HOLLYWOOD, FL, March 6 - It could have been the biggest super middleweight fight of 2008, a pitched battle between a former world champion and perhaps the most exciting warrior in the game today. But despite offers to hold the bout in a neutral location and significant offers from both HBO and Showtime for the television rights to the bout, Mikkel Kessler seems to have decided to tuck his tail between his legs and walk away from a lucrative showdown with the feared ‘Pantera’, Edison Miranda.
“Viking Warrior?” asked Miranda, referring to the former super middleweight champion’s nickname. “Kessler should turn his horned helmet in after disgracing such a tribe of true fighters. He talks like a fighter, has tattoos like he’s a tough guy, but when it comes down to being a real fighter, he’s not even worthy of carrying my gloves.”
The fight between Miranda and Kessler was originally pitched for the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, but that location was turned down. Seminole Warriors Boxing, Miranda’s promoter, immediately acquiesced and offered a neutral location for the bout – again, Kessler refused. Even extreme interest from HBO and Showtime couldn’t convince the Denmark native to fight the Colombian standout, even though a win over Miranda would help erase the memory of his decisive loss to Joe Calzaghe last November.
“I have a message for Mikkel Kessler, or Kessler the Kitten as I call him after he gave away his belts without a fight last year,” said Miranda. “Joe Calzaghe is not going to fight you again. What more does he have to prove after he slapped you around for 12 rounds? The only way you’re going to erase that loss from the fan’s memories is if you beat a legitimate fighter like me, but you know you can’t beat me, that’s why you won’t take this fight. So my advice to you is to retire and leave the fighting to the men. I challenge any of the so called top supermiddleweight contenders to step up and fight Pantera, but I doubt any of you have the guts.”