- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Mikkel Kessler is staying put with promoter Sauerland Event.
The former three-time super middleweight titlist signed a contract extension, keeping him with the company until 2014, Sauerland Event announced on Tuesday.
"I look forward to continuing our successful cooperation," Kessler said in a statement. "It has been great to work with Wilfried, Kalle and Nisse Sauerland. I owe it to my fantastic fans to prove myself against the world's best boxers, and thanks to Team Sauerland, I can do just that. They have big plans for me and that suits me well."
Kessler (45-2, 34 KOs), 33, looked fantastic in his last fight, scoring a brutal fourth-round knockout of fellow former Super Six World Boxing Classic participant Allan Green in May in Copenhagen, Denmark, Kessler's hometown. The KO will certainly be in the running for knockout of the year honors at the end of the year.
Kessler left longtime Danish promoter Mogens Palle and joined Sauerland Event in September 2009, after he scored a knockout of mandatory challenger Gusmyr Perdomo to retain a super middleweight belt. After that fight, Kessler went into the Super Six and lost his title in his first bout, to eventual tournament winner Andre Ward. Kessler also had injuries that forced him to drop out of the tournament and go through two protracted layoffs, although he has won three fights in a row since losing to Ward, including a decision win against Carl Froch in a tremendous battle in the Super Six to win another belt.
"In the past three years, we have been through a lot -- inside and outside the ring," Kalle Sauerland said. "The excitement of the Super Six tournament, the shocking defeat in Oakland against Andre Ward, the epic comeback victory over previously unbeaten Carl Froch, the injury setbacks and last, but not least, the impressive destruction of Allan Green in Copenhagen. All this has formed a very special bond between us. We will now carefully plan the next steps to make sure Mikkel will be remembered as one of the biggest fighters in the history of boxing."
As is often the case, Kalle was laying it on a bit thick, especially when he added about Kessler: "He already ranks up there with the all-time greats, but in the next fights he can build his very own legacy, a legacy that will be remembered not just in Denmark, Europe or America but all over the world. The sky is the limit for the 'Viking Warrior.'"
Whatever Kessler does, there ought to be some good fights left for a fighter who usually is involved in entertaining bouts and has faced numerous top opponents. Sauerland said "negotiations are currently under way" for Kessler's next bout.