Mikkel Kessler has announced his in-ring return to boxing, but it won't come against Lucian Bute, as previously rumored. Kessler will instead take what amounts to a tune-up fight in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he will face France's Mehdi Bouadla.
Kessler (43-2, 32 KO) last fought in April 2010, when he edged Carl Froch in the best fight of the Super Six World Boxing Classic to date. Kessler had to pull out of a fight with Allan Green in stage three of the round robin tournament, citing an eye injury that knocked him out of the tournament.
Earlier this year, Kessler returned to U.S. TV when he attended Lucian Bute's fight with Brian Magee in Montreal on March 19. Kessler and Bute both talked about fighting one another, but it's understandable that Kessler would like to remove some rust with an easier fight.
And that's what this is. Bouadla (22-3, 10 KO) is 29 years old and has fought almost exclusively in France. He lost to Gennady Golovkin in Golovkin's ninth pro fight, but did press the highly-touted middleweight prospect to an eight round decision. Bouadla lost his next fight to Affif Belghecham, but since then has won 11 in a row, though not against top competition.
As for Bute, he is tentatively set for a July 9 fight in Romania. Given the location, it's unlikely he faces anyone dangerous, either, which should make it very possible for Bute-Kessler to get made for this fall if both really want the fight.