Mikkel Kessler

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Mikkel Kessler
MikkelKessler2012.jpg
Kessler in 2010
Statistics
Nickname(s) Viking Warrior
Rated at
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Reach 188 cm (74 in)
Nationality Danish
Born (1979-03-01) 1 March 1979 (age 37)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 49
Wins 46
Wins by KO 35
Losses 3

Mikkel Kessler (born 1 March 1979) is a Danish former professional boxer who competed from 1998 to 2013. He is a four-time super-middleweight world champion, having held the WBA title three times between 2004 and 2013, and the WBC title twice, from 2006 to 2007, and in 2010.

Early life[edit]

Kessler was born to a Danish father of German descent and an English mother, Ann, who hails from Salisbury, Wiltshire.[1] He began his vocation early, training in boxing gyms at age 13.

Amateur career[edit]

Kessler competed five years as an amateur (2/93-1/98). He finished his amateur career with a record of 44 wins and three losses. He won the 1995 European Cadet (15-16 age group) Championship,[2] 1996 and 1997 Danish Junior Championships,[3] the 1996 Nordic Amateur Championship,[4] and in his last amateur bout won the 1998 Zealand International Tournament after stopping all 3 of his opponents.

Professional career[edit]

Kessler originally campaigned as a light middleweight and then middleweight for the first 22 fights of his career. He won 16 of his first 22 fights by knockout (KO).

After 3 years and 22 fights, Kessler settled in the super middleweight division. Kessler continued his hard hitting streak, dispatching 6 of his first 7 opponents by KO, thereby improving his record to 29–0 with 22 KO.

On 29 November 2002, Kessler fought for his first championship and defeated former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Dingaan Thobela over twelve rounds to become the International Boxing Association Champion. He gave up this belt to fight for the more recognized WBC International title on 11 April 2003, versus Craig Cummings. Kessler won by a knockout in the third round.

He defended his title on three occasions before finally hitting it big on 12 November 2004. His stablemate, Mads Larsen, another Danish World Class fighter, was set to challenge Manny Siaca for the WBA Championship in Copenhagen. Larsen was injured in training and Kessler took the fight on short notice, winning the title.

Kessler defended his title against Anthony Mundine in Sydney in June 2005 and Eric Lucas in January 2006.

On 14 October 2006, Kessler was elevated to WBA Super Champion status after winning the WBC title in a unification battle against WBC World Champion Markus Beyer at the Parken Stadium. He won by knockout at 2:58 in round 3.

Kessler defended his WBA (Super) and WBC titles on 24 March 2007, at the Parken Stadium against WBC mandatory challenger Librado Andrade. The fight was scored as a shutout (120–108) by all three judges.

Kessler vs. Calzaghe[edit]

Kessler then met fellow undefeated champion, Welshman Joe Calzaghe, in a bout that would unify his WBA and WBC super middleweight championships with Calzaghe's WBO and The Ring titles. The bout took place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 3 November 2007, in front of over 50,000 fans (then the largest indoor boxing event in European history), and Kessler lost the unification bout via unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the fight: 117–111, 116–112, 116–112.[5]

Second Reign[edit]

After Calzaghe vacated the WBA title to move up to light heavyweight, Kessler was put in a match with Dimitri Sartison on 21 June 2008, for the vacant belt. Kessler knocked out Sartison in the final round to regain his title.

Kessler successfully defended his title against Danilo Häussler by third round knockout on 25 October and against Gusmyl Perdomo (16–2, 10KOs) by fourth round knockout on 12 September 2009, one minute into the round.

In November 2009 the WBA once again promoted him to Super Champion, this time prior to unifying any Super Middleweight titles.[6]

Super Six[edit]

Kessler vs. Ward[edit]

His first fight was against Andre Ward on 21 November 2009 for Kessler's WBA Super Middleweight Championship in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. On 21 November 2009 Kessler lost his championship to Andre Ward. The fight was stopped in the eleventh round due to cuts on Kessler's face caused by what were deemed as unintentional headbutts by Ward. The fight went to the scorecards and Ward was far ahead by scores of 98–92, 98–92 and 97–93 at the time of the stoppage. Many observers[who?] were disappointed with Kessler's performance against Ward, the ways in which he was exposed in his defence, movement and the ability to fight on the inside were evident in the fight. Questions arose[by whom?] about his retirement from boxing after the loss. However, Kessler wanted to prove his worth with a huge test against Carl Froch, then the current WBC Champion.[citation needed]

Kessler vs. Froch[edit]

