Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Mikkel Kessler Hype Train Derailed By Ward

Mikkel Kessler was favored to win the super middleweight super six tournament. Not anymore he isn't. Kessler's opponent, Andre Ward had something to say about Mikkel being the favorite in the tournament; in what was Andre Ward's biggest challenge to date since turning pro, he aced the test, pretty much dominating the highly touted Mikkel Kessler.

Andre Ward didn't just win, he outfought, outboxed and outsmarted Kessler in every round. I was extremely impressed by Ward. Quite frankly, I didn't think he had a chance against Kessler coming into this fight. Perhaps I got caught up in the Mikkel Kessler hype train:

Mikkel Kessler's claim to fame is losing against now retired, Joe Calzaghe. Given that Calzaghe was a special talent, and seeing Kessler put up a stiff challenge against Joe, most boxing fans thought Kessler would beat all challengers in the tournament; as did I.

Kessler is no joke. Although a little stiff and upright, he has beautiful boxing mechanics, decent power, and one of the best jabs in boxing. Before his fight with Joe Calzaghe, Kessler had hardly lost a round in his professional boxing career! He's no bum. He has legitimate talent.

So if we know how good Mikkel Kessler is, just how good is Andre Ward? After the performance Ward put on - if he can stay focused - I find it hard to believe he'll be beaten by Jermain Taylor, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, or even Dirrell. Dirrell will probably pose the toughest test for Ward because of his speed, and Abraham has the one punch power to end the fight quickly, but certainly, Ward has to be the favorite now. He has the style and talent to beat anyone in the super middleweight division.

Other than fans of Mikkel Kessler, you know who's really upset Kessler lost? Joe Calzaghe. Joe was banking on Kessler to further boost and cement his legacy. It looks like that wont happen now. No one had more invested in Kessler's performance than Joe Calzaghe did (and still does). Andre Ward beat Mikkel easier than Joe Calzaghe did.

The Danish fighter will look to get back on track against Carl Froch next. It's do or die time for Kessler.

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