by Rick Reeno
Dan Goossen, promoter for WBC/WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward, has issued a response to an earlier article which appeared on BoxingScene.com. Former three time world champion Mikkel Kessler is interested in having a rematch with Ward, who also has interest in a second meeting. The big issue is location.
In 2009, Kessler traveled to the United States to defend his title against Ward, in the challenger's backyard of Oakland, California. Their fight was part of the first stage of the Super Six tournament. Ward won an eleven round technical decision.
Both Kessler and his promoter, Sauerland Event, were very unhappy with the officiating. Kessler suffered several cuts during the contest, due to accidental head clashes. The cuts impaired Kessler's vision and the fight was cut short in round eleven and sent to the cards.
Obviously, Kessler wants the rematch to take place in a neutral location - preferably outside of the United States. He doesn't expect his promoter, Kalle Sauerland, to secure a rematch on foreign soil.
"I cannot see Ward leaving the United States for a fight. You can see that a lot of boxing fans are blasting Ward because he hasn't got the guts to leave his home base," Kessler told Danish publication Sporten.
Goossen is agitated with Kessler's remarks and the circulating reports of Kalle Sauerland trying to get a Ward rematch.
"If constantly going to the media without one business discussion with Dan Goossen is Kalle Sauerland’s idea of 'trying to set up a rematch between the Danish star and WBA/WBC champion Andre Ward' - he will have a difficult time of ever being successful in having Mikkel Kessler challenging Ward again, said Goossen to BoxingScene.com. "It's obvious the last person Sauerland would like Kessler in with again is Andre Ward, hence the continual onslaught of completely false words to the media."
"As for Kessler questioning Andre’s guts, all I will say, Andre was a 19-0 fighter willing to challenge a very experienced world champion (42-1, 33 KOs at the time) and the Super Six tournament favorite in Kessler, whose only previous loss was in 2009 to the undefeated Joe Calzaghe in the UK. Not only did Ward out-gut Kessler on November 21, 2009, in the US, but he out-gutted every challenge put in front of him thereafter, and that's what I call a real fighter. I would respectfully suggest to Mikkel to refrain from any future name-calling about Andre and realize bouts aren’t made by informing the media about 'fight discussions' that have not taken place."
Kessler returns to the ring on April 14th in Copenhagen, challenging WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz.