Former three-time super middleweight titlist Mikkel Kessler (42-2, 33 KOs) will move up in weight to face Allan Green at light heavyweight on May 19 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The two were supposed to have met during the Super Six World Boxing Classic, before Kessler withdrew from the tournament due to an eye injury. Green (31-3, 21 KOs) would go on to face the eventual Super Six winner, Andre Ward, in a fight that Ward won handily.
The 12-round bout will serve as a WBC title eliminator, with the winner earning a shot at current champ Bernard Hopkins.
“We want Mikkel to cement his place in boxing history along the all-time greats by wining world titles in two weight classes,” promoter Kalle Sauerland said at a press conference in Copenhagen today. “It is not going to be easy to face bigger and stronger opposition at a higher weight but the Viking Warrior has never turned down a challenge. We are thrilled to provide him with a new, a gigantic one. Before even thinking about Hopkins or Dawson, he needs to take out Allan Green, which is a high-risk fight.”
“There is some unfinished business both men want to take care of,” Sauerland added. “I am confident Mikkel will win. Green is a natural light heavyweight with huge punching power. His KO ratio is impressive. But with his legions of fans behind him, Mikkel will make his country proud and defeat Green.”
Kessler was previously scheduled to return against WBO super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz, but a hand injury forced a cancellation of the fight. Kessler says he is now ready to resume his career in a new division.
“Moving up to light heavyweight is risky, as is taking on a power-hitter like Green at a higher weight class. But I am ready. I want to make the big fights. Green is tough and strong and has a lot of power. But I will outbox and overpower him. “My finger is fine now, it just needed more time to be fully recovered,” he said. “I am ready to rumble again.”
After subsequent losses to Andre Ward and Glen Johnson, Green has won two in a row, having fought at cruiserweight and then light heavyweight in his previous bout.
With the Kessler fight finally coming to fruition, Green hopes his fortunes will change for the better.
“It´s great to be fighting in Copenhagen,” he stated. “I think Kessler is a very good fighter. Very tough and very talented. He has been world champion for a long time. But I am faster, I am stronger and I feel I have a lot more skills. He might have fought better opposition, I give him that, but I am the much better athlete.”