Mikkel Kessler-Robert Stieglitz On For November 5th In Copenhagen

By James Slater - It’s been announced as official by a few sources (Dan Rafael’s ESPN Twitter page, that Danish hero Mikkel Kessler will challenge Russian-born Robert Stieglitz for his WBO 168-pound belt in Copenhagen on November 5th. For 32-year-old Kessler, the former WBA (twice) and WBC (twice also) king, the fight will offer him the chance to become a three-time “world” champion..

But although Stieglitz’ strap is third or even fourth down the pecking order compared to the other major belts at 168, the 30-year-old German-based fighter is a formidable opponent - one who just might pull off the upset and defeat “The Viking Warrior.” With a fine 40-2(23) pro record to his name (the two losses coming way back in 2007 and 2008), Stieglitz is a proven fighter, and he will be making the fifth defence of his title against Kessler.

Naturally, going by his pedigree and the fact that he will be boxing at home, Kessler is the favourite to win. The fight could well be an entertaining, lively affair, though. Stopped both times in defeat, Stieglitz has since won nine straight, with four of these wins coming via stoppage. And though he has never met anyone of Kessler’s class, the reigning WBO boss has seen off good men like Karoly Balzsay and, last time out, Khoren Gevor. Stielglitz’ two losses came at the hands of Alejandro Berrio (TKO by3) who he also holds a win over, and Librado Andrade (TKO by8). What problems can the Russian give Kessler?

Kessler, having his first fight back since undergoing major eye surgery, looked sharp and accurate in his June stoppage win over the tough but outclassed Mehdi Bouadla. That 6th-round TKO pulled in a massive T.V audience in Denmark, showing how mega popular Mikkel is in his homeland. The win over the Frenchman also gave his loyal fans hope that their hero can reach the very top of his division once again. The climb begins with the challenge of Stieglitz.

As good as Kessler looked against Bouadla, there are still question marks over how much the Dane has left. Is his eye 100-percent? Is he as fast and as durable as he once was? Stieglitz, while not a huge puncher, is certainly capable of asking Kessler some serious questions. At 44-2(33), Kessler may be coming towards the end of a long (and largely glorious) career.

When it comes to motivation, Stieglitz can be relied upon to be massively “up” for this fight. Will Kessler, expected to win, have as much motivation driving him on? The defending WBO champ has good boxing skills and he is strong physically. But Kessler is a very special fighter indeed - at least he was. Whether or not he still is, and whether or not he still has the awesome tools he displayed when fighting a great like Joe Calzaghe, and a possible future great in Carl Froch, we will be given some clue on November 5th.

I like Kessler to win on points.

Article posted on 16.08.2011

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