By Ruslan Chikov
Jean Bedard, President of promotional firm InterBox, is surprised with the direction being taken by Mikkel Kessler and his team. As BoxingScene.com had reported on Friday, Kessler (44-2, 33KOs) is likely heading to a showdown with WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz - after the sanctioning body approved the Danish star's request for a mandatory position.
Bedard's company, on behalf of IBF champion Lucian Bute, made an offer to Kessler for a fall clash. Bute has been trying to get Kessler in the ring since the Danish fighter announced his return from a serious eye injury. Kessler battered French boxer Mehdi Bouadla (22-4, 10 KOs) last Saturday.
Initially, Kessler was going to face comeback opponent Renan St-Juste (22-2-1, 15 KOs), who is also under the banner of InterBox, but went in another direction. After Kessler's team selected Bouadla, Bedard sensed there was incoming trouble with a possible Bute-Kessler encounter.
"Kessler was going to face St. Juste, but they said he was too dangerous for his return. Instead of Renan, who is a left hander like Lucian, they preferred to turn to a European right-handed opponent, who is ranked in the WBO. The WBO champion Robert Stieglitz is a right-handed German. It confirms, however, that they want a different path for him and they understand that it would be less risky for him to face Robert Stieglitz than Lucian Bute," Bedard told 24H.
Bute's trainer, Stephan Larouche, is annoyed with the entire situation.
"The attitude of Kessler's team is discouraging. He sat ringside in Montreal to see the fight between Brian Magee and Lucian. He wanted to see his work and Lucian Renan St-Juste, who was going to be his comeback opponent... and suddenly, St-Juste was too strong for his return and he chose another boxer. It's a little annoying," said Larouche.
Bute returns on July 9 in Bucharest, against Frenchman Jean-Paul Mendy (29-0-1, 16 KOs).