News: Kessler Wants Calzaghe or Hopkins; Proa vs Martinez; Ballroom Boxing

NEW YORK—Barack Obama and John McCain ended their American presidential campaigns last Tuesday. But for the world’s finest super middleweight boxer, Mikkel Kessler of Denmark, the campaigning continues. Kessler came here to continue his friendly push to convince undefeated Welshman Joe Calzaghe to grant him a rematch. Kessler, age 29, has lost only to Calzaghe by decision in 41 professional fights. Kessler and Calzaghe attracted 50,000 partisans into a huge stadium in Cardiff for their lively brawl and the Dane is trying to sell the 36-year-old Calzaghe on doing it again..

“Joe always praises me and says I’m the man among the super middleweights. That’s nice and he is a true sportsman. He always says nobody gave him a tougher fight than I did. But, for me, that’s nice but not enough. It’s good but not good enough. I just want to fight Joe again. I will be 100 percent healthy and I will do much better. I would even come up a few pounds in weight if I had to.”

While Calzaghe, who pounded faded ring legend Roy Jones into bloody retirement at Madison Square Garden Saturday night as Kessler and his promoter Mogens Palle watched from ringside seats, appreciates WBA champion Kessler’s zeal for competition he has other ideas for the younger fighter.

“I don’t do rematches,” Calzaghe said. “Maybe Mikkel should go and fight Bernard Hopkins. It will be a good fight. I will promote it. Let Kessler and Hopkins fight and I will sit back and commentate on their fight,” Calzaghe said.

Now hailed as the United Kingdom’s greatest boxer ever, Calzaghe is hedging about retirement plans.

“I always say that Mikkel is a hard man, that no one gave me a tougher test than he did. But it’s like I told him in Cardiff after we went at it for 12 rounds. Why should I do a rematch? You’re younger, you learned a lot inside the ring with me. In a rematch, you will do better and I can only do worse.”

A second Calzaghe reiterated the family’s strict no rematch policy.

“I say the same about the Danish boy,” trainer and father Enzo Calzaghe said. “No one can touch him among the super middleweights. I can’t see anyone except Joe handling Kessler. But we don’t do rematches. I don’t like them and I never have. It’s my policy for Joe and all my boxers.”

Kessler may realize he is beating a dead horse, or maybe a soon to be retired horse in Super Joe, and he makes it plain he would love to cross gloves with American legend Hopkins.

“Bernard is age 43 but he was awesome against Kelly Pavlik,” Kessler said. “Forget his loss to Joe and remember that he did put Joe down. Mogens and my manager, Bettina Palle, have told HBO time and time again that I am willing to fight anyone they want to match me up with.

“I can’t go around saying I am the best unless I will jump into the ring with the top guys and Hopkins is revitalized. I would come to America to fight him or he could come to Copenhagen. I am not picky. I just want to meet the best competition.”

In his last bout, Kessler, age 29, manhandled mandatory challenger Danilo Haussler in less than three full rounds, dispatching the German on his native soil.

“I don’t want easy matches like that one,” Kessler said. “I call myself the Viking Warrior so I have to back up my words. That is why we came to the Garden to watch Joe and Roy. That is why I would fight Hopkins in a heartbeat.

“And that is why I will keep bugging Joe until he decides to try me a second time. He and Enzo are smart boxing men. Maybe the no rematch policy is really a no Kessler rematch policy. I think they know I would defeat Joe in a rematch. He’s a great one, no doubt, but the outcome would be different.”

For Obama, for McCain, the campaign trail has ended.

But, for Mikkel Kessler, it’s only just begun.


Philadelphia, PA—Super flyweight Raul “The Cobra” Martinez, of San Antonio, TX, who did everything as an amateur except make the 2004 United States Olympic Team, goes against amateur standout, hard-hitting Victor Proa, of Monterrey, Mexico, over 10 rounds Friday evening, Nov. 14, at the New Alhambra, Swanson & Ritner Streets. First fight is 7.15 p.m.

Telefutura/Univision will telecast the fight on its popular Solo Boxeo series, beginning at 8 p.m (EST).

Martinez, 25, is ranked among the Top 10 super flyweights in the world by every alphabet group on the planet. He is 23-0, 13 K0s.

“In the amateurs, Raul made a believer out of everybody,” said manager Lou Mesorana. “Out of the whole American team that was preparing to go to the (2004) Olympics, he was, without a doubt, one of the best pro prospects.”

