Mikkel Kessler was impressed by the strength of Arthur Abraham, and Jermain Taylor made no excuses for his brutal knockout loss to the Armenian star. From Boxing Scene:
"I was impressed with Abraham," Kessler said. "He let Taylor come at him for a couple of rounds and then just went after him. And he sure can hit hard."
Kessler, who fights Andre Ward on November 21 in the final fight of the first stage of the Super Six, was in attendance and Berlin. Like Abraham, he is promoted by Sauerland Event, and the Dane is one of the co-favorites for the tournament with Abraham. They are not scheduled to meet in the round robin portion, but could wind up facing off in the semifinals or finals.
And Mikkel was not the only one impressed by Abraham's strength:
"He just surprised me with the right. I didn't see it," Taylor said. "But he hits hard, and he came to fight."
Jermain has never really been a sore loser, per se, but he's made excuses about conditioning and the like for his other losses. This time, he claimed to have come in with a new level of fitness, and to be totally fair, he never gassed in this fight. The right hand that put him away late in the 12th round was just a picture perfect shot from a brutally strong man who turned his lights out. Like we were discussing before, this might have been it for Taylor, as the 31-year old has been knocked out hard three times in his last five fights. He'll finish the tournament, I'm sure, unless he physically cannot. He suffered a bad concussion from the blow and was taken to the hospital in Berlin after the fight to make sure there's nothing wrong beyond that. There probably isn't, which is good. Best of luck to Jermain, and get well soon.
I get the feeling Abraham is never going to impress a lot of us. I wouldn't describe his performance tonight as impressive, really, but when you think about it a little more, he just does the same thing with everyone, from Edison Miranda to Elvin Ayala to Khoren Gevor to Jermain Taylor. He starts slow, gets stronger, and often flushes out opponents with late-fight power they just can't handle at that point of a fight. He's tough as all hell, and he's strong as an ox. The guy can bang for sure. It feels like we might keep expecting him to have trouble in this tournament, only for him to keep going strong. I still see him having trouble with a come-forward, aggressive and strong fighter like Carl Froch, or the technically skilled and also very strong Mikkel Kessler, or even a fast, defensively skilled fighter like Andre Dirrell. But he has earned the right to be considered 50-50 or so with everyone in the tournament, even being a short guy who isn't particularly fast and doesn't always seem to land the cleanest shots. He's just a damn good fighter.