Calzaghe Kessler: Does Joe Have a Plan B?

calzaghe55754447.jpgAs World Boxing Organization super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe (43-0, 32 KOs) approaches this Saturday’s bout with World Boxing Council/World Boxing Association super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (39-0, 29 KOs) at the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, Wales, a big questions is whether the 35-year old Calzaghe has a plan B should his slap happy style of fighting prove in effective against Kessler. Unlike Calzaghe’s mostly marginal other challengers, Kessler has an airtight defense, and excellent jab and a powerful right hand to go along with it. In Calzaghe’s previous 20 title defenses, he’s had much softer opposition, allowing him to get away with his slapping style and his wide open defense.

Perhaps Calzaghe’s best opponent to date, Sakio Bika, had him plenty worried, as the African roughed up Calzaghe in the first half of the fight and him worried and confused, asking his father, Enzo, for advice at one stage in the fight. Now, Bika’s a good fighters but he’s not in anyway in the same class as Kessler, who is clearly several runs ahead of him in talent and ring smarts. If Calzaghe goes in against Kessler with his usual slapping style, he’ll likely have much more problems than the ones that Bika presented for him.

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Calzaghe Kessler: Does Joe Have Enough Power To Keep Mikkel Honest?

calzaghe464343.jpg With little more than two weeks to go before the Super middleweight showdown between undefeated World Boxing Organization super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe (43-0, 32 KOs) and World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (39-0, 29 KOs) the big question that comes to mind for many is whether Calzaghe will have the power to keep the younger, stronger Kessler on the outside where he’s much less effective. The bout, which takes place at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, in Wales, will be a factor in the 35-year old Calzaghe’s favor, however, it’s not clear how much the crowd can assist Calzaghe in the way of his lack of power. Calzaghe, a fighter mainly noted for being an excellent slapper, has never had the kind of knockout power that Kessler possesses, and has been lucky up to this point in his career, only having to face mostly weaker, mediocre fighters.

Much has been made of the fact that Calzaghe has held onto the WBO super middleweight title for the past 10 years, but unknown to many fans is that the wins have come against weak opposition, much weaker than the top super middleweights that have recently risen to the top of the division. For Calzaghe, with his marginal punching power, a fight against Kessler couldn’t have come at the worst time for him in his career, because he’s clearly on the downward slope and doesn’t have more than a few good fights in him before he starts taking beatings – and suffering loses, if he continues to face tough opposition after he faces Kessler.

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Kessler v Calzaghe

While boxing’s current longest-reigning world champion JOE CALZAGHE was feted today marking 10 years of superstardom and 20 consecutive successful title defenses, his opponent MIKKEL KESSLER tried to rain on Joe’s parade and issued a few choice word to The Sun’s Gavin Glicksman.

“Joe is a great champion but I’m going to beat him,” said Kessler. “I’m going to be 200 per cent better than my last fight and he’s going to get a big surprise. I’ve seen some of his fights and he’s never fought a guy like me before, that’s why he’s going to be in trouble. I hit straight, I hit hard, I hit directly. I’m going to show everyone I’m a bigger champion than he is.”

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Pavlik Beats Taylor, Calzaghe Congratulates

Many thought that all Kelly Pavlik (32-0, 29 KOs), had was a ghost of a chance when he entered the ring at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, packed with over 10,000 fans, last night to challenge defending middleweight champion Jermain Taylor (27-1-1, 17 KOs), in a fight that was broadcast live on HBO. Apparently that’s all Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik needed as he came back from the brink of defeat after suffering a second-round knockdown to knockout Taylor in the seventh round of their battle of undefeated gladiators..

ZOWIE! DOUBLE ZOWIE!!

Already the early favorite for “Fight of the Year,” Pavlik staked his claim as “Fighter of the Year” as the boxing spotlight shone bright on his hometown of Youngstown, OH for the first time since Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini’s heyday as WBA lightweight champion during the early ’80s. Mancini was at ringside rooting on his heir apparent.

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Calzaghe-Kessler: What Does Joe Do If He Loses?

calzaghe4632.jpgAs WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe (43-0, 32 KOs) and WBC/WBA super middleweight title holder Mikkel Kessler (39-0, 29 KOs) prepare for their November 3rd showdown at the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff, Wales, a lot of talk has been made about Calzaghe’s future plans after the bout. Specifically, Calzaghe, 35, has made frequent references about his desire to move either take on the winner of WBO/WBC middleweight champion Jermain Taylor and challenger Kelly Pavlik.

Calzaghe has also mentioned on a number of occasions that he’d also like to fight Bernard Hopkins, considered to be one of the best (read: fighter most likely to bring in a big payday for Calzaghe) in the light heavyweight division. Hopkins, however, would be Calzaghe’s second choice, if his plans for a bout with either Pavlik or Taylor don’t pan out like he plans for it to.

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Calzaghe vs. Kessler: Is Joe Looking Past Mikkel?

calzaghe453334.jpgIn the lead up to WBO super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe’s (43-0, 32 KOs) mega bout with super middleweight champion (WBA & WBC) Mikkel Kessler (39-0, 29 KOs), Calzaghe had been prematurely discussing plans for fighting either the winner of the Kelly Pavlik vs. Jermain Taylor or leaving the super middleweight division altogether and fighting Bernard Hopkins at light heavyweight. However, one thing that seems odd about the whole thing is his presumption that he’s in fact going to beat Kessler.

At this point, there’s quite a few people that are picking Calzaghe to lose the bout, mostly because of his advanced age (35) combined with the fact that Kessler, 28, has appeared very strong in his last few bouts with impressive wins over Anthony Mundine, Eric Lucas, Markus Beyer and Librado Andrade. Kessler has knocked out two of them – Lucas and Beyer – while badly outpointing Mundine and Andrade.

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What’s Next For Bernard Hopkins

Light heayweight Bernard Hopkins (48-4, 32 KOs) is seemingly sitting on top of the world right now of his recent 12-round unanimous decision victory over Ronald “Winky” Wright on July 21st at the Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The win was nothing short of spectacular, not the least of which because of his advanced age (42-years old), and with the added fact that he hadn’t fought in over a year.

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