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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 November 2007, 01:22 GMT
Calzaghe v Kessler as it happened
Joe Calzaghe (left) and Mikkel Kessler
More than 50,000 will watch Calzaghe (left) fight Kessler
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Wales' Joe Calzaghe outpoints Denmark's Mikkel Kessler to take the undisputed super middleweight crown in Cardiff.

Calzaghe started slowly but took control in the middle rounds and showed incredible hunger down the stretch to secure a unanimous decision.

ROUND-BY-ROUND UPDATES

By Ben Dirs

Verdict: As expected, Joe Calzaghe takes a unanimous decision to become the undisputed super middleweight champion. Another phenomenal performance from the 35-year-old Welshman. Judges' scorecards: 117-111, 116-112, 116-112

Round Twelve: Calzaghe controlling things from range, stringing some left-right combionations together, but Kessler does manage to land with one big right hand and a solid right uppercut. But Calzaghe, not content to get on his bike and stay out of range, takes control again with some useful flurries, although Kessler probably took the round with some solid shots down the stretch, including two booming right crosses. Kessler's round, but Calzaghe's fight. Great match-up, and Kessler knows he's lost it as the final bell sounds. Big hugs all round, plenty of respect. BBC score: Calzaghe 115-113 Kessler

Round Eleven: Lovely work inside from Calzaghe, sending home a couple of sharp upper-cuts, and Kessler looks to be running out of ideas. Kessler takes a big left hook from Calzaghe and promoter Frank Warren implores his man to keep his gloves up - Kessler still has that big right hand in his locker. Bit of show-boating from Calzaghe, but Kessler has to knock his man out now to win it. BBC score: Calzaghe 106-103 Kessler

Round Ten: Calzaghe's incredible fitness really beginning to tell now and Kessler's work is beginning to look very ragged. Calzaghe has Kessler back-pedalling with some flurries and comes on strong down the stretch. Kessler does land with two solid rights, but that was Calzaghe's round - just...BBC score: Calzaghe 96-94 Kessler

Round Nine: It's all getting a bit messy now and this is turning into a battle of wills. Very few clean shots and Kessler not throwing much leather. That was Calzaghe's round on work-rate, although his corner won't like him dropping his hands like that. BBC score: Calzaghe 86-85 Kessler

Round Eight: Kessler starting to come on strong and he lands with a couple of leg-stiffening right hands. But Calzaghe retains his composure and pours it on in the last minute, landing with some great combinations and maybe nicking the round. BBC score: Calzaghe 76-76 Kessler

Round Seven: Calzaghe seizing control at the beginning of the round and he lands with some sharp combinations before sending home a wicked overhand right that rocks Kessler's head back. However, Kessler returns fire, landing with a couple of beefy rights and an uppercut. A difficult round to score, but Kessler it was who landed the cleaner punches. BBC score: Calzaghe 66-67 Kessler

Round Six: It's not the brawl some expected but again it's Calzaghe nicking the round on work-rate. Calzaghe has heeded the advice of his corner and decided not to go boring in with his head low, instead fighting from range and controlling things with his right-hand lead. BBC score: Calzaghe 57-57 Kessler

Round Five: A quieter round but Calzaghe with the better work, bouncing in and out of range and making Kessler miss. Not big hits, but it was the Welshman who made all the running. Kessler sucking it up for a couple of rounds? BBC score: Calzaghe 47-48 Kessler

Round Four: Kessler comes swarming back, hurting Calzaghe with a big right cross before shaking the Welshman with two booming right uppercuts. Anxious times for Calzaghe - that was all about survival. Classy from Kessler and the Danish fans have found their voice. BBC score: Calzaghe 37-39 Kessler

Round Three: Better from Calzaghe and he appears to have scored a knockdown at the beginning of the round - but the referee rules it was a slip, and rightly so. Calzaghe, showing his class, lets go with some flurries but Kessler refuses to be drawn into a brawl. The home favourite shows the bolo punch before landing with a right hand and then lands with three sharp lefts. No doubt about that, Calzaghe's round. BBC score: Calzaghe 28-29 Kessler

Round Two: Better work from the Dane, getting Calzaghe back-pedalling with one big right hand and following up with a sharp left lead. Calzaghe gets a ticking off from the referee for wheeling and that's another round for Kessler. This is going to be no picnic for Calzaghe...BBC score: Calzaghe 18-20 Kessler

Round One: Fascinating opening round with the upright Kessler refusing to be drawn in and landing with a couple of decent rights. However, no dramas for Calzaghe and he lets go with one good left to the body. Little to choose, but I'd give that to Kessler. BBC score: Calzaghe 9-10 Kessler

0127: Gone is Kessler's smile as the Danish national anthem is blasted out. Plenty of Danes in by the looks of things - apparently Kessler flogged 5,000 tickets himself. Here's the Welsh anthem, and even Calzaghe looks pensive now. It's gonna be a crackerjack folks. Here's the unmistakable tones of The Buffer - "Let's Get Ready To Rumbleeeeeeeeeeeee!" Two minutes to the big off and I feel, as I often do before a big fight, a little big sick. Lord alone knows how the two protagonists must be feeling.

0122: Bread of Heaven, a tribute to Wales rugby legend Ray Gravell, gives way to some banging grouse and harage and the Dane, with a wry smile fixed on his face, bounces towards the middle of the ring. He looks cool as a cucumber. But here comes the main man - and Calzaghe isn't smiling wryly, he's grinning from ear to ear. This boy's not fazed. The crowd are whipped up into a frenzy, and here comes stable-mate Maccarinelli with Calzaghe's WBO belt.

0120: Welcome ladies and gents and what a night of boxing we should be in for in Cardiff. An estimated 50,000 spectators are packed into the Millennium Stadium and they've already seen Enzo Maccrinelli defend his WBO cruiserweight crown. Announcer Michael Buffer is in the ring and here comes Kessler...

SEE ALSO
Calzaghe's big-bout brilliance
02 Nov 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe hungry for twin titles
25 Oct 07 |  Boxing


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