Mikkel Kessler Likely To Return Against Renan St-Juste June 4th - A Huge Fight With Lucian Bute Next?

By James Slater: It has been reported on a number of web sites that “Viking Warrior” Mikkel Kessler will return to action on June 4th, against durable Canadian Renan St-Juste. The comeback fight that will see Kessler fight for the first time since his points win over Carl Froch, is slated to be added to the Showtime TV coverage of the Carl Froch-Glen Johnson fight.

At a venue still to be determined, Kessler - having overcome the serious eye injury he had surgery for after the Froch fight - will look to rid himself of ring-rust against the never-stopped southpaw. The word is, Kessler, if victorious, could then face IBF super-middleweight champion Lucian Bute next. Kessler was a TV commentator for the unbeaten southpaw’s retention over Brian Magee recently, and it’s no secret the Dane wants to fight “La Tombeur.” First, though, 32-year-old Kessler must get past St-Juste, 22-2-1(15).

After having been idle for over a full year, Kessler will no doubt need some rounds to be able to get into his groove in June. St-Juste is certainly the type of guy who will be capable of sticking around for a good number of rounds. Beaten only by Sammy Sparkman (L UD6 in 2005) and by Marcus Upshaw (LS 12 last May), the 38-year-old has shown his durability. Stoppage wins over the likes of Dionisio Miranda (TKO 9) and Sebastien Demers (KO 2 in St-Juste’s last fight, in December of 2010) show how dangerous a puncher the 5’9” Canadian can be.

On his best night, Kessler would be expected to win widely against St-Juste, maybe even by stoppage. But how much does Mikkel, 43-2(32) have left to offer today? Quite badly beaten by Andre Ward in his last-but-one ring appearance, Kessler also took plenty of hurt in the war with Froch. Now at the age where he just might start slowing down, Kessler should, on paper, be capable of beating the likes of St-Juste, but Bute is another matter entirely.

The southpaw who holds the IBF 168-pound crown is only a year younger than Kessler, but he is arguably at his peak right now - even if he was hit quite a bit by the game Magee in his last fight. A Bute-Kessler fight sure could be a great one, but it is also possible to envisage the slightly younger, fresher man proving to be too much for a battle-worn Kessler.

We’ll know more after we’ve seen how Kessler looks against St-Juste in a couple of months time.

Article posted on 04.04.2011

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