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