By Tom Gray
Mikkel Kessler punch-swapped with the finest fighters at 168 pounds and was rarely troubled, however, an insect bite has floored the Danish star.
The former four-time super middleweight titleholder has been forced to delay his comeback after contracting Lyme Borreliosis – a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks.
Kessler (46-3, 35 knockouts) had announced his plans to come out of retirement earlier this year and was expected to make his long-awaited return in November.
However, the 38-year-old boxer-puncher was admitted to hospital after being struck down by a mystery illness in training camp and, following multiple tests, the cause of his trouble was revealed.
Kessler has since been released from hospital and is currently completing a course of antibiotics. He is close to making a full recovery but, still suffering from symptoms, including fatigue, is yet to resume training.
“I started to feel ill around 4 weeks ago. I was tired, my muscles were aching and I was unable to train,” said Kessler. “At that point, I still had no idea what was causing it. I had blood tests, which showed nothing, and it wasn’t until I had a spinal fluid test that the doctors were able to identify the problem.
“I’m not sure exactly when or where I was bitten by the tick, but I’m just thankful the bacteria was caught early and hopefully there will be no long-lasting effects.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed to have to delay my comeback. I want to thank my fans for their support and patience. I hope to be ready to return to the ring early next year, and I promise to repay their support with a great victory.”
“I’ve had fighters suffering from many different injuries and illnesses in the past but this is a first for me,” said promoter Kalle Sauerland.
“I know Mikkel is bitterly disappointed, but his health must come first. We are now set for March and will announce venue and opponent in the coming weeks.”
Kessler has been out of the ring since a May 2013 rematch defeat to British rival Carl Froch.
Information provided courtesy of a press release issued by Sauerland Promotions
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing