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Andre Ward retained his WBA super middleweight championship with a unanimous decision over Arthur Abraham Saturday night in Carson, California. Ward will now face the winner of the June 4 bout Super Six between Carl Froch and Glen Johnson. The folks at Bad Left Hook had some of the notable quotations from Ward following his victory. They also have some quality pictures from the fight you can check out:
Ward on Abraham
“Arthur Abraham was strong and very determined,” Ward said. “He had passionate fans and he didn’t want to lose in front of them. I’m going to stay humble and keep working hard. I want to be champion for a long time and take the least amount of punishment possible.”
Ward on Adjustments and Froch vs Johnson
“My trainer says that I’m the type of fighter to make adjustments and that’s what I did. I wish the refs would have let me fight on the inside – that’s what we trained for. But we made adjustments and got the victory. After a hard hit, I would go back to my corner and I would do two things: I would listen to my corner and talk to myself and I would say, ‘Bite down and fight back.’”
“I’ll fight Johnson or Froch, but I think the public wants to see Froch-Ward.”
I find it interesting that Ward specifically pointed to Froch-Ward as the bout people want to see. He says he’ll fight either one (obviously) but it seems a bit of a brazen statement from a guy who fights a fairly conservative style. Ward remains the favorite in this tournament but Froch would definitely be a tough matchup for the young super middleweight from Oakland.
The folks at BLH put together a quick look ahead at the potential matchups with Froch and Johnson. They pointed to Froch as a smart fighter still in his prime while Johnson is viewed as a guy with the experience to know everything Ward will bring to the table. Of course, the reason for that is Johnson is into his 40s.
Personally I’d have to think Froch represents the tougher battle, and thus the potentially better Super Six finale. While a Ward win over either fighter in the finals would be a solid win, defeating Froch would seem to have a bit more cache at this point.
Oakland native Andre Ward retained his WBA super middlewight championship as he cruised to victory over Arthur Abraham. Ward won a unanimous decision with scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 118-111. The two fighters fighting in the first semifinal of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. By winning the fight, Ward advances to the finals where he’ll face the winner of June’s Carl Froch-Glen Johnson bout.
Abraham appeared ready to give Ward a tough battle early in the fight. Through the first few rounds he did what he could to remain active and get Ward on the defensive. Unfortunately Ward rebounded fairly quickly and once Ward took control, Abraham appeared to have no real counter.
It was hard for either fighter to get a whole lot going due to a referee who would not let them get too physical inside. Both fighters have a bit of a dirtier side to them, although Ward is a bit more technically sound in that manner. As has become the case in Ward’s recent fights, Andre took control of the fight and systematically piled up points. As Scott Christ mentioned in his round-by-round update of the fight, Ward is a guy who generally plays it safe and doesn’t go for the knockout. Rather, by round eight or nine you suddenly realize he’s leading by six or seven rounds. That was the case tonight in another clinical decision.
Ward will now move on to face the winner of Carl Froch and Glen Johnson. It will be interesting to see where this Super Six final bout is staged. Ward has fought only six of his 24 professional bouts outside of California. He also fought his first two Super Six bouts at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The location could be a bigger issue if Froch defeats Johnson, but even if Johnson wins it will be a bit of a battle to get a fairly neutral location for the bout. We’ll be back with more updates as the parties figure out the site of the finals.
Friday afternoon, Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham conducted the traditional pre-fight weigh in down in Carson, California. Ward just barely made weight, coming in at 168 pounds. Abraham came in just under the limit as well at 167 pounds. We’ve got video below and you can also check out photos of the weigh-in at Bad Left Hook.
As we head into Saturday night’s Super Six semfinal bout, Ward would seem to hold most of the advantages. He stands at 6’1 to Abraham’s 5’10. It is interesting to note that Ward only has a one inch reach advantage in spite of the three inch height advantage.
