The 168-pound superfight between undefeated champions Joe Calzaghe of Wales and Mikkel Kessler of Denmark had been rumored to finally be in the cards after 160-pound champion Jermain Taylor put a Calzaghe fight on the backburner. Finally, we'd get to see Calzaghe and Kessler in the ring together.
Well, as I expected, don't get too far ahead of yourselves, and don't expect the fight to come any time soon.
Promoters Frank Warren (Calzaghe) and Mogens Palle (Kessler) have agreed on the financial side of things, and that the fight would take place in Demark, which is somewhat surprising. What they do not agree on, however, is the date.
Palle is steadfast that the fight take place in November, while Warren insists on September. Now I know you might be saying to yourself, "Well, how about October? There's a lot of money to be made, no doubt too much to lose it all quibbling over a date when there's a middle ground."
And you'd certainly be right. What this comes off as, unfortunately, is the usual Frank Warren bullshit. He doesn't want this fight for Joe Calzaghe, he wants big fights against well-known American fighters. So what if Calzaghe's claim as the true 168-pound champion has come under fire? So what if people really want to see Calzaghe/Kessler? And so what if it's the only fight at 168 that really matters?
Now, obviously, I could be wrong. But this situation stinks, and the smell is that of a Frank Warren job. There's no reason this fight shouldn't take place, but I still don't think it will. Calzaghe and Warren want nothing to do with Mikkel Kessler.
However, to be 100% fair, the Kessler camp knew what they were getting into with Warren. Mogens Palle should probably just go ahead and do the fight in September if that's what Warren demands. If they lose this fight now, then it's back to the drawing board for everybody, and another six months to a year of waiting around to see if this fight can be made, with more bad feelings on both sides the next time around.
It's a shame, but it's politics. I question the integrity of both camps, but Frank Warren has a sadly extensive history of these things. Joe Calzaghe is a tremendous fighter, but he's also one of the most protected in the sport. This fight needs to happen, but I'm not expecting it, and the reasons won't be good enough, whatever they are.