|Andre Ward defeats Arthur Abraham to Enter the Super Six Finals
By Gabriel Montoya, from Maxboxing.com (May 15, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor, DHB)
Supported by a large crowd of Armenian supporters, Arthur
Abraham entered wearing deep red trimmed with black. The crowded chanted “Arthur!!!
Arthur!!!!” while holding up Armenian flags and cheering on their man. The
former middleweight champion looked calm and confident as ever, stepping to his
corner and awaiting the WBC super-middleweight champion Andre Ward to arrive.
Ward entered to a chorus of boos wearing red with white trim and looking like
stone-faced assassin despite entering what felt like hostile territory. The first
leg of the Super Six Super Middleweight World Classic was on.
Both men worked behind their jabs from outside in the
slow-paced first round. The surface seemed slippery as Ward slipped twice
throwing a jab. Abraham tried a left hook that was partially blocked. The crowd
was restless looking to get their man going with chants of “SOG” (Ward’s
nickname) and “Arthur” but both men stuck to a measured pace. Abraham tried to
get in a left hook late but was blocked again. Close round.
Ward worked at the shell guard of Abraham to no avail early
on in the second. They traded body shots
that were borderline for Abraham and definitely low for Ward. Ward got in a
jab, right hand that got Abraham. A jab,
right by Abraham missed but he came back moments later with two shots to either
side of the body. During a clinch, Abraham worked Ward with body shots and what
looked like a knee. Abraham missed a right hand huge off two body shots by
Ward. Abraham let his hands go later with a flurry that was blocked by Ward.
Both men tried to get off at the bell. It felt like Ward wanted to keep things
a boxing match and Abraham a brawl.
Abraham’s jab started to get through early in the third but
Ward kept distance and controlled the pace with movement. A hard left hook got
in for Abraham but Ward took it well. Abraham missed a jab but landed a rabbit
punch right hand soon after. Ward strayed with his jab and a clinch ensued soon
after where Abraham again landed a rabbit type punch. Ward seemed to be giving
Abraham a ton of respect. This was definitely an Abraham round.
A fight broke out late in the fourth round. Ward started by
picking and pecking away at Abraham, splitting his guard with right hands and
jabs. The two got caught in a few clinches and Abraham’s physicality seemed to
bother Ward as Abraham used a headlock and a forearm. After that clinch,
Abraham landed a nice one-two and Ward answered back. The action heated up late
as Ward let his hands go, landing in combination, working to the body and
especially getting in a left hook late.
Hard left hand by Ward who looked in seek and destroy mode
to start the fifth. Ward worked on Abraham’s arms, used his movement to turn
his opponent and made Abraham comer at him flurrying wildly. As the ref broke
their clinch, Ward hit him on the break as retaliation. It was a rough round as
Abraham used all of his body to attack Ward, from shoulders to an elbow attempt
to his fists. Ward won it but it was not an easy round.
A right hand off a jab by Ward seemed to rock Abraham into
the ropes but he came forward on the attack behind his shield. Abraham let his
hands go to the body but Ward tied him up and reset to his jab. Soon after,
another clinch with a headlock by Abraham ensued. Ward went back to his jab and
found a home for a right hook to the body. Ward seemed to split the guard with
a left hand and right uppercut that shelled up Abraham again. Ward switched to
southpaw and tried to position Abraham for a straight left to no avail. Still,
it was an excellent round for Ward who began to gain control of the action and
flow of the fight.
Ward came right at Abraham to start the seventh, working the
body and opening up. Heavy jabs and changes in tempo mixed with movement as
Ward gauged his foe. Ward did a quick switch from southpaw to right. Abraham seemed
to tire, shelling up his guard. As he stayed in that guard, he did a thing
where he would dip his head to give Ward the top of it as he punched. Ward
seemed to figure out the move and slipped to the side, giving him the uppercut
for his effort. The round was all Ward who boxed smart and let his hands go in
combination yet stayed measured.
The eighth was another round for Ward as Abraham’s offense
slowed to a crawl. Ward lured him in with counters off feints and controlled
the ring with movement.
The ninth was slow paced as Ward stayed cautious and Abraham
looked for chances to get in something but mainly waited and waited. Ward
worked his jab to Abraham’s body and around the edges of his guard with hooks
or through it with jabs. They both clinched a lot thought it was hard to tell
who was initiating. Abraham landed a nice left hook that Ward countered quickly
but other than that and some late bell action, not much happened.
In the tenth, Ward got away with two low blows in a row that
Abraham complained about but got no reply from referee Luis Pabon. Both men
worked in close with Abraham trying to wail away and Ward clinching him. Ward
worked out of the southpaw stance Abraham got in two solid right hands late as
Ward stayed just in range and failed in ducking under them. This was a much
closer round than usual than the previous. Ward spent it trying to be busier,
working at that guard while Abraham arguably landed the cleaner shots.
Abraham seemed to have a bit more life in him to start the
eleventh as he let go with jabs and a right early on. Ward seemed to be looking
for something as he abandoned his jab early. However, late in the round he let
ho with a series of them. A left hook by Ward caught Abraham off balance late.
The rest of the action to finish the final minute was few and far between.
Abraham landed a right to the body and Ward missed his follow up, a couple
clinches and not much more.
The twelfth was mop up duty for Ward who landed a left hook
early on. Abraham got in a hard left
himself but Ward took it well. Ward kept that hard jab in Abraham’s face to
keep him at bay; he had kept it a boxing match to this point and control would
not be easily lost. Ward got in a nice body shot along the ropes and the crowd
began chanting “SOG” down the stretch of another Ward round that sealed the
When it was over, the judges all agreed it was a Ward win.
Judges Ingo Barnabas had it 118-110, James Jen-Kin scored it 118-111 and Stanley
Christodoulou scored it 120-108. With the win, Ward is now in the Super Six
Finals to be held in either Los Angeles, Vegas or New York where he will face
the winner of Carl Froch vs. Glen Johnson next month .
You can email Gabriel at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into hear him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com. Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
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