Of course, Ward also likes to get physical and a little nasty in close so reach may not necessarily be a big issue. It will be interesting to see how Abraham deals with Ward’s physicality inside and whether it might frustrate Abraham. Frustrations led to his disqualification against Andre Dirrell, and while I don’t expect another DQ, Ward could give him plenty of reason to get extremely frustrated.
As we approach the final hours before Andre Ward squares off with Arthur Abraham in their Super Six semifinal fight, the man they call S.O.G. is a heavy favorite over Abraham. Thanks to Bad Left Hook for finding some of these odds. We also have additional updated odds from our Ward-Abraham odds post a couple days ago.
The only notable change from our previous post is the fact that 5 Dimes has dropped Ward from -720 to -630 and raised Abrahama from +510 to +465. I'm guessing some folks have been throwing down some money on Abraham in these last couple days. Nonetheless, Abraham remains a sizable underdog. Abraham has serious punching power, but given that he entered the tournament as a co-favorite with Mikkel Kessler, it's safe to say his last two losses to Andre Dirrell and Carl Froch have left most folks less than impressed by his abilities as an elite fighter.
First off, a big tip of the cap to Scott and Bad Left Hook for their thoroughly enjoyable Andre Ward coverage yesterday. This video is courtesy of one of their Andre Ward Day posts as they did an excellent job conveying just how far this young man has come in his boxing career. On the heels of Manny Pacquiao's defeat of Shane Mosley this past weekend, BLH wanted to get people pumped up to see a rising star in Ward this coming weekend.
In this particular video, discussed by Scott at BLH, Ward's promoter Dan Goossen discussed the character and qualities of super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Early in the video he talks about Ward reaching the level of excitement that surrounded last weekend's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. It's good timing that Bad Left Hook conducted an Andre Ward Day at their site.
If Andre Ward is going to develop into the next great American boxer, or even overall athlete, more people need to know about him. The super middleweight division is not exactly one of the glamour divisions, although there are some excellent boxers in the division. Head over to Bad Left Hook to learn more about Andre Ward.
Goossen talks about how Ward is similar to Pacquiao in terms of his general character, and specifically his humble nature. He goes on to talk about how Ward could reach Pacquiao type popularity and mentions Pacquiao's overwhelming popularity in the Philippines. While Andre Ward's popularity has room for growth, the current sports landscape in America and boxing's place therein makes it difficult to see him developing some kind of Pacquiao level of mania.
Of course, if any American boxer was going to reach that level of popularity, Ward would have to be in the running. While he foughts a less than pretty style of boxing, his non-boxing attributes are a marketing dream. He won an Olympic gold medal, he hasn't gotten into trouble like many fighters, he's got a generally clean cut look, and seems to have a solid moral fiber.
If he can win his next two Super Six contests, he could be in a position to really boost his Q rating outside the ring. While boxing fans may not care about the marketing end of things, it's a reality of the business that a fighters ability to draw at the gate and on PPV becomes just as much a part of their legacy as what they did in the ring. Ward is still working on that and if he does win on Saturday, it will be interesting to see how his promotion company builds on that outside the ring.
As the Super Six World Boxing Classic has moved forward, Oakland-based super middleweight champion Andre Ward has emerged both as a budding star and also a favorite to win this tournament. As he prepares for his battle this Saturday night with Arthur Abraham on Showtime, he has emerged as a sizable favorite to win the fight. The folks at Odds Shark have begun compiling odds for the fight and we've got three online sports books providing an interesting set of odds:
While the odds appear a bit long for Abraham, it's not exactly shocking. While Ward has emerged as a star, Abraham has gone downhill since peaking with a knockout of Jermain Taylor. It's hard to say whether Abraham has been "exposed" at this point given that he still has serious power in that right hand. When you've got that kind of power, all it takes is one well-timed punch to send even the stiffest chin down for the count.
For now though, I'd imagine money will be pouring in on the man ranked as the number one super middleweight by The Ring Magazine and Bad Left Hook. We'll be here the rest of the week in the build-up for this Super Six semifinal matchup. You can keep track of Andre Ward in our Ward story stream and follow all sorts of boxing news at Bad Left Hook.
