Mikkel Kessler

Mikkel Kessler (born 1 March 1979) is a Danish former professional boxer who competed from 1998 to 2013. He is a multiple-time super-middleweight world champion, having held the WBA title three times between 2004 and 2013, and the WBC title twice between 2006 and 2010. He also won the IBA World Title in 2002.

Mikkel Kessler
Kessler in 2010
Nickname(s)Viking Warrior
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Reach188 cm (74 in)
Born (1979-03-01) 1 March 1979 (age 42)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Boxing record
Total fights49
Wins by KO35

Early lifeEdit

Kessler was born to a Danish father and an English mother, Ann, who hails from Salisbury, Wiltshire.[1] He began his vocation early, training in boxing gyms at age 13.

Amateur careerEdit

Kessler competed five years as an amateur (2/93-1/98). He finished his amateur career with a record of 44 wins and three losses. He won the 1995 European Cadet (15-16 age group) Championship,[2] 1996 and 1997 Danish Junior Championships,[3] the 1996 Nordic Amateur Championship,[4] and in his last amateur bout won the 1998 Zealand International Tournament after stopping all 3 of his opponents.

Professional careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Kessler originally campaigned as a light middleweight and then middleweight for the first 22 fights of his career. He won 16 of his first 22 fights by knockout (KO).

Super middleweightEdit

After 3 years and 22 fights, Kessler settled in the super middleweight division. Kessler continued his hard hitting streak, dispatching 6 of his first 7 opponents by KO, thereby improving his record to 29–0 with 22 KO.

On 29 November 2002, Kessler fought for his first championship and defeated former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Dingaan Thobela over twelve rounds to become the International Boxing Association Champion. He gave up this belt to fight for the more recognized WBC International title on 11 April 2003, versus Craig Cummings. Kessler won by a knockout in the third round.

He defended his title on three occasions before finally hitting it big on 12 November 2004. His stablemate, Mads Larsen, another Danish World Class fighter, was set to challenge Manny Siaca for the WBA Championship in Copenhagen. Larsen was injured in training and Kessler took the fight on short notice, winning the title.

Kessler defended his title against Anthony Mundine in Sydney in June 2005 and Eric Lucas in January 2006.

On 14 October 2006, Kessler was elevated to WBA Super Champion status after winning the WBC title in a unification battle against WBC World Champion Markus Beyer at the Parken Stadium. He won by knockout at 2:58 in round 3.

Kessler defended his WBA (Super) and WBC titles on 24 March 2007, at the Parken Stadium against WBC mandatory challenger Librado Andrade. The fight was scored as a shutout (120–108) by all three judges.

Kessler vs. CalzagheEdit

Kessler then met fellow undefeated champion, Welshman Joe Calzaghe, in a bout that would unify his WBA and WBC super middleweight championships with Calzaghe's WBO and The Ring titles. The bout took place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 3 November 2007, in front of over 50,000 fans (then the largest indoor boxing event in European history), and Kessler lost the unification bout via unanimous decision, with the judges scoring the fight: 117–111, 116–112, 116–112.[5]

Second world title reignEdit

After Calzaghe vacated the WBA title to move up to light heavyweight, Kessler was put in a match with Dimitri Sartison on 21 June 2008, for the vacant belt. Kessler knocked out Sartison in the final round to regain his title.

Kessler successfully defended his title against Danilo Häussler by third-round knockout on 25 October and against Gusmyl Perdomo (16–2, 10 KOs) by fourth-round knockout on 12 September 2009, one minute into the round.

In November 2009 the WBA once again promoted him to Super Champion, this time prior to unifying any Super Middleweight titles.[6]

Super SixEdit

Kessler vs. WardEdit

His first fight was against Andre Ward on 21 November 2009 for Kessler's WBA Super Middleweight Championship in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. On 21 November 2009 Kessler lost his championship to Andre Ward. The fight was stopped in the eleventh round due to cuts on Kessler's face caused by what were deemed as unintentional headbutts by Ward, five in total. Kessler expressed in the post fight interview that he couldn't get out of first gear due to the headbutts and excessive clinching from Ward, and that he was eventually blinded by one of Ward's headbutts which on the post fight replay showed Ward ram his forehead directly into Kessler's eye. The fight went to the scorecards and Ward was far ahead by scores of 98–92, 98–92 and 97–93 at the time of the stoppage.

