Haussler: "Kessler is the favorite but he is not unbeatable”

22/10/2008

Haussler: "Kessler is the favorite but he is not unbeatable”

Press Release: Danilo Haussler answers some questions ahead of Saturday's title clash with WBA super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler in Oldenburg, Germany.

Q: Danilo, you have arrived and already worked out in Oldenburg. How is everything?

DH: “Thanks, everything is fine. I am in great shape and will work with my coach Manfred Wolke to keep up the good form until Saturday. I can't wait to step into the ring.”

Q: But your opponent, the “Viking Warrior” Mikkel Kessler, seems to be very confident…

DH: “Yes – he is the world champion, he is the favorite. But he is not unbeatable.”

Q: It would be fair to say that Danish fighters have played a special role in your career.

DH: “That´s true. I suffered the first defeat of my career in the
European title fight against Mads Larsen in 2003. One year later his countryman Rudy Markussen also beat me. That was a tough fight during which I lacked concentration for a very brief moment near the end. Now I´ve got the third Dane coming up. What is it that they say? The best things come in threes.”

Q: Are you bothered by the fact that many people consider you the underdog? A big German tabloid even titled: Mr Haussler, are you tired of life?

DH: “I don´t care at all. Of course Mikkel Kessler – just like Joe
Calzaghe – has dominated the super-middleweight division in the last couple of years. But if there is one thing that could be learned from the Calzaghe fight then it is that Kessler is vulnerable, too. I have been a professional boxer for over 11 years, I have a lot of experience. I have never been stopped before – and this won't be any different against Kessler.”

Q: Your former stablemate Markus Beyer certainly had similar plans but was knocked out by Kessler in the third round. Are you still in touch with him?

DH: “Yes, we speak over the phone from time to time. But he did not give me any suggestions for the Kessler fight. I saw their duel live in Copenhagen in the stadium. I am well aware of Mikkel´s strengths and know how I can and how I cannot box against him. Together with my coach, I have developed a special strategy. Of course, I cannot go in details now.”

Q: You have been a professional for a long time. In 2001, you were the European champion. Why is it that you had to turn 33 to get a world title shot?

DH: “Over the years I have worked hard for a world title fight. That is the challenge I have been waiting for all my life. I came close a couple of times. Four, five years ago I did not get the chance because [my promoter] Sauerland Event had two champions in Markus Beyer and Sven Ottke. After that, world title fights were discussed but nobody of the defending champions fought me. But that is all in the past now.”

Q: Have you ever thought about retirement?

DH: “That is something a fighter of my age should do. A couple of weeks ago I started an apprenticeship at a big German insurance company. My future is safe – with or without boxing. That gives me a lot of power and calmness. My wife and my son Matti are also doing well – my family is very important to me. Everything´s great in my life at the time being – no need to worry. The chance to fight for the world title comes exactly at the right time.”

Q: Danilo, thank you very much for your time and best of luck for Saturday.