This Saturday Andre Ward will be squaring off against Arthur Abraham in one of the two semifinals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. The fight will take place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California at 7pm pacific. The winner of this fight will square off with the winner of Carl Froch and Glen Johnson who face off June 4.
While the tournament has been a bit inconsistent due to injuries and scheduling issues, it has allowed Oakland-based Andre Ward to take a big step toward becoming the next American boxing star. Ward opened the tournament against one of the favorites in Mikkel Kessler. In what was a fairly stunning result, Ward thoroughly dominated Kessler en route to quickly becoming a co-favorite the rest of the way.
Ward takes great pride in his Oakland roots and has fought his first two Super Six fights at Oracle Arena in the Oakland Coliseum complex.
Boxing used to be incredibly popular in the East Bay but had quieted down without a legitimate star to support. Ward is potentially developing into that star and will likely be fighting frequently in Oakland in the future. It remains to be seen what kind of gate he’ll draw at the Arena, but it shows how much he values his Oakland roots.
We’ll be providing plenty of coverage leading up to Saturday’s fight. Over at SB Nation’s boxing blog, Bad Left Hook, they’re providing a full day of thorough coverage about Andre Ward, who truly is a rising star in boxing. We’ll check back with them throughout the week.
In the past week, Andre Ward’s promoter Dan Goossen announced that the WBA Super Middleweight Champion is now scheduled to fight Arthur Abraham on May 14 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The bout is one of the two semifinals in Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic. The other semifinal bout will feature Carl Froch and Glen Johnson and is tentatively scheduled for May 21, although there are currently issues with a location.
Although the Super Six World Boxing Classic has hit several potholes along the way, Andre Ward has used the tournament as a coming out party. He opened the Classic with a stunning upset of Mikkel Kessler, and followed that up with a shutout decision of Allan Green. His subsequent fight against Sakio Bika was not a Super Six fight, but it gave him a chance to show he could dig deep against a similar style of boxer. Through those three fights he’s climbed to the top of The Ring Magazine Super Middleweight rankings.
On the other side of things, Arthur Abraham is in a slide that has dropped him to tenth in the Super Middleweight rankings. In his first Super Six fight he gained a vicious knock out of Jermain Taylor and seemed locked in as one of the early favorites. However, in his subsequent fight he was well on his way to losing a decision to Andre Dirrell before getting disqualified in the 11th round for a late hit on Dirrell. He followed that up with a one-sided decision loss to Carl Froch. He won a February tune-up fight, but his headliner career is on the ropes heading into this semifinal match.
Andre Ward retained his WBA Super Middleweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Sakio Bika in a brutal, fairly ugly, but highly entertaining brawl at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The official scorecards decided it 120-108, 118-10 and 118-110 for Ward.
Heading into the fight the two boxers were considered cut from a similar somewhat dirty cloth. In boxing, a “dirty” fighter can come in a variety of forms. You’ve got the rather blatant Andrew “Foul Pole” Golota who had numerous in-ring meltdowns and had a bad habit of punching his opponents below the belt. Then you’ve got the slightly more subtle “dirty” nature of undefeated super middleweight champion Andre Ward. Ward will get away with a fair number of headbutts, rabbit bunches, and other technically illegal maneuvers. However, he seems to mix these maneuvers in with some highly skilled boxing that can cover it up a bit more.
Prior to tonight Andre Ward had generally been able to bully other fighters with these tactics and press his way to victory. Tonight he faced a fighter in Sakio Bika who was willing to get just as down and dirty. Bika took the fight to Ward early on and seemed to have Ward rattled in the opening rounds as the champion complained a fair amount about illegal hits.
