Andre Ward Dominates Arthur Abraham To Advance To Super Six Final

May 15, 2011

Carson, CA - Rising super middleweight star Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KO) stayed undefeated on Saturday night with a convincing unanimous decision win over Arthur Abraham (32-3, 26 KO).  The victory assured that Ward would fight the winner of the Carl Froch versus Glen Johnson bout that will take place later this year. 

Ward, the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal Winner, seemed to simply outclass his opponent.  Whomever the 27-year old Ward meets in the Super Six final later this year, Glen Johnson or Carl Froch, one can be assured he will be the heavy favorite.  After this fight, few should doubt that Ward is a top 5 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.

The 31-year old Abraham had entered the Super Six tournament two years ago as the reigning Middleweight champion with a perfect 30-0 record, but this loss was Abraham's third consecutive defeat in the Super Six Tournament, prompting many to question whether the former Middleweight champion is really suited to compete at 168 pounds.

Abraham acknowledged afterward that the length and weight of fighters at Super Middleweight had been a difficult adjustment for his style.  Fighters at 160 pounds could not keep Abraham at the end of their jabs or have the strength to tie him up on the inside - tactics that have frustrated Abraham in his last several fights.

Ward, fighting outside of his hometown of Oakland for the first time in this tournament, probably was a bit surprised by his opponent's popularity with the crowd.  The Armenian-born Abraham drew energy early in the fight from the the substantial Southern California Armenian community who came out to support him.   Abraham's attempts to pressure Ward in the first few rounds met with reasonable success drawing rabid chants of "Arthur!Arthur!" and the waving of Armenian flags throughout the outdoor stadium.

However, after the 3rd round, Abraham did little to give his followers anything to cheer about. Put another way, Ward, used to being the clear crowd favorite, seemed to embrace  rather than shrink from the challenge of fighting in a more hostile environment.  By the end, they would all be his fans.

Beginning in Round 4, Ward used his length, handspeed, and boxing skills to control the action in the ring.  Ward's defensive prowess also prevented Abraham from successfully getting inside, and his three-inch height advantage (6' 0" to 5' 9") was utilized as well - Ward fought tall.  As Ward began to dominate the middle rounds, Abraham threw less and less - an apparent combination of frustration and exhaustion.

In fact, by Round 6 the outcome already appeared inevitable as Abraham appeared to offer only marginal resistance and was largely retreating throughout the second half of the fight until a noteworthy, but far too late, rally in the 12th round. 

Scoring Note:  All three judges awarded the decision to Ward, 118-110, 118-111, and 120-108. Only the latter score, by South African judge Stanley Christodolou, reflecting a 12-0 shutout for Ward, was totally ridiculous.  Considering the typically questionable competency of boxing judges, two out of three isn't bad.

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

Photo by Sunil Patel, Staff Photographer

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