Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mikkel Kessler regains WBA Super Middleweight Championship with KO over Brian Magee

Mikkel Kessler of Denmark won the WBA Super Middleweight Championship on Dec. 8 in Herning, Denmark by knocking out former champion Brian Magee of Northern, Ireland in the third round. It was Kessler’s fifth world championship win of his career. He was in command from the opening bell and sent Magee to the canvas twice in the second round with a crushing right hand to the body. Kessler was determined to end it when he came out for the third round and dropped Magee again with another superb right hook downstairs. The former titleholder couldn’t beat the count and Kessler had won the crown in front of 10,000 of his countrymen at the 24 second mark of the third round.

Kessler said after the bout that Magee started pretty strongly, but after nailing him with the painful body shot hoped he would slow down. Kessler raised his record to 46-2 with 35 Kos with the victory and wrapped a world championship belt around his waist for the first time since owning the WBC title back in 2010. He won his first belt in 2004 by beating Puerto Rico’s Manny Sica for the WBA version. He added the WBC title to his collection two years after that by knocking out Markus Beyer of Germany.

The win over Magee was the third time winning the WBA championship.

The 33-year-old Dane suffered an eye injury in 2009 against Andre Ward of America when taking part in the Super Six Tournament on the Showtime network. The injury forced him to pull out of the event a year later and he returned to action last year. He lost the bout to Ward by a technical decision in the 11th round. Magee’s record fell to 36-5-1 with 25 Kos. He won the title interim last year with a unanimous decision over Jaime Barboza and was trying to defend it for the second time against Kessler.

The 37-year-old Magee had previously beaten Danish boxers Mads Larsen two years ago and Rudy Markussen in February. He was hoping to make it three wins in a row against Danish opponents. However, few gave him a realistic chance before the fight and they were proved to be right. Magee said Kessler hurt him with the shot to the body and it was hard to recover from. He gave credit to Kessler and said he’s a great champion who knows how to treat people with respect. He added that he gave it everything he had, but just couldn’t handle the body attack.

Kessler’s only other loss in the boxing ring since turning pro came against Joe Calzaghe of Wales in 2007. Calzaghe, who retired undefeated with a record of 46-0 beat him by a unanimous decision. It’s possible that Kessler may now seek a showdown with IBF champion Carl Froch of England or a rematch with WBC kingpin Andre Ward of America. At Magee’s age, there doesn’t really appear to be any bouts left against elite opposition for the former British and European champion. He could retire or may continue his career as an opponent for up-and-coming young boxers.

Ian Palmer
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