Ward beats Kessler – gains WBA Super middleweight Title
By Steven Wain: Well, that was a big surprise to me and to probably 90% of the boxing community, I expected a close fight and a Mikkel Kessler unanimous decision win but I guess Andre Ward proved me wrong, and that’s what I like the most being proved wrong, heads up to Andre he did that. Andre Ward (21-0, 13 KO’s) beat Mikkel Kessler (42-2, 32 KO’s) by a 11th round technical decision after a ring side physician stopped the fight due to a growing cut on Kessler’s face, caused by a accidental head butt. This win not only gave Ward the World Boxing Association Super middleweight title but also a valuable 2 points in the super 6 tournament, and not to mentions a massive amount of confidence.
Ward came into the fight as the underdog but proved that status was just not true and he does deserve to be in the same ring as the greats, he started the fight fast and was catching Kessler with a lot of punches. Round 4 is were Ward really started to take control with a precise upper cut that left the aggressive Kessler rocked and in trouble this was the punch that opened a nasty looking cut on his face.
Ward then carried on his dominance of Kessler with some explosive combinations before opening another cut on the Danish fighters left eye. Ward used speed that Kessler just could not keep under control, and his work rate was second to none moving out the range of Kessler’s slow sluggish looking punches, and hitting him with counters.
As the fight went on Ward grew in confidence and Kessler well he grew in age big time, Kessler’s punchers were miles away from the target and a big hook in the late stages misses Wards head by about 3 inches. In the 11th there was growing concern in the Kessler camp, when finally just over 1 minute into the 11th the referee called over the ringside physician who gave the way for the referee to stop the fight. As the fight was stopped due to a accidental head butt the fight went to the score cards with two judges scoring it 98-92 and one 97-93 all in favour of Andre Ward.
Kessler however was not at all happy insisting he could have gone on for at least another minute but I question what good that would have done. He also made it aware that he was also not happy with the appointment of California-based referee Jack Reiss as he wanted a “neutral territory”. I do have to agree with Kessler on that point but I will say the referee hardly put a foot wrong he did let Ward get away with a bit of holding but Kessler can’t blame his loss on that Ward was just the better man.
Last night was defiantly a major upset not in the terms that Ward won but in the fashion and style he did it in.
One has to ask himself,
1. Is Ward a force to be reckoned with?
2. Is Kessler past his best?
3. Was it just a bad night on Kessler’s part?
4. Will Ward get over confident?
5. Was it a one off?
In the next round of the super 6 those questions will be answered, Kessler has WBC champ Carl Froch and Ward has former undisputed champ Jermain Taylor. So was it just luck or not we will soon find out.