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Did Ward ruin Kessler?

Andre Ward Mikkel KesslerBy Scott Gilfoid: Former WBC/WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (43-2, 32 KO’s) recently dropped out of the Super Six tournament complaining about an eye problem. Kessler, 31, says he’s been having the eye problems since his brutal 11th round technical decision beat down at the hands of talented American Andre Ward (22-0, 13 KO’s) last year in November. Ward showed a masterful performance against Kessler, lancing him with hard jabs all night and knifing inside and punishing him with hard shots on the inside. It was like parent spanking a mere child, because Kessler wasn’t skilled enough to deal with Ward’s brilliant attacks.

Kessler went on and defeated Carl Froch in his next fight, beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision in April of this year. But it didn’t look like the same Kessler as before. Kessler appeared to be fighting at around 75% from calculations from what he was in the Ward fight. I have to attribute Kessler’s decline of skills over that time due to the beating that he took at the hands of Ward on that night on November 21st, in 2009.

Kessler is now out of the Super Six tournament, resting his bad eye and supposedly getting ready to take on the winner of the Super Six tourney next year when it ends. Kessler’s eye needs nine months of healing, but I don’t think Kessler will ever be the same fighter he once was from the beating he took from Ward in that fight. And I wouldn’t recommend that Kessler ever fight Ward again. I don’t think he should fight Ward, Andre Dirrell or guys like Arthur Abraham.

If Kessler insists on continuing his boxing career, then I think he needs to go back to fighting the kinds of guys that he’s been fighting his entire boxing career, such as Antoniy Mundine, Danilo Haussler, Dimitri Sartison, Librado Andrade and Manny Siaca. I think Kessler would do well against those fighters and he probably wouldn’t take punishment in beating them. That’s what my advice would be for him. He needs to stay away fighting the Super Six tournament winner, because that’s like going to be Ward or Dirrell, and those guys are much tougher than the guys Kessler has been fighting during his career.

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