Kessler vs Beyer: Kessler Gets His "Big Fight"

21.06.06 - By Neil Thompson: The under rated Super Middleweight division is going to get another unification fight. Later this year undefeated WBA champion Mikkel Kessler and 3 time and current WBC champion Markus Beyer have signed to fight each other. The fight will be in October and in Denmark.

Early in the year WBO champion Joe Calzaghe squared off against his IBF counterpart Jeff Lacy. We all know what happened - Joe added Lacy’s IBF belt to his own. Now the other two major champions are ready to square off. By October we’ll have gone from 4 champions to 2, The winner of this fight would hopefully face Calzaghe and then we will have one official undisputed champion of the world.

Originally Markus Beyer’s promoter (Wilfred Sauerland) wanted a Calzaghe fight for Beyer but due to the cuts Markus suffered last time out, he cannot spar until the middle of August. As Calzaghe is fighting again in mid-September, Markus could not be ready in time. Therefore Beyer will travel to Kessler home territory of Denmark for another champion vs champion contest in the 168 lb division..

Mikkel Kessler (37-0 with 28 KO’s) is widely considered the number 2 of the 168 lb division and will start favourite. The 27 year old has been chasing a big fight for some time and Markus Beyer has obliged. Despite Kessler’s high ranking he’s quite inexperienced at world level. He’s beaten Mundine, Siaca and a faded Eric Lucas but that’s about it. This unification fight should give Kessler the global exposure he needs to progress up the boxing ladder. I have seen Kessler fight a few times and I cannot help but be impressed. At 6’ 1” tall, Kessler is a big super middleweight who comes to fight with aggression and power. The heavily tattooed Dane has all the tools to beat any super middleweight in the world with the possible exception of Joe Calzaghe.

Markus ‘Boom Boom’ Beyer (34-2-1 with 13 KO’s) is a 5’9” tall, southpaw counterpuncher who hails from Bremen, Germany. Beyer first took the WBC alphabet title from Richie Woodhall in October 1999. 7 months later he lost it to Britains Glenn Catley by stoppage in round 12. He then regained his title by controversially outpointing Eric Lucas before once again losing his belt to Christian Sanavia. Beyer won the rematch to become a 3-time champion. Beyer has never been considered the best in the world and always lived in the shadow of his countryman Sven Ottka. Now Ottka is retired Markus is Germany’s premiere super middleweight. As his record suggests, he is beatable and has been beaten by fringe-world class fighters like Catley and Sanavia. Despite a few setbacks Markus Beyer has had a fine career but how will he cope with a hungry, strong and talented fighter like Mikkel Kessler? Regardless of the result, Beyer is close to retirement and he wants to go out on a high. A victory over Kessler would achieve this and would also give his many critics something to choke on.

So who will win? Markus will come in well prepared and he will be confident of causing an upset but Kessler is all round too good and too strong for Beyer. Markus Beyer is a good counter puncher and the styles should match up well. Beyer should be praised for being willing to fight in Kessler’s backyard but from there his next step will be into retirement. Look for Kessler to start slowly, possibly giving the first two rounds away before grinding his man down with cynical pressure fighting. Beyer will have success early on but Kessler’s hooks, combinations and animal strength will wear Beyer down for a 9th round stoppage. Then Kessler should be in the position to challenge Calzaghe in what would be a great fight, two outstanding champions facing off for the right to be called undisputed champion of the world.

Let’s get it on!

Article posted on 21.06.2006

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