Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why Mikkel Kessler Will Beat Andre Ward

There is a big reason why Mikkel Kessler of Denmark is the heavy favorite of the Super Six boxing tournament. Of all the tournament entrants, Kessler is the most experienced with 43 fights, having won 42 with 32 fights ending in knockouts. His lone loss came at the hands of one of the greats, the now-retired Joe Calzaghe of England.

Parading as the WBA super middleweight champion, Kessler will defend his title for the third time against a young American prospect, 25-year old Andre Ward, who is undefeated in 25 bouts. The fight will also be the third match of the of the Super Six contest and will be held in Oakland, California.

Several boxing pundits have claimed that Kessler is a washed-up fighter and that Ward will expose that to the world. While Kessler is five years older than Ward, the Viking Warrior is far from washed-up. Kessler is still a dangerous power-puncher who has an assortment of skills that could match or even surpass anything that Ward will bring to the ring.

There is no evidence of Kessler slowing down or eroded skills over the past five years. Though the Danish boxer had a lay-off for almost a year, he kept himself in great shape. Heck, he could box anytime and win. As Kessler enters the Super Six tournament, there is no doubt that he is in the best shape of his career.

Experience is a key element in any boxing match and that is something only Kessler can brag about. Ward may be superior in some skills, but overall ring generalship and boxing knowledge belong to Kessler.

With all that said, Ward has what it takes to beat Kessler. But his chances are slim. He may have won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics in an impressive fashion and beat all 25 of his previous opponents, but Ward has never faced someone of the caliber of Kessler – big, strong, agile, and intelligent.

There is no doubt that Kessler will need to bring his A game to put Ward down. But it is Ward who needs to bring more than his best to seize a win and have a significant something to brag about.


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