The art of the deal Calzaghe vs Kessler negotiations

20.04.07 - By David Bloch: Call me a glutton for punishment. Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article regarding negotiations between Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe to face off in a unification match at Super Middleweight. The article drew mixed reaction, some were very supportive and in agreement, others in total disagreement, wanting to insult me almost as much as they like to insult Calzaghe..

joe calzagheBut I just can't help myself, considering the juicy boxing news regarding Mogens Palle's new offer, made available at

A quick overview of the situation for those who haven't been keeping up with the boxing events:

After Calzaghe's match against Peter Manfredo, Frank Warren stated on both ITV and HBO that he had made an offer to Mikkel Kessler for a fight in July that had been declined. He advised that Kessler did not feel ready to fight in July and that they had suggested Kessler deserved half the purse.

At first, Frank Warren was laughed at by many who have grown weary of his history as a boxing promoter, yet within a short few days, information became available, showing in fact, he had made an actual offer of USD$1.75 million, as well as TV rights in the Nordic countries.

This was considered to be a total purse of around USD$3 Million, which would easily represent a career pay day for Mikkel Kessler.

Palle has now released a new offer to Warren and ensured it is in the public media, stating he will offer Joe Calzaghe USD$5 Million to fight in Copenhagen.

Palle managed to insult Frank Warren as being no better than a two-bit comedian, he insulted Peter Manfredo as a joke fighter, whilst being prepared to give Librado Andrade glowing respect as a top contender, despite Andrade landing only 10% of punches thrown against Kessler.

He continued on to mention that Kessler had the two most prestigious belts in the SMW division, which shows a complete lack of knowledge regarding the division. Let us consider who Kessler beat to gain his two boxing titles, Manny Siaca and Markus Beyer, both of whom had suffered multiple defeats, both of whom were never considered anywhere near the top fighter in the super middleweight division and considering that Beyer was lucky to even hold his title, after the Sakio Bika fiasco, the titles do not stack up as being the best in the division.

Calzaghe, on the other hand, for his WBO Championship faced a version of Chris Eubank, who would decimate most of the super middleweight fighters in this current age. To gain the Ring Championship, Calzaghe faced Jeff Lacy who had an even more impressive resume in 20 fights than Kessler has amassed in 39 fights.

Let us reiterate, in this current world of alphabet bodies, the titles do not make the boxer, the boxer makes the titles.

It seems that Kessler and his team are nervous about this potential bout, so nervous that they're hoping to triple any of their estimated pay days previously received to go into this fight. They do not want to fight in July, despite Calzaghe stating that is his absolute preference, despite a broken hand showing very little knowledge as to why Calzaghe is desperate to fight in July.

Calzaghe believes that fighting in July is his best chance at a shot against the winner of the Bernard Hopkins/Winky Wright fight, also in July. If he also finishes a fight in July, he can enter instant negotiations with Winky Wright/Bernard Hopkins without worrying about any upcoming fights.

Kessler represents a young, up and coming boxer who has recently strung together some good wins. However, those wins do not buy him pay parity against Joe Calzaghe who has fought more championship fights than Kessler has fought reputable opponents. Until he and his team realize this and take the lower deal, I fear that this fight will simply not be made.

In other news:

Nicolay Valuev defined what it is to be a champion in his defeat against Ruslan Chagaev. In a fight that some have seen as controversial, believing the giant may have done enough to win, Valuev himself stated otherwise, giving full credit to Ruslan Chagaev as being the better boxer on the night.

That is what defines a champion, class. Nicolay Valuev may lack agility, he may lack technique but his seven foot frame is stacked with a tonne of class.

Article posted on 21.04.2007

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