Mikkel Kessler won the WBA super-middleweight title by stopping Brian Magee
Last Updated: 09/12/12 7:13pm
Mikkel Kessler: showed he is still a force at the highest level by stopping Brian Magee
Mikkel Kessler won a strand of the super-middleweight title for a fourth time with a third-round stoppage of Brian Magee in Denmark.
The 'Viking Warrior' remained on course for a re-match with Britain's Carl Froch next year with a devastating victory over the ageing Northern Irishman.
Magee entered the ring with the WBA strap after winning the interim title last year but this was expected to be little more than one final payday, and so it proved.
The first round saw little in the way of action as the pair sized each other up, the southpaw Magee in particular finding it hard to land convincingly.
However, the second session was very different after Kessler landed a rapier-like right-hand to the solar-plexus - Magee immediately crumpling to the canvas.
That the outgoing champion made it to the bell was a surprise in itself as Kessler threw further blows downstairs, while Magee also took a slew of head shots.
Another right to the body clearly hurt the champion and he turned his back on the Dane as if to say 'no more'.
The referee administered a standing count before the bell sounded and it was unlikely that a minute would be enough to give Magee sufficient breathing space.
With the veteran clearly in trouble to the slightest punch to the body, Kessler zoned in on his target and sure enough Magee went down again but this time the referee had seen enough.
"I came to fight. The first shot he hit me to the body really stung me badly," Magee told Sky Sports. "I just couldn't recover. It took all my might to get up from that shot.
"Mikkel is a great champion and all through the fight and the build-up he's treated me with respect, as have the people of Denmark. I always knew he was a champion. I trained like a champion, I gave it my all but a body shot like that is hard to recover from."
Andre Ward remains the WBA's 'super' champion and while rematches with former victims Kessler and Froch are possibilities for 2013 it is the Kessler vs Froch match-up that the fans most want.