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.