Kessler Stops Sartison
By Erik Schmidt: Former super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (40-1, 30 KOs) easily destroyed Dmitri Sartison (22-1, 14 KOs) in an impressive 12th round stoppage to win the vacant WBA super middleweight title tonight at the Brondby hallen, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Sartison, 28, was totally dominated all fight long, badly beaten in every round and knocked down both in the 11th and 12th round. The fight was stopped after the second knockdown, as Sartison was too badly hurt to continue fighting.
Immediately afterwards, a badly beaten Sartison was rushed to a nearby hospital to be examined for head injuries. In the 1st round, Sartison using powerful hooks and a straight right hand, appeared to stun Kessler with a big right hand. Sartison added a several more big shots in the round because Kessler could regain his composure and once again start jabbing at a distance. From that point, Kessler fought much more cautiously, using his jab and in and out movement to keep Sartison from tagging him like he had in the first round. Still, Sartison was able to catch Kessler with big shots every now and then, hitting him much more often than I’d ever seen him hit before.
By the 6th round, Sartison started showing signs of wearing down, not so much because of what Kessler was doing, but more due to his lack of conditioning. Kessler was mostly jabbing, which Sartison had problems with to be sure, but it wasn’t the big kind of shots that hurt a fighter. Once Sartison started slowing down, Kessler immediately seemed to sense it and picked up his offensive attack and started hitting him with many more combinations to the head and body.
Sartison was only able to answer back rarely following the 8th round, though he did have a little success on occasion tagging Kessler with big right hands as he would come inside. For the most part, Kessler looked decent but not great. I mean, he was doing well, dominating the fight but he was much less impressive than he had been against his softer opponents like Markus Beyer and Eric Lucas. However, Sartison had a lot to do with that because he was bringing in some excellent power and good technical boxing skills, which were a good match for Kessler’s own boxing skills.
Finally, in the 12th round, with Sartison now completely exhausted and barely able to fight back, Kessler stepped it up and landed an avalanche of shots which knocked Sartison to the canvas. The referee then moved in and halted the fight almost immediately. A badly hurt Sartison was quickly ushered out of the ring to a nearby hospital.
Sartison fought gamely, but as one would expect, he didn’t have the experience and quite the boxing skills to deal with Kessler’s immense talent. Going into the fight, Sartison had very little experience against top level opposition, and though he did a decent job, his lack of experience hurt him badly in this fight. Perhaps if his German management had given him a few more fights against top level opposition, he might not have taken such a vicious beating tonight. Heck, who knows? He might have even beaten Kessler. He certainly looked good enough to beat Kessler in the first three rounds, but things steadily went downhill after that as Sartison ran out of gas.
This win came a t a price for Kessler, who instead of lining up what would be an exciting fight with middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, he has only 120 days to fight challenger Danilo Haussler, a decent fighter but very beatable and not particularly talented.