Mikkel Kessler may have been inactive since April 2010, but he showed little rust today in an easy demolition of France's Mehdi Bouadla. Kessler won his comeback fight by sixth round TKO, knocking Bouadla down four times, with a fifth knockdown ruled a slip.
It was all no trouble for Kessler (44-2, 33 KO), who widely outclassed his opponent to the point that it's hard to even consider this fight a tune-up, but rather a farcical mismatch that probably shouldn't have happened at all. Even considering it was a comeback fight and Kessler's eye injury meant he was always going to take a soft touch upon return, this was really bad.
But that's not a shot at Bouadla (22-4, 10 KO), who got knocked down and so thoroughly dominated because he was willing to fight Kessler. The 29-year-old Frenchman did the absolute best he could, and did come to fight hard and score the upset. He just couldn't.
Now it's on to what's next for Kessler. Previously it was assumed he would fight Lucian Bute later this year, but Sauerland have not been impressed by the offer to come to Montreal and fight Bute, and are exploring other options, including Robert Stieglitz. We may not know for a while, as Bute fights in Romania on July 9, and unless Kessler and Sauerland are just not at all interested, they'll probably wait until Bute is done with that business before getting into a serious negotiation.
Showtime will be airing this fight tonight before Froch vs Johnson, with the broadcast starting at 9 p.m. EDT.