Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Mikkel Kessler-Allan Green: The Pre-Fight Report Card

By Cliff Rold

And now for what might have been.

What was once supposed to be one of the final preliminary bouts of the “Super Six” Super Middleweight tournament unfolds Saturday as a critical crossroads fight.  Mikkel Kessler, hampered by an eye problem, withdrew from the tournament following a scintillating second round decision over Carl Froch in April 2010. Green, who lost badly as the tournament’s seventh man to Andre Ward in round two, was ultimately drummed out in eight by Glen Johnson as the tournament’s final new addition.

Neither has done much since.  Green has had two rebuilding assignments at Cruiserweight and Light Heavyweight.  Kessler returned last June with a rebuilding assignment at Super Middleweight and then more injury issues in a career plagued by them.  The choice is made to test the waters at Light Heavyweight for this contest.

It reads only as a test of waters as this bout was scheduled for a catchweight of 170 lbs.  Green came in slightly over but the show will go on.  Can Kessler get on track for big fights again in front of what should be a raucous hometown crowd?  U.S. fans got late news that they will be able to find out.  The bout will air live on ESPN3.com at 6 PM EST/3 PM PST.

Let’s go the report card.

The Ledgers

Mikkel Kessler 

Age:
33

Titles: None
Previous Titles: WBA Super Middleweight (2004-07, 4 Defenses; 08-09, 2 Defenses); WBC Super Middleweight (2006-07, 1 Defense; 2010)
Height: 6’1
Weight:   169.1 lbs.

Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 167 lbs.
Hails from: Copenhagen, Denmark

Record: 44-2, 33 KO

BoxingScene Rank: #2 at Super Middleweight
Record in Major Title Fights: 9-2, 6 KO
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 2 (Dingaan Thobela, Julio Cesar Green, Manny Siaca, Anthony Mundine, Eric Lucas, Markus Beyer, Dimitri Sartison, Carl Froch)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 2 (Joe Calzaghe, Andre Ward)

Vs.

Allan Green 

Age:
32

Titles/Previous Titles: None
Height: 6’2
Weight: 171.7 lbs.
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 171.9 lbs.
Hails from: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Record: 31-3, 21 KO, 1 KOBY

BoxingScene Rank: Unrated
Record in Major Title Fights: 0-1
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 1 (Carl Daniels)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 2 (Andre Ward, Glen Johnson)

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Kessler B; Green B
Pre-Fight: Power – Kessler B+; Green B+
Pre-Fight: Defense – Kessler B; Green C+
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Kessler A; Green C

Kessler at his best displayed one of the best jabs in boxing but the weapon seemed to lose some sting in recent years.  Pushing rather than popping the stick, Kessler was exposed in losses to Calzaghe and Ward for a lack of inside game.  For all his solid fundamentals and above average speed and power, he struggled with fighters able to improvise on the fly. 

While one couldn’t take too much from his rehab assignment against heavybag Mehdi Bouadla last year, there were signs that the work of trainer Jimmy Montoya is adding dimensions to Kessler.  He showed off a sharp uppercut in close and got back to some of the bodywork he’d abandoned as he expanded his profile in the championship ranks.  It was the sharpest, and quickest, Kessler had looked since a 2007 win over Librado Andrade.

It helps when the incoming is little to fear.  It won’t be the case Saturday.  While Green has, to date, done far more rhetorically than he has in the ring with top competition, his left hand remains a lethal blow.  Fired with an under and over arc, if Green can time the jab of Kessler the Dane could experience rough moments. 

The problem for Green is the question of what else he has to offer.  He showed some heart in the Johnson loss.  The heart didn’t erase a questionable beard and obvious questions about his stamina.  Green can be lapped by opponents in terms of activity and, when under fire, has not always shown the killer instinct to attempt victory.  If he can’t land the left, his face can be a mask of befuddlement and he’s prone to complaining in the ring when he should just keep fighting. 

Kessler doesn’t have the same questions.  While his frustration with Ward was evident, he showed a great will to win against Calzaghe in 2007, never giving up even as he slipped far behind in the second half of their bout.  Against Froch, one fight after Ward, he met the gritty Brit in the trenches with his back to the wall and delivered his gutsiest performance and biggest win. 

The weight, and general size, issues can’t be ignored.  Standing next to each other at the weigh-in, Green looked to have more than a single inch on Kessler in terms of height and could have pounds on him as well.  How will Kessler react to jabbing up at Green?

And if he handles it fine, how will Green react to the punches of Kessler?   

The Pick

Physically, Green possesses many traits one would want to see in a top Super Middleweight or Light Heavyweight.  It just doesn’t come together in the ring.  He doesn’t have odd lapses where he stares at his feet anymore, but his inability to focus has been evident too long to be dismissed.  With a crowd heavily against him, there’s no reason to think the pressure of being on the road and facing a top-level foe again won’t work on his psyche. 

