Mikkel Kessler returned to the ring after a year-plus layoff to dominate Mehdi Bouadla on June 4, and now will begin negotiations for a fight with WBO super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz on Tuesday, confirming that he'll instead chase the "easiest" belt to gain in the division, rather than targeting IBF titleholder Lucian Bute.
I said before and do firmly believe that you can't really blame Kessler (44-2, 33 KO) or his promoters at Sauerland Event for this. If he were to beat Stieglitz for the WBO belt, he could go into negotiations with Bute later this year with more leverage, and the word from Sauerland was that they didn't feel the offer to fight Bute in Montreal was good enough for someone of Kessler's stature.
So while it's a bit of a shame that we won't get Bute vs Kessler next, the good news is that doesn't mean it's being ruled out, just that we won't get that fight immediately. And Stieglitz vs Kessler isn't a bad fight, either. Stieglitz (40-2, 23 KO) has gone on a nice run since losing to Librado Andrade in 2008, and I'd argue it's better he fights a legit contender like Kessler than continuing to simply hang on to a belt against guys who aren't in that league.