by Jake Donovan
Terms have been reached for former two-time super middleweight titlist Mikkel Kessler to face Brian Magee for a vacant belt later this year.
The date and location have yet to be determined.
“This will be a massive event, I believe the whole country will get behind Mikkel,” promoter Kalle Sauerland said of the news. “(Kessler) can become world champion for a record fourth time and restore the Danish boxing pride by avenging the bitter KOs of Rudy Markussen and Mads Larsen.
“It’s taken a while but now all is signed and sealed, except for the venue and the date, which we expect to be finalized shortly. Magee will feel the wrath of the Viking Warrior! It’s a question of honor!”
The 33-year old Kessler (45-2, 34KO) has won each of his two comeback fights since bowing out of the Showtime Super Six World Boxing Classic two years ago. The aspiring three-time champ is riding a three-fight win streak and is coming off of a 4th round knockout of Allan Green earlier this year.
The win did not come without its scary moments. Kessler took a rare trip to the canvas as he was floored in the opening round, before rallying back to violently knock out Green in the fourth.
An offer was made last month for Kessler to face Magee, who has scored knockouts over Danish contenders Mads Larsen and Rudy Markussen. Kessler was already pondering the fight, but was given greater motivation once a title became at stake after injuries forced Karoly Balzsay to vacate.
In addition to his pursuit of becoming a three-time champ, Kessler hopes to exact revenge on behalf of his countrymen.
“I look forward to fighting Magee,” Kessler says of the upcoming showdown. “He’s a good boxer with a lot of heart. It takes something to come to Denmark and knock out both Mads and Rudy. But his winning streak will end when we meet.
“I am very keen to be world champion again and Magee cannot prevent this from happening. It will be interesting as I think it will be a little like a national team match, I am a proud Dane and this guy will take a beating for having knocked out my countrymen.”
Magee (36-4-1, 25KO) doesn’t quite share the same take.
“I am ready for the hat-trick of KO´s,” said Magee, whose 5th round knockout of Markussen earlier this year extended his win streak to two straight since last year’s title challenge loss to Lucian Bute. “I´ve stopped Larsen, I´ve stopped Markussen and now it´s Kessler´s turn. He´s a great fighter, no doubt about that, but I have the tools to break him.
“He ran from a fight earlier in the year after he was ringside and witness to the destruction of Markussen but now I have him and he will go the same way. I have already commenced early training and I am working on a fight plan with my coach Bernardo Checa. Denmark has been good to me and I am happy to be going back."