Kessler: I’m going to take Magee’s belt on Saturday; Blackledge-King
With three days to go until the Nordic Fight Night at Jyske Bank BOXEN in Herning, Mikkel Kessler (45-2, 34 KOs) and World Boxing Association (WBA) Super-Middleweight Champion Brian Magee (36-4-1, 25 KOs) held a crowded final press conference at the venue to talk about Saturday´s showdown. Here is what the two camps had to say.
Mikkel Kessler: “It´s great to be fighting in Herning again. I got two great wins here, against Perdomo and against Froch. The atmosphere is going to be fantastic and I will beat Magee on Saturday. He has knocked out Markussen and Larsen, I have briefly spoken to both of them, but there is not much to say because I know what I have to do. My team has prepared a good plan and we will get the title on Saturday.”
Brian Magee: “It´s good to be in Denmark and I look forward to Saturday. I have a lot of respect for Mikkel, he is a great fighter, but I am here to defend my belt. I am as ready as I have ever been and can´t wait to get it on.”
Kalle Sauerland (Promoter Kessler): “The stakes have never been higher for Mikkel, he really needs to win this one. For Denmark and for himself. Whoever has his arm raised on Saturday will have a lot of great options but there is only one person that can emerge victorious on Saturday and I am convinced it will be Mikkel. The stage is set, we expect a fantastic crowd of more than 10.000 fans who will all scream the Viking Warrior to another huge win in Herning.”
Pat Magee (Manager Magee): “Brian is at the very top of his game, he has just been promoted to world champion after 14 years of working his way up, so he will leave it all in the ring and give everything to defend his title. We respect Kessler, but we are here to clinch another victory on Danish soil. Brian has knocked out Mads Larsen and Rudy Markussen and now wants to add Kessler to his list of knock-outs. They call him the Dane-Killer for a reason.”
Jimmy Montoya (Kessler coach): “Brian Magee will not be called the Dane-Killer after Mikkel has been in the ring with him. Magee will need painkillers after the fight, he will go all the way from Dane-Killer to Pain-Killer! He is a good fighter and deserves to be champion, but Mikkel is in a different league and Magee will find out on Saturday.”
Bernado Checa (Magee coach): “It´s good to hear that Mikkel is ready and in his best ever shape. So there will be no excuses when Brian has beaten him.”
Georg Soerensen (CEO MCH Herning): “It´s a great honour to stage this fight at Jyske Bank BOXEN. We have had a lot of international superstars in town but hosting a fight of the Viking Warrior is always something very special. We are ready for a great night of boxing with a fantastic crowd.”
Tickets for the Nordic Fight Night at Jyske Bank BOXEN can be purchased at www.billetnet.dk.
BLACKLEDGE PREDICTS ‘WICKED’ BOLTON FIGHT!
Lancashire’s British Masters light-heavyweight champion Luke Blackledge insists a late change of opponent won’t faze him when he headlines VIP Promotions’ ‘Total Carnage’ card at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on Sunday December 9.
Blackledge, undefeated in 12 with four early finishes, was slated to face Sheffield’s Wayne Reed for his Central Area super-middleweight belt but, after Reed pulled out, now steps in with renowned Welsh hard man Nathan King for the vacant International Masters super-middleweight crown.
“It’s not going to make any difference,” said Blackledge, 22.
“It doesn’t make any odds; I’ve been training for a title fight and I’m still boxing for a title.
“Hopefully I can box Wayne Reed in the future but I’ve got Nathan King on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it.
“He’s a game opponent; he comes forward and he’s aggressive, so it’ll be a wicked fight!”
Luke has a point to prove against King.
Last time out in early November, in a lacklustre performance, Blackledge struggled to a draw against unheralded Zimbabwean Farai Musiyiwa.
Feeling like he let down himself, his team, and his fans in that last outing, Luke maintains this time around he has been fully focused on the task ahead, has prepared well, and will shine in Bolton.
“My performance last time was awful. I felt like I’d lost the fight and I got a draw, but I had nothing in the tank and shouldn’t have really fought.
“So I’m looking for a really good performance on Sunday. I’ve done everything right. I’ve trained, I’ve dieted right, and I’ve had really good sparring.
“This is a fight I should look good in. I’m really confident as I am for every fight. I want to make a statement and get a good win on Sunday. I want to really put in a performance.”
Opponent Nathan King appears to be carved from the same granite as all those tough Welsh fighters from yesteryear.
The man from the valleys may have won just 12 of 29, but he has only been stopped three times and has fought some of the UK’s best fighters including James DeGale; Kenny Anderson; Tony Quigley; Tony Dodson and Tony Oakey.
After getting married and toiling hard as a scaffolder, Nathan returns against Blackledge after a two year boxing break and says that, with a new trainer on board and a fresh zest for the fight game, he is confident of picking up lucky win number 13.
“I’ve been training really hard for a fight and this has come along and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I don’t know much about him apart from he drew in his last fight, but at the end of the day it’s just two boys in the ring.
“If he looks at my record he’ll see I’ve boxed all the top boys and most of them I should have beaten.”
‘Total Carnage’ takes place in The Premier Suite at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on December 9. The entertainment kicks off with the Manchester derby being shown live on big screens at 1.30pm, followed by a six-bout boxing card from 3.30pm.
Headlining will be Accrington’s 12-fight unbeaten prospect Luke Blackledge battling Welshman Nathan King for the International Masters super-middleweight title. Also boxing will be Manchester’s Jimmy Kelly Jnr; Blackburn’s Kurt Grieve; Bolton’s Danny Watson; Darwen cruiserweight Stevie Taylor, and Oldham’s Alex Rutter.
Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £50 (Ringside), are available from all boxers or at www.vipbe.co.uk
Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting www.vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and on Facebook. Currently, you can also watch free fights at www.vipboxing.tv