Mikkel Kessler Not Counting on Andre Ward Rematch

Mikkel Kessler doesn't believe he'll get a chance to avenge his loss to Andre Ward. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Though there has been some talk about a 2012 rematch between Mikkel Kessler and super middleweight world champion Andre Ward, Kessler says that he doesn't expect the fight to happen, and has advised his promoters to not spend too much time on the effort. From Sporten (translation via Oscar Nielsen):

"I cannot see Ward leaving the United States for a fight. You can see that a lot of boxing fans are blasting Ward because he hasn't got the guts to leave his home base. I've told Kalle (Sauerland) not to involve me too much [in fight discussions]. My main focus is Robert Stieglitz on April 14."

Ward (25-0, 13 KO) has reportedly been interested in rematching Kessler (44-2, 33 KO) this year because Sauerland Event was rumored to be offering about $10 million for Ward to go to Denmark for the fight, where it would be a major seller.

Of course, Ward, who holds the legitimate championship, plus the WBA and WBC belts, doesn't owe the 32-year-old Kessler anything. When they met back in 2009, Ward's dominance over Kessler was shocking to the vast majority of boxing fans. It was the first real jaw-dropper of the Super Six World Boxing Classic, and pretty much set the tone for the remainder of the tournament: Others came in with more name recognition, fame, and big fight experience, but none were actually on the level of Andre Ward in the ring.

The only thing mildly controversial about that fight was something else that became familiar, Ward's Holyfield-like use of his head. The "accidental" headbutts led to cuts on Kessler, and Ward winning via wide technical decision technical decision after 10½ rounds.

Kessler is set to challenge WBO titleholder Robert Stieglitz (41-2, 23 KO) in his next fight on April 14. The challenger will have homefield advantage in Copenhagen, and the title shot is as much a result of political backing as anything, as his only fight and only win since April 2010 was his June 2011 trouncing of Mehdi Bouadla.

Ward is rumored as likely to return in May, following his Super Six victory over Carl Froch on December 17.

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