Ward rebounded fairly quickly though and showed necessary poise in countering the dirty moves with some of his own. It quickly became apparent that each round was going to be a war inside. The two fighters appeared to spend more time clinched and trying to get in body punches than standing across from each other. Sometimes this can lead to an inherently boring fight but the action inside was fairly continuous and led to a fairly entertaining fight that could easily be classified as a bit of a brawl.
Over the course of the fight, Ward’s own natural abilities proved the difference. While Ward spend a good chunk of the fight in a bit of a defensive posture with his left hand he was able to land some nice shots and shook up Bika a couple times, most notably in the ninth round. He dominated late and was able to take home the decision.
If one looked at the official scorecards one would assume dominance by Ward. While he did seem to take control late, he rarely seemed to truly dominate the fight. The folks at Bad Left Hook had their own scorecard going during the fight and they scored it 116-112 for Ward. They seemed accepting of the 118-110 cards because of how close many of the rounds were. However, the 120-108 did seem to go a bit far given how competitive the fight was. I would imagine given how close the rounds were a judge could decide the champ had done just enough in each. However, to say that for 12 straight rounds is a bit hard to figure out.
Either way, Ward retained his super middleweight title and improves to 23-0. According to BLH’s fight recap, Ward is likely to face Arthur Abraham sometime in the spring in the next round of the World Boxing Classic. Abraham lost a unanimous decision to Carl Froch today but earned enough points thanks to his opening match knockout of Jermain Taylor which got him a bonus point.
Andre Ward and Sakio Bika meet this Sunday for Ward’s WBA Super Middleweight championship tomorrow night at Oakland’s Oracle Arena and made weight on their first try today. Both fighters hit the maximum weight of 168 pounds as they prepare for tomorrow’s fight.
Andre Ward is fighting as part of the Super Six World Boxing Classic to crown the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world. However, even though Ward’s title is on the line, this fight is not a part of the Super Six. Ward was originally scheduled to fight Andre Dirrell in their final match of the opening round. However, after numerous struggles to secure a deal, Dirrell pulled out with neurological injuries related to his DQ win over Arthur Abraham.
This fight with Bika was set to keep Ward busy. His next fight will likely be in the first quarter of 2011 gainst either Glen Johnson or the winner of tomorrow’s Arthur Abraham-Carl Froch fight. The Abraham-Froch fight will air via tape delay on Showtime immediately prior to the live airing of Ward-Bika.
Andre Ward will be squaring off with Sakio Bika this Saturday at Oakland’s Oracle Arena in a battle for Ward’s WBA Super Middlewight title. Ward has worked his way up the ranks and following his upset of Mikkel Kessler, Ward was officially ushered into the upper echelon of the super middleweight ranks. He now faces Sakio Bika, who is a bit lower in the ranks, but still presents a dangerous challenge.
Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook, SB Nation’s excellent boxing blog, put together a preview of the fight. The preview includes a brief rundown of each fighter’s history to date as well as a comparison’s on a variety of topics.
As Scott points out, Ward is a hard fighter to judge because even though he’s certainly beaten some quality points (Kessler being the most notable), there are certain categories in which he hasn’t been tested. He really hasn’t had to deal with too much adversity in the ring at the professional level. Obviously fighting is inherently an adverse sport, but Ward hasn’t been in the kind of war that shows you what a fighter has in reserve. Of course, at this point in his career maybe he’s good enough that he won’t face that issue quite yet.
Scott thinks it could be a quality fight based on the chance for an aggressive brawl. While it could also get chippy based on the two fighters’ occasional dirty tendencies, I’d like to think most folks are rooting for a great fight. Or Ward drops him quickly would work as well. Here’s Scott’s prediction:
I get the feeling Ward puts on his boxin’ shoes for this fight and takes Bika back to school. A brawl gives Bika a legitimate chance to win this fight, or any fight at 168. But a boxing match will be all Andre Ward, and Ward’s a smart cookie. He knows that. His team knows that. Bika is no pushover, but Ward is likely to avoid a firefight if he can. Bika will give his best and fight all 12 rounds, but he won’t be close to winning. Ward UD-12
The odds are out for this Saturday’s super middleweight championship bout between Andre Ward and Sakio Buka. If you’re looking to bet money on champion Andre Ward, it’s going to cost you a lot to win very little money. As it currently stands, Andre Ward is sitting at -950, which means you’d have to bet $950 just to win $100. On the other hand, Bika is sitting at +625, which means you could win $625 if you bet $100 and he won.