Kessler vs. FrochEdit

On 24 April 2010 Kessler returned to fight against Britain's undefeated WBC Champion Carl Froch, a match that was called "a classic" and "one of the best matches in Danish boxing ever."[7] The contest went the distance and Kessler was handed a unanimous decision with scores of 115–113, 116–112 and 117–111. With the win, Kessler became a two time WBC Champion, handing Carl Froch his first defeat in the process. Froch later stated that he'd suffered a minor ear injury during training and he felt he would've won the fight if it had been held in his home-country of England, but congratulated Kessler on his victory.[8]

Andre Ward later praised Kessler tremendously in an interview, calling Kessler "skill wise... the toughest I’ve fought so far." Ward went on to express admiration over Kessler's career and dispelling any criticism after his own victory over Kessler. "People want to put down Mikkel Kessler because of our fight but he’s proven himself. He’s proven that if he loses a title he can come back and become champion again, he did that after our fight so now he’s a three time world champion. Anybody that can win a world title three times and only have two losses in the process says a lot. He’s a great fighter and I give him a lot of credit and I have a lot of respect for him."[9]

On 25 August Kessler announced he was withdrawing from the Super Six tournament due to the worsening of the eye injury he suffered in his fight against Ward. According to Ekstra Bladet newspaper, Kessler stated he was seeing double. Doctors told him he must take a nine-month break from boxing.[10]


Kessler vs. BouadlaEdit

Mikkel Kessler suddenly announced his comeback, and fought against Mehdi Bouadla and scored victory by TKO. Mikkel claimed that if he had lost this fight he would retire. He was scheduled to fight against Robert Stieglitz in Copenhagen, Denmark at Parken Stadium, but the fight was cancelled due to a hand injury Kessler sustained in training.

Light heavyweightEdit

Kessler vs. GreenEdit

In 2012, Kessler moved up in weight class to light heavyweight. In May 2012, he fought Allan Green for the vacant WBC Silver Light Heavyweight title. Kessler won via knockout in the fourth round, after getting dropped by a hard right hand in the first round.

Return to super middleweightEdit

Kessler vs. MageeEdit

Late in 2012, Kessler went up against Brian Magee of Northern Ireland for the WBA Super middleweight title. Two times in the 2nd round Brian Magee went to the floor after hard bodyshots from Kessler, and 24 seconds in the third round it was all over, when Kessler landed another hard bodyshot to Brian Magee.

Kessler vs. Froch IIEdit

On 15 January 2013, it was announced that a rematch between Mikkel Kessler and Carl Froch was going to take place on 25 May 2013 at The O2 Arena in London. There will be two belts on the line, Kessler's WBA- and Froch's IBF title. Kessler won the last showdown between the two boxers, in Herning, Denmark. That time Froch was an undefeated WBC title holder, and they were both fighting in the Super Six World Boxing Classic. The faced each other at stage 2, after Kessler lost his first fight against Andre Ward, and Froch won a close fought contest against Andre Dirrell.

Froch defeated Kessler by unanimous decision on 25 May 2013, by 118-110 116-112 115-113 as he controlled Kessler with his jab for large parts of the fight. Kessler caught Froch with a big right hand in the 11th round to wobble him, but it was too late in the fight.[11]

