• Super-middleweight

Kessler proves too powerful for Magee

ESPN staff
December 8, 2012
Mikkel Kessler reclaimed the WBA world title © PA Photos

Mikkel Kessler reclaimed the WBA super-middleweight world title with a third round stoppage of Northern Irishman Brian Magee on Saturday.

In front of a rampant home crowd in Herning, Kessler had Magee crumpled in a heap after a thuddering body punch midway through the second round, before finishing off the prostrate Irishman with a similar blow after barely 30 seconds of the third.

In truth 37-year-old Magee, making the first defence of his world title, simply could not cope with the Dane's prodigious punching power - despite having won on both his previous visits to Denmark to fight on opposition soil.

For Kessler, now a three-time world champion in the weight class, his attention will now turn to bigger fights - with a rematch against Carl Froch, who he beat in a narrow decision during the Super Six tournament in 2010, and Andre Ward, who he lost to a few months prior, both on the agenda.

"Mikkel Kessler, as we know, is a world-class fighter," Froch, working as a pundit for Sky Sports, said afterwards. "When we fight, it will be a fight between two warriors.

"It could go either way. But I know I can beat him."

After feeling each other out in the early exchanges, Magee admitted afterwards that he knew he was in trouble as soon as Kessler's first punch connected properly. Once he went down midway through the second stanza, it always looked like matters would finish quickly.

"The first shot he got me in the body really hurt me bad," Magee said afterwards. "Mikkel is a great champion, Denmark should be proud of him.

"I always knew he was a champion. I came as the champion and trained like a champion ... but there was nothing I could do about it."

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