One interesting site is oddschecker.com. At Odds Checker, you can compare bets on a variety of matters across numerous websites. Normally I’d stick with Odds Shark (linked above), but they have limited options available for this fight. For the Ward fight, you can compare odds across sites on everything from winner and loser to what round or whether it’ll go to the cards (click on the tabs at the top). The heavy favorite for the end of the fight is that Ward wins by decision.
My favorite bets are for Method of Victory. This includes victories by decision or technical decision, knockout, technical knockout, disqualification, or a draw. For those wondering what a technical decision is, such an event occurred in Ward’s upset of Mikkel Kessler. The fight was stopped in the 11th round because of a cut suffered by Kessler caused by a headbutt. Since the fight had passed a certain round (I can’t remember the minimum, although it might be 6 since that’s halfway through the fight), they went to the scorecards, which Ward won handily. So, you can always bet on that. As mentioned earlier, these are two rough fighters so accidental headbutts are certainly possible.
This Saturday night, November 27, Andre Ward and Sakio Bika will square off at Oakland’s Oracle Arena to battle for Ward’s super middleweight title. Ward won the title when he upset Mikkel Kessler in one of the opening fights of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Ward went on to defeat replacement fighter Allan Green in his second match.
The Super Six has taken some serious hits as Kessler, Andre Dirrell, and Jermain Taylor all withdrew to various injuries suffered. This fight between Ward and Bika will not be part of the Super Six, although the title will be on the line.
This fight is actually splitting time with another that actually is still part of the Super Six. Arthur Abraham and Carl Froch are squaring off in Poland and both fights will air on Showtime. The Abraham-Froch fight will air on tape delay while Showtime will be broadcasting the Ward-Bika fight live. The broadcast starts at 6pm pacific, 9pm eastern. I’d imagine the main event between Ward and Bika will start around 8ish pm pacific, but that is certainly subject to change.
Bad Left Hook, SB Nation’s outstanding boxing blog, had some preliminary thoughts while discussing boxing’s TV and Internet schedule this weekend:
Showtime, 9:00 p.m. Eastern, Andre Ward vs. Sakio Bika, Arthur Abraham vs. Carl Froch. Showtime will be showing Ward-Bika live and Abraham-Froch on tape delay. While the Ward fight isn’t officially part of the Super Six, Bika is a better fighter than, say, Allan Green. Ward has quickly built up a reputation as a fighter who uses a lot of dirty tricks, and Bika has long been known as a dirty fighter (only bolstered by his first round DQ against Jean Paul Mendy his last time out, where he knocked out Mendy cold while he was down on a knee). Expect to see lots of flying elbows, unintentional intentional headbutts, holding and hitting and other tricks a little outside the rulebook in this one. Strangely, it has the potential to be both a solid action fight or a straight up stinker.
Hayward native Andre Ward (22-0, 13 KOs) is closing in on a deal that would pit him against super middleweight contender Sakio Bika (28-4-2, 19 KOs) on November 27 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Ward was originally scheduled to fight fellow American Andre Dirrell in Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Class, but Dirrell has withdrawn due to neurological injuries sustained during his disqualification victory over Arthur Abraham.
The fight will have Ward defending the super middleweight crown he won from Mikkel Kessler, but the fight will not be a part of the Super Six, which is close to being completely derailed at this point. Ward is currently ranked #2 in The Ring Magazine's Super MIddleweight rankings. ESPN.com's Dan Rafael ranks Ward #1 among Super Middleweights, and 11th in his pound-for-pound rankings.
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