Boxing/MMA

Andre Ward Defends Title Against Sakio Bika's Rough Tactics

| by Ian Palmer

Andre Ward held onto his WBA Super Middleweight Title on Nov. 27 with a relatively uneventful 12-round decision over a game Sakio Bika in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, California. The fight had its moments, some of them coming courtesy of elbows and head butts, but in the end the result wasn’t much of a surprise to anybody who watched the contest. What might have surprised some though were the wide scores of 120-108, 118-110, and 118-110.

It was the toughest bout of Ward’s career so far, and he admitted it was a pretty rough and sometimes dirty fight, but wasn’t too impressed with his own performance. He was still proud of the win though. Ward controlled the fight with his superior left jab, but didn’t land much in the power-punching department. Bika started and ended well, but didn’t do much in between.

The fight came about after Andre Dirrell pulled out of the Super Six World Boxing Classic for Jr. Middleweights and Ward was looking for a suitable replacement. However, while this fight wasn’t a part of the tournament, it still gave Bika a wonderful opportunity to claim a world title and make a name for himself in world boxing.

He didn’t take advantage of the open door though and has now lost his last two fights after being beaten by Jean Paul Mendy back in July. He’s also lost to Markus Bayer and Joe Calzaghe in previous world title bids.

Actually, he didn’t really get beaten by Mendy, It would be more accurate to say he self destructed because he was disqualified for hitting Mendy while he was down on the canvas. Before that he was on a six-fight winning streak.

Bika gave credit to Ward by saying he deserved to win and nobody would argue that statement. The rough stuff led to both guys suffering from cuts and bruises and referee Dan Stell had a busy 12 rounds. Ward wasn’t as complimentary as his opponent, saying he expected a less-than-clean fight from Bika. He attributed all of his cuts and bruises to tactics such as elbows and head butts.

But while Bika seemed happy to dish it out, he wasn’t in the mood to take it and complained numerous times about Ward’s tactics to Stell. Dan Goossen, Ward’s promoter, said Ward basically beat Bika at his own game. He was also right on in his assessment of the bout when he said it was more of a rough fight than a dirty one.

Ward is scheduled to take on Arthur Abraham in the semi finals of the Super Six tournament after Carl Froch of England beat Abraham by unanimous decision on Nov. 27. Froch will take on Glen Johnson in the other semi final.

The 26-year-old Ward raises his record to 23-0, with 13 Kos, while the 31-year-old Bika of Cameroon falls to 28-5-2, with 19 Kos.

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