LONDON (July 18, 2007) — Promoter Frank Warren says more than 17,000 tickets have already been sold for Joe Calzaghe’s WBO/WBA/WBC/The Ring World Super-Middleweight title unification fight against Mikkel Kessler on November 3. Together, they boast a combined professional record of 82-0 (61 KOs) and their fight is already being called the biggest non-heavyweight title unification fight since Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns rumbled in 1981.
The news came as Calzaghe admitted that the fight against the Dane will be the hardest of his 10-year reign as a world champion. (photo attached, courtesy Sports Network)- Speaking to the press in London yesterday, the 35-year-old Welshman added that it is a “dream come true” the mouth-watering showdown will be held at the Millennium Stadium in his home town of Cardiff.
Early indications suggest the show could break the 63,500 record attendance for an indoor boxing show, with around 70,000 tickets on sale. And Calzaghe is backing himself to send the majority of fans home happy. “I can’t knock Kessler, he is a very solid all round fighter, but he has not fought me yet,” said Calzaghe..
“He has never been in with a southpaw with my handspeed.
“Believe me, there is no way I am losing that fight. I’m going to be in the best shape of my life, I’m going to have the best training camp I’ve ever done. This will be fight of the year.
“I’ve been in boxing for 25 years now and it takes a lot to get me excited, but this fight has done that.
“Before the Jeff Lacy fight there was a lot of pressure on me, but I’m more relaxed about things now.
“I don’t think that any super-middleweight or light-heavyweight in the world can beat me.”
Calzaghe’s promoter added that he hadn’t seen tickets sell so fast since Mike Tyson fought Julius Francis at the MEN Arena.
“We’ve already had requests from the American press for accreditation, while I’ve been told that about 5,000 Danish fans will be making the journey,” said Warren.
“They will be coming over in their long boats but going home with long faces.
“I think Joe Calzaghe has got too much for Kessler. It’s a tough fight but Joe is at the top of his game at the moment.
“He is a very, very hard fighter to beat. He’s got a great chin, great handspeed, I just don’t see him losing.”
Warren also said that the fight is likely to be screened on American TV Network HBO, although no deal has yet been signed.
Other world title fights are likely to be added to the card, while Bradley Pryce has already been inked in to defend his Commonwealth light-middleweight crown.
If Enzo Maccarinelli beats Wayne Braithwaite at the weekend, he is likely to defend his WBO cruiserweight title.
Meanwhile Trevoer East, of Setanta Sports, the UK broadcaster of the fight, said that Calzaghe-Kessler will be free to the channel’s subscribers and not on PPV.
Setanta are aiming to show as much as the card as possible.