On 24 April 2010 Kessler returned to fight against Britain's undefeated WBC Champion Carl Froch, a match that was called "a classic" and "one of the best matches in Danish boxing ever."[7] The contest went the distance and Kessler was handed a unanimous decision with scores of 115–113, 116–112 and 117–111. With the win, Kessler became a two time WBC Champion, handing Carl Froch his first defeat in the process. Froch later stated that he'd suffered a minor ear injury during training and he felt he would've won the fight if it had been held in his home-country of England, but congratulated Kessler on his victory.[citation needed]

Andre Ward later praised Kessler tremendously in an interview with fightnews.com, calling Kessler "skill wise... the toughest I’ve fought so far." Ward went on to express admiration over Kessler's career and dispelling any criticism after his own victory over Kessler. "People want to put down Mikkel Kessler because of our fight but he’s proven himself. He’s proven that if he loses a title he can come back and become champion again, he did that after our fight so now he’s a three time world champion. Anybody that can win a world title three times and only have two losses in the process says a lot. He’s a great fighter and I give him a lot of credit and I have a lot of respect for him."[8]

On 25 August Kessler announced he was withdrawing from the Super Six tournament due to the worsening of the eye injury he suffered in his fight against Ward. According to Ekstra Bladet newspaper, Kessler stated he was seeing double. Doctors told him he must take a nine-month break from boxing.[9]

Kessler vs. Bouadla[edit]

Mikkel Kessler suddenly announced his comeback, and fought against Mehdi Bouadla and scored victory by TKO. Mikkel claimed that if he had lost this fight he would retire. He was scheduled to fight against Robert Stieglitz in Copenhagen, Denmark at Parken Stadium, but the fight was cancelled due to a hand injury Kessler sustained in training.

Kessler vs. Green[edit]

In 2012, Kessler moved up in weight class to light heavyweight. In May 2012, he fought Allan Green for the vacant WBC Silver Light Heavyweight title. Kessler won via knockout in the fourth round,after getting dropped by a hard right hand in the first round.

Kessler vs. Magee[edit]

Late in 2012, Kessler went up against Brian Magee of Northern Ireland for the WBA Super middleweight title. Two times in the 2nd round Brian Magee went to the floor after hard bodyshots from Kessler, and 24 seconds in the third round it was all over, when Kessler landed another hard bodyshot to Brian Magee.

Kessler vs. Froch II[edit]

On 15 January 2013, it was announced that a rematch between Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch was going to take place on 25 May 2013 at The O2 Arena in London. There will be two belts on the line, Kessler's WBA- and Froch's IBF title. Kessler won the last showdown between the two boxers, in Herning, Denmark. That time Froch was an undefeated WBC title holder, and they were both fighting in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. The faced each other at stage 2, after Kessler lost his first fight against Andre Ward, and Froch won a close fought contest against Andre Dirrell.

Froch defeated Kessler by unanimous decision on 25 May 2013, by 118-110 116-112 115-113 as he controlled Kessler with his jab for large parts of the fight. Kessler caught Froch with a big right hand in the 11th round to wobble him, but it was too late in the fight.[10]

Retirement[edit]

On 1 February 2015, Kessler announced that he was in a "state of retirement" via social media.[11]

Other[edit]

The first single from Danish heavy metal band Volbeat's fourth album, "A Warrior's Call", is dedicated to Kessler, mentioning him by name in the lyrics, "The Viking Warrior Mikkel Kessler." Kessler also provided vocals for the line "fight, fight, fight, fight," in the song, as revealed in the International EPK Video.

Kessler is sponsored by Jack&Jones clothing and was often seen wearing the brand while training and as well on his underwear and shorts at weigh-ins and fights.

He is the younger brother of adult model, actress, and television personality Linse Kessler.

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
49 fights 46 wins 3 losses
By knockout 35 0
By decision 11 3
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
49 Loss 46–3 United Kingdom Carl Froch UD 12 25 May 2013 United Kingdom The O2 Arena, London, England Lost WBA (Regular) super-middleweight title;
For IBF super-middleweight title
48 Win 46–2 United Kingdom Brian Magee TKO 3 (12), 0:24 8 Dec 2012 Denmark Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning, Denmark Won WBA (Regular) super-middleweight title
47 Win 45–2 United States Allan Green KO 4 (12), 0:17 19 May 2012 Denmark Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBC Silver light-heavyweight title
46 Win 44–2 France Mehdi Bouadla TKO 6 (12), 2:25 4 Jun 2011 Denmark Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBO European super-middleweight title
45 Win 43–2 United Kingdom Carl Froch UD 12 24 Apr 2010 Denmark MCH Arena, Herning, Denmark Won WBC super-middleweight title
44 Loss 42–2 United States Andre Ward TD 11 (12), 1:42 21 Nov 2009 United States Oracle Arena, Oakland, US Lost WBA super-middleweight title;
For vacant (WBA Super) super-middleweight title;
Unanimous TD after Kessler sustained a cuts from accidental head clashes
43 Win 42–1 Venezuela Gusmyr Perdomo TKO 4 (12), 0:51 12 Sep 2009 Denmark MCH Arena, Herning, Denmark Retained WBA super-middleweight title
42 Win 41–1 Germany Danilo Haussler KO 3 (12), 1:08 25 Oct 2008 Germany Weser-Ems-Halle, Oldenburg, Germany Retained WBA super-middleweight title
41 Win 40–1 Germany Dimitri Sartison KO 12 (12), 2:00 21 Jun 2008 Denmark Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBA super-middleweight title
40 Loss 39–1 United Kingdom Joe Calzaghe UD 12 3 Nov 2007 United Kingdom Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales Lost WBA (Super) and WBC super-middleweight titles;
For WBO, The Ring, and lineal super-middleweight titles
39 Win 39–0 Mexico Librado Andrade UD 12 24 Mar 2007 Denmark Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBA (Super) and WBC super-middleweight titles
38 Win 38–0 Germany Markus Beyer KO 3 (12), 2:58 14 Oct 2006 Denmark Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBA (Super) super-middleweight title;
Won WBC super-middleweight title
37 Win 37–0 Canada Eric Lucas TKO 10 (12), 1:51 14 Jan 2006 Denmark Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBA super-middleweight title
36 Win 36–0 Australia Anthony Mundine UD 12 8 Jun 2005 Australia Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia Retained WBA super-middleweight title
35 Win 35–0 Puerto Rico Manny Siaca RTD 7 (12), 3:00 12 Nov 2004 Denmark Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Won WBA super-middleweight title
34 Win 34–0 South Africa Andre Thysse TKO 11 (12), 1:32 11 Jun 2004 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBC International super-middleweight title
33 Win 33–0 Dominican Republic Julio César Green KO 1 (12), 1:20 13 Mar 2004 Denmark Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBC International super-middleweight title
32 Win 32–0 Costa Rica Henry Porras TKO 9 (12), 2:46 24 Oct 2003 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBC International super-middleweight title
31 Win 31–0 United States Craig Cummings KO 3 (12), 1:09 11 Apr 2003 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBC International super-middleweight title
30 Win 30–0 South Africa Dingaan Thobela UD 12 29 Nov 2002 Denmark Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant IBA super-middleweight title
29 Win 29–0 United States Dean Williams KO 1 (8), 1:58 8 Nov 2002 Denmark Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
28 Win 28–0 Poland Gerard Zdziarski TKO 8 (8), 2:33 4 Oct 2002 Denmark Holbæk Stadion, Holbæk, Denmark
27 Win 27–0 Argentina Orlando Javier Acuna RTD 6 (8), 3:00 24 May 2002 Denmark Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
26 Win 26–0 United States Arthur Allen TKO 6 (8), 0:52 15 Mar 2002 Denmark Stadionhal, Viborg, Denmark
25 Win 25–0 Canada Manny Sobral RTD 4 (8), 3:00 8 Feb 2002 Denmark Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
24 Win 24–0 United States Fernando Hernández TKO 2 (8), 1:30 16 Nov 2001 Denmark Roskilde Hallerne, Roskilde, Denmark
23 Win 23–0 Mexico David Mendez UD 6 13 Oct 2001 Denmark Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
22 Win 22–0 United States Rodrigues Moungo KO 4 (6), 1:09 27 Apr 2001 Denmark Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
21 Win 21–0 Colombia Miguel Julio KO 3 (6), 0:30 9 Mar 2001 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
20 Win 20–0 France Patrick Rubes KO 2 (6), 0:45 9 Feb 2001 Denmark Idrætshal, Odense, Denmark
19 Win 19–0 United States Tony Menefee TKO 6 (6), 1:36 1 Sep 2000 Denmark Koldinghallerne, Kolding, Denmark
18 Win 18–0 United States Kevin Hall KO 2 (6), 2:41 28 Apr 2000 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
17 Win 17–0 United States Tom Younan KO 3 (6), 1:35 31 Mar 2000 Denmark Stadionhal, Esbjerg, Denmark
16 Win 16–0 Puerto Rico Israel Ponce KO 2 (6), 2:59 4 Mar 2000 United States Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, US
15 Win 15–0 Cayman Islands Charles Whittaker KO 3 (6), 2:30 18 Feb 2000 Denmark Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
14 Win 14–0 South Africa Sidney Mxoli Msutu UD 6 14 Jan 2000 Denmark Koldinghallerne, Kolding, Denmark
13 Win 13–0 France Jean Paul D'Alessandro UD 6 4 May 1999 Denmark Circus Building, Copenhagen, Denmark
12 Win 12–0 Dominican Republic Jose Maquina Rojas KO 2 (6), 2:10 16 Apr 1999 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
11 Win 11–0 Dominican Republic Alejandro De Leon UD 6 19 Mar 1999 Denmark Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
10 Win 10–0 Mexico Jaime Balboa KO 6 (6), 2:13 12 Feb 1999 Denmark Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
9 Win 9–0 South Africa Dean Martin UD 6 27 Nov 1998 Denmark Vejlby-Risskov Hallen, Aarhus, Denmark
8 Win 8–0 United States Anthony Ivory UD 6 6 Nov 1998 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
7 Win 7–0 Panama Edwin Murillo KO 2 (6), 2:34 16 Oct 1998 Denmark Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
6 Win 6–0 United States Sammy Sparkman KO 1 (4), 2:54 18 Sep 1998 Denmark Sundbyøster Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
5 Win 5–0 United States Terry Clark KO 1 (4), 2:35 4 Sep 1998 Denmark Koldinghallerne, Kolding, Denmark
4 Win 4–0 United States Rick Stockton KO 1 (4), 2:16 5 Jun 1998 Denmark K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Win 3–0 Colombia Alex Lubo UD 4 1 May 1998 Denmark Kolding Teater, Kolding, Denmark
2 Win 2–0 United States Michael Corleone TKO 3 (4), 2:40 3 Apr 1998 Denmark Holbæk Stadion, Holbæk, Denmark
1 Win 1–0 United States Kelly Mays KO 1 (4), 1:09 20 Mar 1998 Denmark Vejlby-Risskov Hallen, Aarhus, Denmark Professional debut