This fight is really about what Kessler has left.  All the injuries, and the tough fights with Ward and Froch, took miles off the tank.  He can also be cut.  If he still has an A-game, he should win going away and probably by knockout.  If not, the quality gap between the two should still be enough for Kessler to throw more, land more, and earn a decision with question marks about what the future truly holds.

Report Card Picks 2012: 24-5

Cliff Rold is a member of the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 05-19-2012

[QUOTE=BattlingNelson;12147094]We might never find out if it was a catchweight or not. Another thing Cliff. Green took on his joggingshoes before the staredown while Kessler was barefooted. Green might be taller, but not by much.[/QUOTE] Ok. Makes sense. He's definitely…

Comment by BattlingNelson on 05-19-2012

[QUOTE=crold1;12147010]According to what I was given, Green came in over an agreed weight. That's what I have now. If correction is warranted, I'll get on that. As to the broader question, he usually looks drained. He blew up to 185…

Comment by crold1 on 05-19-2012

[QUOTE=WESS;12147018]So a CW of 170 or 172? By the looks of the pics I thought he looked normal. But I read somewhere that people where saying he looked drained.[/QUOTE] Might also just be building the post-fight narrative. Green usually has…

Comment by WESS on 05-19-2012

[QUOTE=crold1;12147010]According to what I was given, Green came in over an agreed weight. That's what I have now. If correction is warranted, I'll get on that. As to the broader question, he usually looks drained. He blew up to 185…

Comment by crold1 on 05-19-2012

[QUOTE=WESS;12146976]So did Green think there was one which is why he came in under and looked drained (at least that is what I have read)?[/QUOTE] According to what I was given, Green came in over an agreed weight. That's what…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (10)
Top Headlines Live ShoBox Results From California: Andrew Tabiti Wins Kavaliauskas Will Return on Lomachenko vs. Sosa Card Deontay Wilder: Titles Aside - I'm The Man To Beat at Heavyweight! Lucian Bute vs. Eleider Alvarez - LIVE Results From Quebec Thurman on Angel: Boxing Doesn't Have Time for That Clown Act Glazkov is Planning To Return To The Ring in The Summer Jay Harris Outpoints Essomba, Wins Commonwealth Gold Cecilia Braekhus Dominates Klara Svensson To Retain Belts Terence Crawford Could Fight Granados Next Instead of Felix Diaz Photos: Hurd-Harrison, Breazeale-Ugonoh - Official Weigh-In Photos: Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington - Official Weigh-In Harley Benn, Son Of Nigel, Wins His Pro Debut At York Hall De La Hoya: Canelo Fight is There - Golovkin Has To Accept Deal! Wilder Weighs in at 222 Pounds; Washington Weighs 239 Mairis Briedis vs. Marco Huck Lands on BoxNation Luis Ortiz vs. Dillian Whyte Could Be Possible, Says Eddie Hearn Dylan Price Inks Pact With Mayweather Promotions Gerald Washington: I Definitely Won My Fight Against Mansour! Frank Warren: Hughie Fury Has Signed Joseph Parker Deal Photos: Gavin McDonnell, Rey Vargas Ready For Title Battle Canelo Certain That His Right Thumb Injury No Longer An Issue Martin Murray vs. Gabriel Rosado Set, April 22 In Liverpool Wilder Anxious To Test Repaired Right Hand on 'A Human Skull' Chavez Still Wants To Fight Golovkin; 'I Think I Can Beat Him' Jessie Magdaleno, Oscar Valdez Get Opponents For April 22 Simmons Replaces Matty Askin In British Title Clash vs. Kennedy Jose Arellano, Colorado Amateur Star, is Set For Pro Debut De La Hoya: Spence Will Destroy Brook - I'd Love To Promote Him Chisora vs. Helenius Rematch Looking Likely, Says Trainer Chavez Jr: If Canelo Felt He Could Win - He Would've Fought GGG Manuel Charr Injured, Odlanier Solis Fight is Called Off The Deontay Wilder Conundrum Braekhus Struggles To Make Weight For Svensson Showdown Photos: Rodriguez-Narvaez, Vargas, Lopez - Telemundo Weigh-In Canelo: Golovkin Received His Biggest Offer - Do Not Blame Me! Video: Joseph Parker, Kevin Barry Discuss Hughie Fury Defense Gervonta Davis Has No Issue Heading To UK For Walsh Defense Kovalev's Promoter: Ward's Side Continue To Ignore Rematch Talks Dusty Harrison Arrested, Being Held on Gun Charge Brian Viloria vs. Ruben Montoya Set For March 2 in Japan
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement