Kessler And Mundine Put On A Show

09.06.05 - By Tony Nobbs: Anthony Mundine fought the best fight of his career on Wednesday night at the Sydney Entertainment Centre but it was still not good enough for him to dethrone WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler. In a terrific twelve rounder that flowed freely, the former rugby league star and one time champion showed glimpses of brilliance but lacked the consistency to “take the belt” so to speak, from Kessler who was making his first defence of the title he captured by halting Manny Siaca in November.

With clinches scarce the stronger Kessler was able to do more overall to take the points in many of the close rounds. Mundine did a good job making the heavily favoured Dane miss and his hand speed troubled Kessler early in the fight before a Kessler left hook gave him something to think about in the third.

At times it looked as though the hometown challenger could take charge, when he got on the front foot letting his hands go, he backed the massive looking Kessler up and even stun him but the more experienced and tough titlist would fight his way back with Mundine’s willingness to go to the ropes and ducking instead of jabbing and getting away proving costly as it got Kessler momentum up again-even though many missed some did get through. Both fighters were tagged cleanly and there were several exciting exchanges.

Hopefully this erases the doubt if Mundine can take a shot and this bout should make him a better and more confident fighter. With this performance, the pair showed why they’re entitled to be rated as two of the best three super middles in the world, as they are by Ring Magazine. At the weigh in Tuesday night, Kessler scaled a fraction under 168 lb (at 76 kg), Mundne was 167 lb (75.6 kg).

The only stench from the fight came from the scoring of Holland’s Henk Meijers who had it a shutout at 120-108. The other two judges were closer to the mark, Canadian Hubert Earle tabbing it 116-112 and Japans Takeshi Shimakawa 117-113. Referee was Puerto Rican Luis Pabon and WBA supervisor Renzo Bagnariol from Nicaragua. Yet to view the fight on tape, it looked as though Kessler was a deserved winner at the arena. Kessler,26, is now 36-0, 27 knockouts, Mundine, 30, slips to 23-3, 18 inside the distance.

Undercard action: WBO # 5 lightweight Michael “Rocky” Katsidis scored a second round knockout over Ethiopian Olympian Addis Tebubua, Canadian Paul Wahlberg, now trained by Billy Hussein in Sydney outpointed West Australia’s Somalian born Khalil Ahmed in a jnr welter six rounder, Sydney born 2004 Olympian Ryan Langham outboxed Filipino trier Robin Santillanosa over six at jnr lightweight and Cruiserweight brothers Danny and Jimmy Withers won four round decisions over Dave Dowden and Big Eagle respectively.

Article posted on 10.06.2005

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