andre Ward is going to whip Mikkel Kessler.
Andre has a secret weapon and you’ll never guess who it is. He also has youth and another intangible speed. Ward is slick and can be very difficult to hit. Slick and Kessler just don’t mix. He’s also quick which will definitely cause the ‘Viking Warrior’ some problems. Mikkel is strong and possesses a chin of granite. Andre was knocked down in his 7th career fight. His chin seems fine though. He took some heavy rights from Edison Miranda and barely blinked. The key here for Ward is to box…box…box. Kessler has a fine jab and he uses it a lot. He’s more of a standup fighter and can be predictable which bodes well for Ward. Against Miranda, Ward stayed on the outside and shot out his jab like the tongue of a cobra, stinging his opponent repeatedly. Bending a little at the waist he also connected with his right hand and worked the body. He switched around to southpaw and used his natural athleticism to move and stay out of harms way. Kessler is as strong as a mule and is difficult to push back. He can’t move as fast as Ward but he’s smart and a true professional. I can see him starting a little slow (which is his norm) against Ward and then as the rounds proceed, picking up the pace. The fight could be a jabbing contest for awhile until both fighters begin to find there range. Kessler will be trying to back Ward up against the ropes to fire his powerful right hand. The pressure will be intense, if Ward wants to win he has to avoid that right and then get back in the center of the ring. As much as he likes fighting in the ‘pocket’, against Kessler that could be a disastrous mistake.
Oh and Wards secret weapon? It’s Joe Calzaghe, the undefeated and former undisputed champion who handed Kessler his only defeat. He boxed and swarmed at Kessler throwing off his timing and beating him to the punch. He moved and made Kessler chase him. I see Ward doing the same thing, switching to southpaw to keep Kessler off balance. I see him jabbing and moving and throwing combinations. He’s four years younger then Kessler, and as always… youth will be served.
On November 21st, Andre Ward will win a very close decision over Mikkel Kessler and most of the boxing community will be shocked.