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Home Boxing WHO SHOULD REPLACE KESSLER?
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WHO SHOULD REPLACE KESSLER?


super_six_boxingThe news that Mikkel Kessler would be forced to withdraw from the Super Six tournament due to an eye injury is certainly taking some of the luster off of the future events.  It is still the hottest thing going on boxing now, but only a quick glance at the ratings show that whomever the replacement is for Kessler, they will not bring his level of interest.
 
Lucien Bute?  This would be the only person to generate the same big interest, but it's not likely to happen.  He is being prepped to take on the winner of the Super Six, and he will not be taking any big risks until that happens.  Not at 175.  Not at 168.  Nowhere. 
 
Sakio Bika?  He was certainly the most deserving, until he starched Jean-Paul Mendy while sitting on the canvas last month.  This cost him respect, as it did for Arthur Abraham (and Bika vs. Abraham is still a fight that I would like to see, just for the punching power and durability... not necessarily the fouling).  Moreso, it cost him the throngs of fans who were previously saying he was being ducked.  This was a chance for him to shine, and he blew it.  Now, sadly, it will become easy to ignore him again.
 
Mendy?  Still technically undefeated by the skin of his teeth (he really lost to Hanshaw, and was on his way to losing to Bika), he will likely end up cannon fodder for Bute, or Andrade, or the next real fighter to face him.  Either way, he has done nothing to interest the suits at Showtime, or the viewing public. 
 
Librado Andrade?  Very exciting, but has shown too much vulnerability against the top fighters.  Plus, should he pull the upset, and win the tournament, not very many people want to see Andrade-Bute 3.
 
More than likely the call will go to another German-promoted fighter.  Dmitry Sartison would be the leading candidate, as he has a belt.  It may be the throw-away extra belt so that Andre Ward doesn't have to face him, but it's a belt nonetheless.  His only loss was to Kessler and he would sell tickets in Germany.  Same could be said for Karoly Balzsay and Khoren Gevor, but Gevor's only fight at 168 was a loss to Sartison, and Balzsay is on the 'Zsolt Erdei plan' of grab a WBO belt, and hide while fighting nobodies.  Robert Stieglitz is another German fighter who can sell tickets, and make for some exciting fights, but he has been KO'd by Andrade and Alejandro Berrio.  Enough said.
 
Perhaps there is someone I am forgetting, or some star will change weight divisions to join (Hopkins, Pavlik, etc.)... but more than likely the boxing world has lost out almost as much as Kessler for this pull-out.


Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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