By Per Ake Persson
Herning, Denmark - Super middleweight Mikkel Kessler (46-2, 35KOs) knocked out Brian Magee (36-5-1, 25KOs) in three rounds to capture the WBA's "regular" super middleweight title. Magee was down twice in the second after body punches. He was finished off with the same right hand to the body early into the third. Referee Luis Pabon stopped it without a full count.
Kessler took some time in the first to find the range and made a bad start to the second but his heavy right hand found the target and Magee went down midway through the round after a right to the body. He got up, fought back, had his moments scoring with his southpaw left but late in the round heads clashed and then another right caught Magee to the midsection and he went down again but was saved by the bell.
Then early in the third Magee tried to attack but was again caught by that right and went down in pain and referee Luis Pabon stopped it at :24.
Kessler is now back with a title and got that impressive win he needed to set up mega-fights in 2013 against the likes of Carl Froch or Andre Ward - or why not against Arthur Abraham. For Magee, this must spell the end and he can look back to an exellent career.
Super middleweight contender Rudy Markussen, 38-4, returned and did what he does best: knocking out opponents early. In this case he took on Daniel Regi, 16-8, from the rather soft Hungarian scene and Rudy floored his opponent inside of five seconds of the first. Two more knockdowns followed before it was stopped.at 2.12 of the first of a scheduled eight-rounder.
Markussen is back with Sauerland and wants to fight WBO king Arthur Abraham and why not. If Rudy scores early he can take out anyone but the problem has always been that if the KO doesn´t come early the hard-hitter fades - a classic puncher´s dilemma.
The Argentinian, now based in Madrid, junior middleweight Guido Nicolas Pitto, 16-1, stopped Dane Reda Zam Zam, 27-2, in the eight of a scheduled ten-rounder. After a slow start Zam Zam appeared to gain control as Pitto, while showing good skills, just couldn´t find the range. However, Pitto broke through in the fifth and Zam Zam´s chin let him down and he just didn´t recover in an increasingly hard-fought battle that unfortunately developed into a one-sided assualt as referee Jan Christensen gave Zam Zam every chance in the bóok to recover - but he didn´t and at the end of the seventh it was painful to watch.
Zam Zam was sent out for the eighth as well but was cornered and Pitto blasted away before it was stopped at 22 seconds into the round. This must spell the end for Zam Zam - poor defence along with bad recuperative power spells trouble. The judges were split after seven.
Danish cruiserweight Micki Nielsen, 5-0, won over Lithuanian light heavyweight Egidijus Kakstys, 3-10-2. Kakstys was down in the second and while he tried hard to make a fight of it Nielsen, a southpaw, was too big and strong. It was scored 40-34 twice and 40-33 - and this was the first time Micki was forced to go the distance. Kakstys was a late sub and came in two days notice.
Just for the record: there is a recommendation - again - to use the ten point must system a little more liberal and thus we get more 10-8 rounds
Danish junior lightweight Dennis Ceylan, 3-0, outscored tough but outclassed Spaniard Antonio Rodriguez, 5-5-5, over four, Rodriguez was under pressure in the last round and went down for a count but got up and lasted the distance. Ceylan represented Denmark in the London Olympics.
Danish jr. middleweight Torben Keller, 6-0-1, stopped Brit Gary Boulden, 7-5-2, after only 2.33 of the first of a scheduled six-rounder. Keller stunned Boulder with a left hook and then found a home for his straight right as Boulden kept coming. A one-two followed by a right clipped Boulder and he went down out of this world but made it up before ten but was correctly stopped although he protested.
Swedish light heavyweight Erik Skoglund, 14-0 (8), stopped Brit Joe Ainscough, 8-5-1, at 15 seconds of the third of a scheduled eight-rounder . Ainscough was hurt by Skoglund´s strong jabs in the second and was moments later floored by a right hook as he tried to smother his opponent. He was down later in the round as well.
Norwegian light heavyweight Alexander Hagen, 2-0, outscored Czech spoiler Josef Obeslo over four messy rounds. Hagen worked hard but was seldom effective and his bodyshots often went south of the border. In the fourth and final round Alexander had a point deducted for this and was also cut on the scalp. It was scored 39-36 twice and 38-37.
Norwegian light heavyweight Simen Smaadal, 4-0, outscored Belorus Vladzimir Kharkevich, 2-4, over four. It was scored 40-35, 40-36 and 39-37.
Sauerland´s big show at the Jyske Bank Boxen opened with Danish light heavyweight debutant Kristoffer Storm taking on Czech trialhorse Tomas Kugler, 12-25-1, over four. Kugler it must be said had the best part of his career at welter and middle and it showed as the bigger and stronger Dane outworked him in a one-sided affair scored 40-36 on all cards.