Kessler-Ward: Robbery or Pure Quality?
By Peter Wells: Well I didn’t expect this at all, I fully believed that former World Boxing Association super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler would school the young inexperienced Andre Ward, but I admit I was wrong and give all credit to Ward for proving me wrong. Maybe Kessler was too padded fighting nobody’s since being defeated to Joe Calzaghe and every superb fighter has to start somewhere, and thinking about it, it seemed the right fight for Ward to start his legacy.
If Ward was to be a real contender for the future then this would be were it would start, and maybe we might have a future boxing hero here, and after only 21 fights he already has a huge name like Kessler on his record. Plus he did what Joe couldn’t; took Mikkel apart, cut him up and caused the doctor to intervene. He may have held on a lot, but so did his old team mate Andre Dirrell and he didn’t get a decision, so even out of the clinches he seemed a level ahead of Kessler. And don’t call me biast because I’m not American, I’m British and I was rooting for Kessler.
The only thing that ruined Andre’s win is the controversy of the head butts. This will linger for a long time, but he didn’t need to cause the cuts on Kessler, because he was already easily heading to victory. The second head butt did look pretty deliberate, but they quite often went into clinches and their heads where near to colliding many times, and they also did clash many times.
Kessler started the strongest using his jab to perfection and occasionally landing the dangerous right hand, but Andre played his part by keeping his jab moving but rarely going in with the right. In round 3 Ward got to a sprinting start and did a lot less holding. Ward got penalized twice in round 4 for low blows but kept the shots coming in. Slight blood slides down the right side of Kessler’s face in round 5 and the holding from Ward continues, Kessler catches Andre on the ropes but Ward retaliates and gets caught with two sharp hooks late on as he comes in.
Ward starts to switch stance and starts to shake Mikkel with his quick combinations, great footwork being shown by Ward. Kessler was starting to get very urgent in round 7 but is missing clearly and is getting caught more and more often as they clinch. At the end of the 7th Kessler tells his trainer he is having trouble seeing out his right eye, and the 8th doesn’t get any better as he is caught even more times in the clinches and is rocked back by a right-left.
Kessler goes to his corner, cut over his left eye and under his right, Ward keeps the shots coming looking unbeatable, Kessler starts to do more clinching and is caught by a huge combination early on. Kessler complains early about a head butt, and is backed up but fires back with urgency. Kessler makes Ward trade in his only chance to take the fight but is stunned by a stiff right before the referee intervenes and the doctor calls the fight off.
Ward won the fight by a technical draw with scores of 98-92 twice and 97-93, I had it 98-92 as well giving the first two rounds to Kessler.
Mikkel will be fighting Carl Froch next and it is only gonna get tougher, so maybe this will give a bit more of an advantage to Carl now, while Andre will step up against Jermain Taylor, the man who has been knocked out in the last minute twice in a row; so can Ward make it three.