Though the expectation was that with a win tomorrow in Denmark, Mikkel Kessler would then line up a fight with IBF super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute, reports are now surfacing that Kessler could instead face the lesser-regarded Robert Stieglitz this fall.
Bute fights on July 9 against Jean Paul Mendy, but as usual is a heavy favorite against a mediocre opponent. Kessler faces Mehdi Bouadla tomorrow in his first fight since April 2010.
Would it really surprise anyone if Bute vs Kessler wound up not happening? The two publicly agreed to fight later this year when Kessler was in Montreal to watch Bute defeat Brian Magee, but we've seen lots of public agreements never really happen in boxing.
If Kessler does fight Stieglitz instead of Bute, the first reaction obviously would be to blame Kessler for looking for an easier road back to a title trinket. Stieglitz is a fine fighter, but no one is confusing him with Bute or the cream of the super middleweight crop. Kessler even publicly agreed to fight Bute in Montreal, so issue of location shouldn't be an issue, really, and the money is likely quite good for a Bute-Kessler fight, so what else could there be?
For now this is just rumor, but I'll answer my own question: No, I don't think anyone would really be surprised.