Retirement and potential comebackEdit

On 1 February 2015, Kessler announced that he was in a "state of retirement" via social media.[12] Kessler came out of retirement on 31 March 2017.[13] On 21 June, it was said that Kessler could be added to the World Boxing Super Series.[14] Kessler passed on the Super Series and was looking to face Roamer Angulo on November.[15][16] On 16 October, Kessler revealed he had been hit by Lyme disease and his return would be delayed until 2018.[17] In February 2018, speaking to BT, Kessler said, "I just can't find the motivation to go through with it all," confirming he would stay retired.[18]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
49 fights 46 wins 3 losses
By knockout 35 0
By decision 11 3
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
49 Loss 46–3   Carl Froch UD 12 25 May 2013   The O2 Arena, London, England Lost WBA (Regular) super-middleweight title;
For IBF super-middleweight title
48 Win 46–2   Brian Magee TKO 3 (12), 0:24 8 Dec 2012   Jyske Bank Boxen, Herning, Denmark Won WBA (Regular) super-middleweight title
47 Win 45–2   Allan Green KO 4 (12), 0:17 19 May 2012   Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBC Silver light-heavyweight title
46 Win 44–2   Mehdi Bouadla TKO 6 (12), 2:25 4 Jun 2011   Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBO European super-middleweight title
45 Win 43–2   Carl Froch UD 12 24 Apr 2010   MCH Messecenter Herning, Herning, Denmark Won WBC super-middleweight title
44 Loss 42–2   Andre Ward TD 11 (12), 1:42 21 Nov 2009   Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, US Lost WBA (Super) super-middleweight title;
Super Six World Boxing Classic: group stage 1;
Unanimous TD after Kessler cut from accidental head clashes
43 Win 42–1   Gusmyr Perdomo TKO 4 (12), 0:51 12 Sep 2009   MCH Messecenter Herning, Herning, Denmark Retained WBA super-middleweight title
42 Win 41–1   Danilo Haussler KO 3 (12), 1:08 25 Oct 2008   Weser-Ems-Halle, Oldenburg, Germany Retained WBA super-middleweight title
41 Win 40–1   Dimitri Sartison KO 12 (12), 2:00 21 Jun 2008   Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBA (Regular) super-middleweight title
40 Loss 39–1   Joe Calzaghe UD 12 3 Nov 2007   Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales Lost WBA (Unified) and WBC super-middleweight titles;
For WBO and The Ring super-middleweight titles
39 Win 39–0   Librado Andrade UD 12 24 Mar 2007   Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBA (Unified) and WBC super-middleweight titles
38 Win 38–0   Markus Beyer KO 3 (12), 2:58 14 Oct 2006   Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBA (Unified) super-middleweight title;
Won WBC super-middleweight title
37 Win 37–0   Eric Lucas TKO 10 (12), 1:51 14 Jan 2006   Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBA super-middleweight title
36 Win 36–0   Anthony Mundine UD 12 8 Jun 2005   Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia Retained WBA super-middleweight title
35 Win 35–0   Manny Siaca RTD 7 (12), 3:00 12 Nov 2004   Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Won WBA super-middleweight title
34 Win 34–0   Andre Thysse TKO 11 (12), 1:32 11 Jun 2004   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBC International super-middleweight title
33 Win 33–0   Julio César Green KO 1 (12), 1:20 13 Mar 2004   Brøndby Hall, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBC International super-middleweight title
32 Win 32–0   Henry Porras TKO 9 (12), 2:46 24 Oct 2003   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark Retained WBC International super-middleweight title
31 Win 31–0   Craig Cummings KO 3 (12), 1:09 11 Apr 2003   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant WBC International super-middleweight title
30 Win 30–0   Dingaan Thobela UD 12 29 Nov 2002   Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark Won vacant IBA super-middleweight title
29 Win 29–0   Dean Williams KO 1 (8), 1:58 8 Nov 2002   Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
28 Win 28–0   Gerard Zdziarski TKO 8 (8), 2:33 4 Oct 2002   Holbæk Stadion, Holbæk, Denmark
27 Win 27–0   Orlando Javier Acuna RTD 6 (8), 3:00 24 May 2002   Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
26 Win 26–0   Arthur Allen TKO 6 (8), 0:52 15 Mar 2002   Stadionhal, Viborg, Denmark
25 Win 25–0   Manny Sobral RTD 4 (8), 3:00 8 Feb 2002   Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
24 Win 24–0   Fernando Hernández TKO 2 (8), 1:30 16 Nov 2001   Roskilde Hallerne, Roskilde, Denmark
23 Win 23–0   David Mendez UD 6 13 Oct 2001   Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
22 Win 22–0   Rodrigues Moungo KO 4 (6), 1:09 27 Apr 2001   Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
21 Win 21–0   Miguel Julio KO 3 (6), 0:30 9 Mar 2001   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
20 Win 20–0   Patrick Rubes KO 2 (6), 0:45 9 Feb 2001   Idrætshal, Odense, Denmark
19 Win 19–0   Tony Menefee TKO 6 (6), 1:36 1 Sep 2000   Koldinghallerne, Kolding, Denmark
18 Win 18–0   Kevin Hall KO 2 (6), 2:41 28 Apr 2000   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
17 Win 17–0   Tom Younan KO 3 (6), 1:35 31 Mar 2000   Stadionhal, Esbjerg, Denmark
16 Win 16–0   Israel Ponce KO 2 (6), 2:59 4 Mar 2000   Mandalay Bay Events Center, Paradise, Nevada, US
15 Win 15–0   Charles Whittaker KO 3 (6), 2:30 18 Feb 2000   Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
14 Win 14–0   Sidney Mxoli Msutu UD 6 14 Jan 2000   Koldinghallerne, Kolding, Denmark
13 Win 13–0   Jean Paul D'Alessandro UD 6 4 May 1999   Circus Building, Copenhagen, Denmark
12 Win 12–0   Jose Maquina Rojas KO 2 (6), 2:10 16 Apr 1999   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
11 Win 11–0   Alejandro De Leon UD 6 19 Mar 1999   Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
10 Win 10–0   Jaime Balboa KO 6 (6), 2:13 12 Feb 1999   Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark
9 Win 9–0   Dean Martin UD 6 27 Nov 1998   Vejlby-Risskov Hallen, Aarhus, Denmark
8 Win 8–0   Anthony Ivory UD 6 6 Nov 1998   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
7 Win 7–0   Edwin Murillo KO 2 (6), 2:34 16 Oct 1998   Aalborghallen, Aalborg, Denmark
6 Win 6–0   Sammy Sparkman KO 1 (4), 2:54 18 Sep 1998   Sundbyøster Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
5 Win 5–0   Terry Clark KO 1 (4), 2:35 4 Sep 1998   Koldinghallerne, Kolding, Denmark
4 Win 4–0   Rick Stockton KO 1 (4), 2:16 5 Jun 1998   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Win 3–0   Alex Lubo UD 4 1 May 1998   Kolding Teater, Kolding, Denmark
2 Win 2–0   Michael Corleone TKO 3 (4), 2:40 3 Apr 1998   Holbæk Stadion, Holbæk, Denmark
1 Win 1–0   Kelly Mays KO 1 (4), 1:09 20 Mar 1998   Vejlby-Risskov Hallen, Aarhus, Denmark


