Looking to regain his status as one of the premier super middleweights in the world, former World Boxing Council/World Boxing Association (WBC/WBA) 168-pound champion Mikkel “The Viking Warrior’’ Kessler will return to the ring for the first time in 14 months when he faces Mehdi Bouadla on Saturday, June 4, on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, same-day delay) at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The 12-rounder between Kessler (43-2, 32 KOs), of Denmark, and Bouadla (23-3, 11 KOs), of France, will be shown before the LIVE Super Six World Boxing Classic Semifinal on SHOWTIME (delayed on the West Coast) between defending WBC titlist Carl Froch (27-1, 20 KOs) and former world champion Glen Johnson (51-14-2, 35 KOs) of Miami, Fla., at Adrian Philipps Ballroom of Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
The Super Six announce team of Gus Johnson, Al Bernstein and Antonio Tarver will call the Kessler-Bouadla match from Atlantic City. Steve Farhood will serve as ringside reporter from Denmark.
For Kessler, it will be his first start since a potentially career-ending eye injury forced him to withdraw from the Super Six shortly after he won an exciting 12-round unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Froch on April 24, 2010. A victory puts Kessler, 32, back in the thick of things in the talent-rich 168-pound division. Kessler’s only defeats came against future Hall of Famer, Joe Calzaghe, in November 2007, and to Andre Ward in Group Stage 1 of the Super Six World Boxing Classic on Nov. 21, 2009.
The 29-year-old Bouadla has won 11 in a row dating to February 2008. The No. 5-ranked super middle in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and 10th-rated contender in the International Boxing Federation (IBF), Bouadla earned a decision over Pavels Lotahs in his most recent start last Jan. 29. Bouadla was slated to challenge defending champion Sebastian Sylvester last Jan. 22 for the IBF middleweight championship, but the fight was postponed after Sylvester suffered a viral infection.