Mikkel Kessler (42-2, 32 KOs) will rely on the coaching brilliance of Jimmy Montoya when he takes on WBC super middleweight champion Carl “The Cobra” Froch (26-0, 20 KOs) in the second round of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Montoya, a living legend, has been appointed the new head trainer following the opening-round loss against Andre Ward. He is no stranger to the Danish superstar, having worked in his corner as an assistant trainer on countless of occasions. “I really look forward to working with Jimmy,” Kessler said. “Just like (Joe) Calzaghe, Ward managed to take my strengths away from me. Neither my corner nor I found any solutions during the fight. But I need to cope with theses kinds of situations, so I decided to make some changes. It was a very hard decision to part company with my dear friend Ricard Olsen, who has been in my corner in each and every fight of my career. Richard made me the fighter I am today — without him I would never have made it to this level. I owe him big time and will forever be in his debt for his great support.”
Yet the coaching change was necessary. Kessler added: “The reason why I have decided to bring in new competences into the team is to try and look at the tactics from a new perspective. Jimmy has been a part of my team before, as an assistant of Ricard, but never as the head trainer. He has a lifelong experience in the world of boxing and I am sure that he will be able to teach me new tactical dimensions and take me to the finals of the Super Six tournament.”
Montoya, who runs the famous Montoya Boxing Gym, boasts the experience of over 15 world title fights. During his illustrious career, he has worked with stars such as Hector “Macho” Camacho, Alexis Arguello, Salvador Sanchez, Richie Sandoval, Juan “Kid” Meza and Tony “The Tiger” Lopezar. He has no doubts that Kessler will bounce back stronger than ever.
“Mikkel is a great warrior with the heart of a champion,” Montoya said. “It was not the real Mikkel Kessler that lost the fight against Ward. We will work hard in training camp to bring out the best in him again. He will be himself against Froch and put on a great performance to pave his way to success in the Super Six tournament.”
Chris Meyer, General Manager of Team Sauerland, also welcomes the decision. “After the fight in Oakland, it was clear that changes had to be made. We feel extremely optimistic about Jimmy and Mikkel. They are a great team. We have no doubts that Jimmy will help Mikkel back to success and glory, starting with a convincing victory against Froch and leading up all the way to the final of the Super Six tournament. Meanwhile, our cooperation with Ricard Olsen continues as he will continue to train our talented fighter Patrick Nielsen in his gym in Copenhagen.”
And Mikkel Kessler added: “The fight against Froch is the most important fight of my career. I will work my butt off to win this battle and show my great fans what the Viking Warrior is really made of.”