In his American debut, Mikkel Kessler the reigning WBA champion who has become known for his lethal jab defended his title against Olympic medalist Andre Ward in a match that was suggested to be favored by Kessler.
Hometown favorite Andre Ward represented the city of Oakland California in a well deserved world class Olympic fashion as he took the WBA title from the hands of Mikkel Kessler. In a fight that was scheduled for 12 rounds, Andre Ward showed the world and Mikkel Kessler why he is still undefeated, an Olympic gold medalist and now the new WBA Super Middle-Weight champion.
What started as a fight for the ages, Andre Ward took the presence of a world class boxer away from Kessler as he stayed away from the methods of conventional boxing and resorted to a more professional style which called for the usage of more body shots and quick feet to win by way of Technical Decision against Mikkel Kessler. Mikkel Kessler knew that the quickness that Ward possess would play a huge factor in the first stage fight of the Super Six boxing tourney, but never expected that his lack of foot work would come back to haunt him in a title fight. Something as simple as head-butting took away the technical advantage Kessler came into the fight with, as his flat-footedness allowed Ward to enter and take control of the personal space Kessler would have had if his infamous jab were more effective in this match-up. During the fight, it was noticed that Kessler seemed to take a more reserved approach to fighting Ward due to the fact that Ward stayed trying to enter into that close and personal space of Kessler leading to instances were the fighters were bumping heads accidentally as Ward used the effectiveness of inside fighting to put pressure on Kessler and make him become frustrated as right-handed jabs followed to open up a tightening situation Kessler kept backing into.
There were two pivotal instances which Ward made advancements towards Kessler in the form of body work that resulted in accidental head-butting which in turn produced cuts over the eyes of Mikkel Kessler. As the cuts began to be noticed by Kessler and his corner, Ward changed his fighting tactic to pursue a less effective right-hand stance and left-handed jab. Seemed like the more Ward fought with quick left jabs and hard right-handed hooks that Kessler showed weakness to that scheme of fighting taken by Ward and left open chances at his torso, an opportunity that was not taken lightly and resulted in both fighters coming to terms with the fact that this fight was more than that of a title fight, it was a fight that would offer respect amongst those in the tourney as King Arthur Abraham remains the sole undefeated fighter amongst the Super Six.
It was the second accidental head-butt that Ward gave Kessler that made the effective one-two become noticed as Kesslers’ worse enemy and the opening that allowed Ward to continue his attempt to take away the body of Kessler and continue to prove why his quick feet and wit always give him the advantage in close situations. As the fight was called, you could tell that Kessler grew tired of the punishment that Ward was delivering and needed a break of some sort. It was just that the break that followed was the saving decision for Kessler at a point in time were if any more punches were to be taken may have resulted in the loss of vision as both of his eyes had been cut open by incidental head-butts.
The better fighter won on this case as the score cards were used to give the decisive factor as to how to call the fight as the WBA title lay on the line.
Although the fight resulted with a score card decision, Ward did not join Abraham as a 3 point scorer in the tourney, but did take away the advantage that Kessler possessed as a WBA title holder amongst the Super Six.
This concludes the first stage of the Super Six tourney and advance the tourney into stage 2. The second stage of boxing is not scheduled to take place until early 2010. The second stage of the Super Six tourney will begin with the Match-up between Arthur Abraham 1-0 and Andre Dirrell 0-1.