Calzaghe Kessler May Come Up Short Of 63,000 Mark

mikkel kessler26.10.07 - By Matthew Hurley: According to promoter Frank Warren along with International Entertainment the Joe Calzaghe – Mikkel Kessler super middleweight unification bout scheduled for November 3rd has already sold upwards of 40,000 tickets. The fight will take place at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales and will be broadcast in the United States at 9 pm Eastern Standard Time on HBO.

When the fight between the WBC/WBA champion Kessler and the long reigning WBO champion Calzaghe was signed the people behind the scenes were anticipating nearly 63,000 ticket sales. However sales seemed to be dropping off and stagnating at the 30,000 range nearly two weeks ago. Much of the blame for that had to do with the time scheduling so the bout could be broadcast live in the United States, with the opening bell coming at nearly two in the morning in Wales. Also the undercard for the bout is severely lacking.

The lack of a good undercard also left many fans who attended the live gate of Calzaghe’s last bout against Peter Manfredo feeling a bit ripped off when the champion stopped his overmatched challenger in the third round. 35,000 people attended that bout which was broadcast on HBO at five o’clock in the afternoon in the US.

But this fight has been gaining momentum in the past several weeks thanks to a Calzaghe verbal blitzkrieg in the media and the unquenchable desire among boxing fans to have one recognized champion in each division. Unification bouts take on a whole other meaning for true fight fans and this bout pits the two very best fighters in their division as well as two of the very best fighters in the sport.

It remains to be seen if the projected 63,000 fan total is reached at Millennium Stadium but there will surely be me many “walk-ins” so the final total may very well approach that record breaking number.

Also, should the fight prove entertaining whoever wins will be on the receiving end of a vast American audience which will boost not only that fighter’s reputation but earning potential. Calzaghe, who has never fought in the United States, has said recently that as he prepares for the tail end of his career he wants to fight on American soil and the names being tossed around include light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik.

Kessler too has desires to fight in the US again. He has fought once in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay in 2000 when he knocked out Israel Ponce in the second round.

The fight will mark Calzaghe’s twenty-first attempt to defend his title, a division record. Kessler will be making his sixth defense.

Article posted on 27.10.2007

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