Calzaghe Vs. Kessler - Who Will Win The Unification Showdown?

kessler30.08.07 - By James Slater: To many fans, the upcoming and massively intriguing showdown between rival world boxing super middleweight rulers Joe Calzaghe and Mikkel Kessler has the look of a very winnable fight for the Danish boxer. The way Mikkel has dismantled opponents like German southpaw and one-time holder of the WBC 168 pound title, Markus Beyer, and out-boxed men like the unbeaten Mexican, Librado Andrade, has been mightily impressive.

While Joe too, has many great performances to his name - not least the complete and utter drubbing of would-be-star, Jeff Lacy. On the other hand, however, Calzaghe has also struggled with the likes of the tough, but somewhat crude Australian, Sakio Bika.

As such, and based on both men’s more recent performances, Kessler has to be given at the very least an even money shot at emerging as a unified super middleweight king when he and Calzaghe meet on November 3rd.

With Kessler never having looked better, the demands for the fight that will unify all-but-one of the major belts at 168 were immense. Thankfully, Joe and his team, along with Mikkel and his group, agreed to terms and as a result the biggest fight at super-middleweight for quite some time is on. Quite simply, the Calzaghe -Kessler clash is THE best possible fight in the world right now at 168 pounds. Both men are proven warriors, are exciting to watch (most of the time) and are, of course, unbeaten. Also, let’s face it, any bout that can almost unify an entire division, championship-wise, is good for the sport. So who will win?

The match-up is one of great quality, with both boxers possessing superb skills. Joe, 43-0(32KO’s) with his southpaw stance and extremely fast hands, will be up against a fighter who has jarring power and an aggressive work-rate. The Dane holds the age advantage, being the younger man by some seven years. While “The Pride Of Wales” holds the edge when it comes to quality of opposition.

As far as styles go, I’d say Joe’s is the trickier to master, being the southpaw that he is. Still, he didn’t look too tricky or cute in his last-but-one fight, with Bika, when he appeared to be more than somewhat easy to hit on the chin. Certainly, his showboating and hand dropping are not adjustments to his game he would be wise to adopt when he boxes Kessler, 39-0(29KO’s) a fighter nicknamed “The Viking Warrior.” Almost always a smart fighter, however, Joe will surely box the unification match with a much tighter defence. Calzaghe is all but guaranteed to fight with the respect that deserves to be accorded the classy Dane.

In what looks to me like a definite distance fight - this despite the quick and unexpected job Kessler did on Beyer last October, combined with the equally swift win Joe scored over Peter Manfredo Jnr in his last outing in April - I have to give a slight edge to Joe. Mikkell, in spite of his undeniable skill, has never been in with anyone quite like Calzaghe. Or arguably Chris Eubank or Jeff Lacy for that matter, both of whom Joe has beaten.

In the end I feel Joe’s greater experience against greater opposition will tell the story, as he drags Kessler into the deep waters of the late rounds. It has to be Calzaghe - by close, but unanimous, decision.

Let's just hope the fight goes ahead as scheduled, and neither guy pulls out with an injury. It wouldn't be the first time would it (Joe)?!

Article posted on 31.08.2007

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