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Kessler v Ward – How they compare


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Denmark’s WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler will put his title on the line against undefeated American Andre Ward in their first bout of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on November 21 in Oakland, California.


With experience on his side the reigning champion Kessler is favourite, but at five years his junior, the 25-year-old Ward, a former Olympic gold medallist, is not to be underestimated.


Along with his title, Kessler brings with him a record of 42-1 (32 KOs) with his only loss coming in a close points decision against undisputed super middleweight king Joe Calzaghe. Ward, who has the home-town advantage, enters with 20-0 (13 KOs).


With less than a week before the bout, both fighters are in perfect shape, but the challenge now is to maintain the form without over preparing.


Kessler described his week of down time in the run up to the fight: “I have a lot of things to do.


“There are places that I like to eat; I have to do a lot of media events. The more time off I have, the more I have to relax and watch movies.


“You relax a little bit and you don’t have to train twice a day anymore. I will go for a half an hour or an hour a day and that’s it.”


Ward expressed similar sentiment on the verge of his first world title bout: “As far as the physical side, things have toned down. We are at our peak.


“It is tempting for a fighter to over-prepare. I don’t think we’ve done that. I think we are right where we need to be. That comes with experience. This is my 21st fight and we’re beginning to master all of the aspects of preparing for a fight from the weight to handling media appearances.”


Kessler has the opportunity to make it a clean sweep for the European fighters over Americans in the Super Six tournament after Germany’s Arthur Abraham knockout out Jermain Taylor in the opening bout followed on the same night by a points victory for Englishman Carl Froch over Andre Dirrell.



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Froch backs Kessler over Ward


Carl Froch, the WBC super middleweight champion, hopes Mikkel Kessler will prevail against Andre Ward in Oakland, California on Saturday when the pair meet in their first bout of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.


“Viking Warrior” Kessler’s WBA title will be on the line against the undefeated American in the final bout of group stage one of the tournament. And Froch maintained he would be cheering on the Dane for selfish reasons.


“I’m looking forward to it because it’s a fight that has major implications for me in the Super Six tournament,” said Froch, who opened his own Super Six account with a win over previously undefeated American Andre Dirrell in Nottingham last month.


“I’m hoping that Kessler wins because then he’ll still have the WBA belt. I’m fighting him in my next fight in the Super Six so if he beats Ward then it means that our fight becomes a massive WBC and WBA unification clash and I can get my hands on his belt.”


Despite wanting Kessler to win, the Nottingham fighter admits the fight will be difficult to call between the world champion and the rising star of the division.


“Obviously Andre Ward has that terrific amateur pedigree, winning the Gold medal at the Athens Olympics. He’s had some good wins in the pro’s but we will only find out how good he really is when he steps in there with Kessler.


“Ward will also have the benefit of home advantage as well which I’m sure will play its part but Kessler is very experienced and has won on the road before so I’m sure he won’t see it as an issue.”


When pressed to pick a winner, Froch leaned towards the more experienced Kessler pulling off an away victory.


“In a fight like this you generally have to back the experienced and proven fighter,” said Froch.


“Kessler has proven time and time again throughout his career that he is a great world champion and for me Ward is still very much untested at the highest level so I think it could be difficult early on for Kessler but his experience should see him through in the end.”



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Kessler Ko win for me. He shook the ring rust off last time out and I expect to see him firing on all cylinders this time.


I'm not sold on Andre Ward yet, he has pedigree but I haven't seen him perform at this level. Against Kessler we will see just how good he is.


I expect a tactical battle with Kessler having the heavier artillery. Ward has had shaky moments in the past and if his chin is not good enough at this level then he won't escape from Mikkel.


Mikkel wins around 8 or 9 rounds for me. I do think Ward will give a good account of himself but maybe its abit too soon for him against the current No.1 Super Middleweight.

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