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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 20:16 GMT 21:16 UK
Kessler calls Calzaghe a slapper
Mikkel Kessler and Joe Calzaghe
Calzaghe v Kessler could attract a world record crowd
Mikkel Kessler has built the heat ahead of his 3 November super middleweight unification bout with Joe Calzaghe by claiming that the Welshman "slaps".

"Calzaghe's an awkward fighter who throws a lot of punches but slaps a lot, too," he told BBC Sport Wales.

The accusation has been frequently thrown at Calzaghe and helped motivate him to two of his best performances, against Byron Mitchell and Jeff Lacy.

The bout could attract a record crowd, with over 17,000 tickets already sold.

606: DEBATE
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The world record attendance for an indoor boxing show is 63,350, for Muhammad Ali's rematch with Leon Spinks at the New Orleans Superdome in 1978.

But promoter Frank Warren hopes to attract up to 70,000 to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, which will have its sliding roof closed.

Dane Kessler, 28, will be putting his WBA and WBC titles on the line, along with a perfect 39-0 (29 KOs) record.

But Calzaghe, 35, will be making his 21st defence of the WBO title that he has held for 10 years, making him the world's longest reigning world champion with a record of 43-0 (32 KOs).

Kessler's style suits me, he's a very solid European-style fighter

Joe Calzaghe

"Kessler is the biggest and most difficult fight out there for me," said Calzaghe.

"He's at his peak. Just like Jeff Lacy he's young, hungry and wants to be the best in the world.

"I think he's a better fighter than Lacy - he's taller, bigger and stronger. But there's no way I'm going to lose the fight because I'll be in the best shape of my life and when I'm at my best no one can beat me.

"His style suits me. He's a very solid European-style fighter - quite upright and someone who comes in straight lines.

"At this stage of my career it's all about my legacy. I want to be recognised as maybe the greatest super middleweight there has been."

Despite his comments over Calzaghe's punching style, Kessler says he has respect for the Welshman and will relish the biggest test of his career.

I'm a more intelligent fighter than Calzaghe

Mikkel Kessler

"I've been waiting all my life for this, a big fight on US television against a great champion," Kessler told BBC Radio Wales' Back Page programme.

"They've been talking about this fight in Denmark for years.

"I don't want to reveal my tactics, but I'll keep my distance as usual. I'm a more intelligent fighter than Calzaghe.

"Lacy was too slow to take him on, but I know that I'm number one in the division and I'm going to kick his ass."

SEE ALSO
The Calzaghe Record
05 Mar 06 |  Boxing
BBC Wales Sport coverage
31 Oct 05 |  Wales


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