On Saturday November 3rd, the record will probably be broken for the largest indoor attendance at a sporting event in British sports history and Wales is set for a smashing sporting event. This will be a battle between two undefeated fighters, who will decide the future of the 168-pound weight division. This is an HBO pay-per-view event taking place in Millennium Stadium in Wales.
Joe Calzaghe from Wales, 43-0, 29 KOs, will face Mikkel Kessler of Denmark, with a record of 39-0, 29 KOs. Calzaghe is the WBO champion and is currently the longest reigning undefeated champion in boxing. He just happens to be my favorite fighter, coming from one of my favorite countries, the magical nation of Wales. He has been champion since October 1997, just about the time the first Harry Potter novel was finished.
Most of my readers are aware that I predicted the stunning victory by my main man, Kelly Pavlik, over Jermaine Taylor in what was one of the best fights in years. It is not as easy to pick the winner in this one, although I am going to pick Joe.
Joe is not your basic stand up type European fighter. He fights with a style as smooth as any top American fighter, has very fast hands, excellent power, and great evasive movements. He frustrates opponents and his volume of punching is amazing. In retrospect, he throws a lot of punches, from different angles that are both hard and fast. He is also very intelligent. Just ask Jeff Lacy, who Joe destroyed over a year ago, sending him back to Florida. We have heard little of Jeff Lacy since that terrible beating at the hands of Calzaghe. However, Joe will have his hands full with Mikkel Kessler.
Kessler, currently WBC and WBA Super middle-weight champion, fights in the more traditional European fashion, more upright with a great jab and powerful right hand. He has one punch knockout power and Joe must be careful of this. Kessler, called the Viking Warrior because of his Danish heritage and dangerous style, also has a slight height advantage and is younger. He will bring a solid and very dangerous game plan into the ring. He wrecks opponents and he is, like Calzaghe, a very exciting fighter.
Like Kelly Pavlik, both of these fighters are diminishing the long held ring dominance of the minority fighters and are proving what I have known since growing up as a black man in an Italian neighborhood. People of European heritage can fight and fight well. I love it! Let’s not forget the fearsome Jack Dempsey and the great Billy Conn.
My pick is for Joe to win. Kessler’s style is predictable and I feel that is what Calzaghe is going to exploit. Joe throws a lot of accurate punches and this will give Kessler problems. Look for a fantastic fight with drama and a lot of action. Let’s see if I will be 2 and O for boxing predictions.