Super Six thrown into doubt as Mikkel Kessler withdraws due to eye injury

The future direction of Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic has been thrown into doubt with the news that Mikkel Kessler has had to withdraw from the tournament due to an eye injury. It is also understood the WBC Super-Middleweight Champion has vacated his title due to what is expected to be a lenthy injury layoff. While disappointed at having to leave the Super Six, Kessler is confident that he will make a return to the ring, saying at the press conference that “I have a few problems when I go down the stairs and when I close one eye, I don’t see double. It means that I had to give up my big dream, but I am not throwing the towel in the ring”.

In the press release from his promoter’s Sauerland, Kessler explained that “The eye problem has bothered me since the beginning of the Super Six in my preparation for the bout against Andre Ward. It also bothered me in the fights against Ward and Froch, and in my training for the fight against Green it has become unbearable”. Sauerland General Manager Christian Meyer said that Kessler had been checked by experts in Germany yesterday and that “the doctor confirmed that only a proper rest – so not much of a treatment – simply rest from boxing activity would lead to a full recovery”.

Kessler was due to face Allan Green in Denmark on September 25th in one of the three Final Group Stage tournament matches. These fights were due to decide which four fighters would progress to the semi-finals but with Allan Green having little chance of qualifying it throws into question the worth of proceeding with them.  There is no official word from either Showtime or the WBC as to what steps they will now take to replace Kessler. However, Showtime Sports Executive Vice President Ken Hershman has said:

“We will publicly address how this turn of events affects the tournament in the coming days. I assure you we will make the best of this scenario. In fact, I have been aware of Mikkel’s situation for a few days and I have a vision for how we can proceed that will enhance the excitement of the tournament. First, I must have some internal discussions but mark my words, the drama of the Super Six will be unrelenting and we will crown a champion in the early part of 2011.”

Sauerland is hopeful that the popular Danish fighter will be able to pick up where he left things when he returns next year, with promoter Kalle Sauerland talking about a ‘verbal agreement’ for Kessler to face the tournament winner and Meyer calling on the WBC to give The Viking Warrior “Champion Emeritus” status so that he can face the reigning champion upon his return.

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