Titles in boxing[edit]

Regional titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Jürgen Brähmer
WBC International super-middleweight champion
11 April 2003 – November 2004
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Otis Grant
Vacant
Title last held by
Roberto Santos
WBO European super-middleweight champion
4 June 2011 – January 2012
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Arthur Abraham
New title WBC Silver light-heavyweight champion
19 May 2012 – November 2012
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Tony Bellew
Minor world titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Reginaldo Andrade
IBA super-middleweight champion
29 November 2002 – April 2003
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Anthony Bonsante
Major world titles
Preceded by
Manny Siaca
WBA super-middleweight champion
12 November 2004 – 14 October 2006
Won Super title
Vacant
Title next held by
Anthony Mundine
as Regular champion
Vacant
Title last held by
Sven Ottke
WBA super-middleweight champion
Super title

14 October 2006 – 4 November 2007
Succeeded by
Joe Calzaghe
Preceded by
Markus Beyer
WBC super-middleweight champion
14 October 2006 – 4 November 2007
Vacant
Title last held by
Anthony Mundine
WBA super-middleweight champion
21 June 2008 – 3 November 2009
Regular title until 21 October 2008
Promoted
Vacant
Title next held by
Dimitri Sartison
as Regular champion
Vacant
Title last held by
Joe Calzaghe
WBA super-middleweight champion
Super title

3 November 2009 – 21 November 2009
Succeeded by
Andre Ward
Preceded by
Carl Froch
WBC super-middleweight champion
24 April 2010 – 7 September 2010
Status changed
Vacant
Title next held by
Carl Froch
Preceded by
Brian Magee
WBA super-middleweight champion
Regular title

8 December 2012 – 26 May 2013
Lost bid for Unified title
Vacant
Title next held by
Fedor Chudinov
Honorary titles
New title WBC super-middleweight champion
Emeritus title

7 September 2010 – May 2012
Vacated
Title discontinued

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gareth A Davies (1 November 2007). "Mikkel Kessler displays his warrior spirit". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^ "European Cadet Championships 1995". Amateur-boxing.strefa.pl. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  3. ^ team palle amateur record bottom page
  4. ^ scroll through Nordic Champions at bottom page
  5. ^ Calzaghe v Kessler as it happened
  6. ^ "Sartison-Bozic for WBA Super Middleweight title". wbanews.com. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  7. ^ Thor Carlskov (25 April 2010). "Mikkel Kessler vandt en klassiker". Ekstra Bladet. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  8. ^ Ricardo Conde (2010-06-30). "Q&A: Andre Ward". Fightnews.com. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  9. ^ "Kessler out of Super Six". Fightnews.com. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  10. ^ "Froch beats Kessler in thriller at the O2 Arena as Cobra avenges defeat to Dane with points victory in unification battle". Daily Mail. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Kessler announces retirement on Social Meia". BleacherReport. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 

External links[edit]