Monday, September 17, 2012
Brian Magee-Mikkel Kessler set
By Dan Rafael
The exact date and venue have not been determined, but former three-time super middleweight titlist Mikkel Kessler is getting another shot at a belt.
Sauerland Event, Kessler's promoter, announced Monday that it has made a deal for Kessler to challenge titlist Brian Magee later this year. The fight will take place at a venue to be determined in Denmark, where Kessler (45-2, 34 KOs) is a national hero.
"This will be a massive event. I believe the whole country will get behind Mikkel," Sauerland Event promoter Kalle Sauerland said. "He can become world champion for a record fourth time and restore the Danish boxing pride by avenging the bitter KOs of (countrymen) Rudy Markussen and Mads Larsen. It's taken a while but now all is signed and sealed -- except for the venue and the date, which we expect to be finalized shortly."
Magee (36-4-1, 25 KOs) has twice previously fought in Denmark and scored knockout wins against the hometown fighters.
He stopped Larsen in the seventh round in 2010 to win the vacant European super middleweight title. In February, Magee knocked out Markussen in an interim world title defense.
Magee, a 37-year-old southpaw from Northern Ireland, was later elevated to a full titlist and will be making his first defense against Kessler.
Magee said he is motivated to score the Danish hat trick by taking out Kessler.
"I am ready for the hat trick of KOs," he said. "I've stopped Larsen, I've stopped Markussen and now it's Kessler's (turn). He's a great fighter, no doubt about that, but I have the tools to break him. He ran from a fight earlier in the year after he was ringside and witness to the destruction of Markussen.
"But now I have him and he will go the same way. I have already commenced early training and I am working on a fight plan with my coach, Bernardo Checa. Denmark has been good to me and I am happy to be going back."
Kessler, 33, participated in the Super Six World Boxing Classic, losing his title to Andre Ward in a lopsided 11th-round technical decision in the opening round of the tournament.
But Kessler won another version of the 168-pound crown in his second fight of the tournament by outpointing Carl Froch in a grueling battle. He later dropped out of the tournament because of an eye injury and was idle for 14 months before returning with a win.
Then came an 11-month layoff. But Kessler came back from that sabbatical to score a sensational fourth-round knockout of American Allan Green on May 19.
"I look forward to fighting Magee," Kessler said. "He's a good boxer with a lot of heart. It takes something to come to Denmark and knock out both Mads and Rudy. But his winning streak will end when we meet. I am very keen to be world champion again and Magee cannot prevent this from happening. It will be interesting as I think it will be a little like a national team match.
"I am a proud Dane and this guy will take a beating for having knocked out my countrymen."