Unfortunately, Martinez lost two hairline decisions in three bouts at the US Olympic Trials and that cost him a spot on the team.

“My dad, Ramiro, used to box in his day,” said Martinez, “but his main sport was soccer—he played for the Monterrey Rayodos, a professional team. He boxed as a professional, but he didn’t have too many fights, close to 10.

“Ever since I was about 5 years old, my dad always had a punching bag hanging outside in the yard. I remember as a kid I would put on the gloves and just hit it, saying, ‘I’m going to be a boxer one day.’ But I was always into other sports until I was 15. My first sport was baseball, and then I played soccer. Then I played basketball, football. I played golf in high school. I was on the swim team.

“When I was 15, I told my dad I wanted to become a boxer. My dad didn’t believe me because I would always say it. He would say, ‘Go outside and hit the bag.’ I would do it every day and he started to realize that maybe I would stick to it for a little while. So he started training me, teaching me my jab and the basic punches. After six months, he took me to a gym and my career went on from there.”

After a 70-20-1 amateur career, which included two US National Titles at 112 pounds, Martinez turned pro in 2004 and he has kept the winning tradition.

In his last fight July 25 in Friant, CA, Martinez earned a unanimous 12-round decision over former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight champion Isidro Garcia, of Los Angeles, CA.
“The main change I made as a pro is sitting down on my punches,” Martinez said. “I remember when I first came to (trainer) Fernando Castrejon. He would put me to spar with these guys. They were pros—they were more patient, picking their shots. I was just throwing so many punches on these guys, moving around on them, they can’t touch me. But by the fifth or sixth round, I’m tired and then they start hitting me.”

“So he (Castrejon) started working on me sitting down on my punches and my power and being more patient. So I mixed my speed with my power and that’s where I improved. I’ve gotten a lot more experience now after four years as a pro, going 10 rounds, 12 rounds. It’s pretty much changed my whole style—more patience, more power.”

Martinez will need his entire arsenal against Proa, who is 26-0-2, 19 K0s.
Proa, 23, has been a pro less than three years.

In his last fight Sept. 25 in Monterrey, Mexico, Proa scored a 10-round decision over Arturo Estrada, of Tampico, Mexico. Proa had K0d Estrada in seven rounds seven months earlier.
“Victor (Proa) was born in Monterrey,” said manager Fernando Dominguez. “He comes from a poor family. He worked hard to support his family. He used to wash windows and things like that. His father passed away about a year ago. He had maybe 100 amateur fights
“Proa’s style is real aggressive. He’s got a lot of power and he’s smart. He’s been training for almost four months, including the second fight with Estrada.

“I’ve been working with Victor for almost three years. He trains in Monterrey at the Los Panchos Gym. They got a lot of boxers in the gym, good fighters, and he gets a lot of good sparring. I think it’s going to be a good fight. Victor is in great shape. He’s ready.”
The winner figures to be in line for a shot at a world title in 2009.

Seven additional fights complete the card, which is being promoted by Top Rank, Inc., Peltz Boxing and Joe Hand Promotions.

Tickets priced at $65, $55, $40 are on sale at Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and also can be purchased online at

Ballroom Boxing: Outstanding Night of Fights

Thursday November 20th has a stacked line-up of talent. From the original "Contender" series - Joey Gilbert (17-1-1) makes his Ballroom debut. Joey beat Jimmy Lange on the show, then cam e to Va and Knocked Jimmy out in Feb 06. Joey is on a 8 fight winning streak.

A rematch of the fight of the night in September...Tyrell Samuel and Ron Boyd square off for the Md State Title in a ten round match.

Mike Paschall (17-1-1) returns home to meet Marcus Hall (11-3). Michael just suffered his first loss on a Showtime card in August where he suffered a brutal cut yet begged to continue. A true warrior.

Making HER first appearance in the Ballroom - the very lovely, pretty and tough Katy Klinefelter (2-0) will WOW the crowd in a four round bout. Katy and her sister were world class amatuers, now on the pro platform. Katy can fight, should be fun, unless your fighting her.

Tickets are available at 410-766-7474. Don't miss another night of great action. Title fight, Contender Star, Local Star fresh off of Showtime, and the #1 female in the world.

Ballroom Boxing - November 20th.

Article posted on 10.11.2008

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