The two top super middleweights in the sport, won their respective bouts to set up a potential winner takes all meeting.
WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (38-0, 29 KOS) showed his hometown fans in Copenhagen, Denmark, that he was not going to waste any time with Markus Beyer. It only took Kessler three rounds to dispose of Beyer and add the WBC's version of the super middleweight crown around his waist.
It was apparent from the start that Kessler was not only the stronger fighter, but the much better fighter. The jab of Kessler was on the mark in the first round, and his right hand began to find a home on Beyer's face in the second. Beyer tried to use his tricky southpaw style to counter, but was unable to land on the quicker Kessler.
In the third and final round, Kessler landed a perfect right hand to end the fight in dramatic fashion. Beyer went down, made it to his knees and looked over to his corner as the referee reached the full count of ten. Kessler made history with the win, becoming the only Dane to hold major world titles from two of the four major sanctioning bodies.
Immediately after the win, Kessler began to call out Calzaghe in post fight interviews, craving a unification meeting.
Not too far away in Manchester, England, WBO/IBF super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe (42-0, 31 KOs) overcame a game Sakio Bika (20-2-2, 13 KOs) to retain his titles by way of a twelve-round unanimous decision. The scores were 117-110, 117-110 and 116-111, all for Calzaghe.
Some experts felt the fight would be a mismatch on paper, but Sika came to fight with every single part of his body. Often rushing Calzaghe while using his head like a bulldozer behind wild swinging punches, he cut the champion above the left eye in fourth round and also gave him some unexpected trouble throughout the fight.
After losing a point in round five for coming in with his head, Bika continued to use any tactic possible to throw Calzaghe off - and it worked. Unlike his spectacular performance against Jeff Lacy in March, Calzaghe often fought Bika's fight and was lured into exchanges. Calzaghe also stayed away from using his jab on a consistent basis in the fight, which gave Bika plenty of opportunities to land his right hand.