Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
Sending A Message In Victory
IOWA CITY (BASN) — Venezuelan fighter Gusmyl Perdomo challenged Mikkel Kessler for the Danish fighter WBA title. For Kessler, he had not fought in a year and wanted a tune up before he faced Andre Ward in their first bout in the Super Six tournament that Showtime is putting on.
For Kessler, he needed the fight to get rid of the rust and keep his WBA title.
This was a risky fight for Kessler, for Perdomo was an awkward southpaw and awkward southpaws can prove problematic, if no other reason; a serious head butt could lead to a nasty cut or worse case scenario, a defeat.
In the first round, Kessler nailed Perdomo with a solid right at the end of the round but not before Perdomo connected with some solid body shots and gave Kessler some trouble.
In the second round, Perdomo stayed within Kessler wheelhouse and decided that he was going to fight for the championship. Fighting in Kessler’s hometown, Perdomo knew that he had to take the championship by being aggressive.
He nailed Kessler with body shots as well some overhead lefts. Kessler countered with some sharp rights and his jabs were becoming more accurate as the round progressed but the second round may have been Perdomo to claim.
The first half of the third round was even but the referee warned Perdomo of throwing a low blow and immediately, Kessler went on the attack as he pursued the Venezuelan across the ring. His punches had more force and a right hand to Perdomo’s shoulder sent him down.
Perdomo got up quickly to finish the round.
In the fourth round, Kessler finally put it altogether as his jab set up another of his right that dazed Perdomo. His eyes started to roll and he sat on the ropes.
Kessler threw a four or five punch combination and the first three punches were blocked but the final right shook Perdomo. The referee stepped in and while there were comments that this was quick stoppage; Perdomo’s leg gave away as the referee held him.
Kessler showed that he was ready for the challenge as six of the best fighters in the Super Middleweights division fight for the claim of being the best 168-pound fighter in the world.
While Kessler won his fight; his next opponent, Andre Ward, was fighting Shelby Pudwill. Ward wanted to show boxing fans that he was ready for Kessler and against Pudwill, it was target practice.
In the first round, Ward fought orthodox and zipped solid body shots Pudwill. Pudwill was one of those fighters who did well against second tier competition but when he moved up, he lost. Ward is one of those unique fighters who can fight equally well from either side but on this night; he strictly went orthodox.
And he punished Pudwill in the opening round with nasty body shots followed by left hooks that wobbled him. Pudwill stood up to the blows but he didn’t have the quickness to escape or counter effectively.
In the second round, Pudwill managed to threw one effective right but the rest of the round; it was Ward doing all the punching. In the third round, a Ward left hook cut Pudwill face and a left hook to the body sent Pudwill down.
Hel retreated with his hands up; determined to survive the round. Ward chased Pudwill across the ring before trapping him for a volley of punches. After a two punch combination, Pudwill wobbled and fell back to the rope. Ward took a step back, looked at the referee and implored him to stop the fight which the referee did.
Ward showed that he could be competitive with Kessler as he has the skills to fight for a title. What he lacks is Kessler experience at the upper echelon of competition.
Both fighters sent their own message not just to each other but to the rest of the field that this will be one of the most competitive events in boxing history over the past decades.