  1. ^ Gareth A Davies (1 November 2007). "Mikkel Kessler displays his warrior spirit". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. ^ "European Cadet Championships 1995". Amateur-boxing.strefa.pl. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  3. ^ team palle amateur record bottom page
  4. ^ scroll through Nordic Champions at bottom page Archived 14 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Calzaghe v Kessler as it happened
  6. ^ "Sartison-Bozic for WBA Super Middleweight title". WBA. 3 November 2009. Archived from the original on 3 July 2021. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  7. ^ Thor Carlskov (25 April 2010). "Mikkel Kessler vandt en klassiker". Ekstra Bladet. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  8. ^ Vester, Mark (24 April 2010) Froch: If I Was Back Home, I Would Have Beaten Kessler – Boxing News. Boxingscene.com. Retrieved on 2013-03-01.
  9. ^ Ricardo Conde (30 June 2010). "Q&A: Andre Ward". Fightnews.com. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Kessler out of Super Six". Fightnews.com. 25 August 2010. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Carl Froch gains revenge on Mikkel Kessler in gripping title fight". TheGuardian.com. 25 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Kessler announces retirement on Social Meia". BleacherReport. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Mikkel Kessler: Former world champion to return four years after last fight". BBC Sport. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Mikkel Kessler To Be Part of The World Boxing Super Series - Boxing News". boxingscene.com. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Mikkel Kessler to Pass on WBSS Wild Card, Eyes Fall Ring Return".
  16. ^ "Mikkel Kessler vs. Roamer Angulo Nears for November 11".
  17. ^ "Kessler's comeback on hold due to tick bite". 16 October 2017.
  18. ^ "Mikkel Kessler Rules Out Comeback Plans, Will Remain Retired". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 12 February 2018.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Jürgen Brähmer
WBC International
super-middleweight champion

11 April 2003 – November 2004
Title next held by
Otis Grant
Title last held by
Roberto Santos
WBO European
super-middleweight champion

4 June 2011 – January 2012
Title next held by
Arthur Abraham
New title WBC Silver light-heavyweight champion
19 May 2012 – November 2012
Title next held by
Tony Bellew
Minor world boxing titles
Title last held by
Reginaldo Andrade
IBA super-middleweight champion
29 November 2002 – April 2003
Title next held by
Anthony Bonsante
Major world boxing titles
Preceded by WBA super-middleweight champion
12 November 2004 – 14 October 2006
Won Super title
Title next held by
Anthony Mundine
as Regular champion
Title last held by
Sven Ottke
WBA super-middleweight champion
Super title

14 October 2006 – 4 November 2007
Succeeded by
Preceded by WBC super-middleweight champion
14 October 2006 – 4 November 2007
Title last held by
Anthony Mundine
WBA super-middleweight champion
21 June 2008 – 3 November 2009
Regular title until 21 October 2008
Title next held by
Dimitri Sartison
as Regular champion
Title last held by
Joe Calzaghe
WBA super-middleweight champion
Super title

3 November 2009 – 21 November 2009
Succeeded by
Preceded by WBC super-middleweight champion
24 April 2010 – 7 September 2010
Status changed
Title next held by
Carl Froch
Preceded by WBA super-middleweight champion
Regular title

8 December 201226 May 2013
Lost bid for Unified title
Title next held by
Fedor Chudinov
Honorary boxing titles
New title WBC super middleweight champion
Emeritus title

7 September 2010 – present
Andre Ward