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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ward Decisions Bika, Retains WBA Super Middleweight Title

Andre "S.O.G." Ward (23-0, 13 KO's) defeated Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika (28-5-2, 19 KO's) by a twelve round unanimous decision, retaining his WBA Super Middleweight championship. Official scores were 120-108 (Marty Sammon) and 118-110 (Jon Schorle & Hunter Walton) twice.

In the first round, Ward and Bika exhibited extremely quick hand speed. Bika, 31, showed no fear, and violently charged at Ward from the opening bell.

Ward, 26, connected with a short left hook to Bika's body early in round two. Both fighters tried to establish their jab to initiate the exchanges, but it was Ward who displayed better balance after unleashing his shots.

Ward opened round three by landing an overhand right. Then, Bika connected with a series of rights during a clinch. After that, Ward responded by hitting Bika in the head with a left hook. Bika was very unpredictable, and threw shots from many unexpected angles. As a result, Bika was off-balance at times, which enabled Ward to land left hooks when Bika pulled straight back.

In round four, Ward was busier than Bika with the jab, and momentarily wobbled Bika after countering Bika's left jab with a sharp left hook. Clearly, Ward's punches demonstrated more pop at this point.

Bika briefly dazed Ward with a short right late in round five, although Ward fought back furiously, nailing Bika with an onslaught of left hooks and short rights.

Both men landed swift, well-placed body shots during round six in close quarters.

In round seven, Ward, showing that he was the more composed fighter, landed his punches with great accuracy. Bika's unorthodox, wild shots, which was reminiscent to Ricardo Mayorga's style versus the late Vernon Forrest, disrupted Ward's rhythm in the beginning of the fight, but by now, Ward had adjusted to it. 

Round eight brought out Ward's true character, as he dug deep and traded with Bika in close range. Late in the round, it was Bika who was connecting, although his punches were not as effective as in the previous rounds.

Ward roughed up Bika in the ninth round, landing an overhand right and scoring with fast body shots.

Again, Ward connected with an overhand right in round ten. Then, Bika tied Ward up shortly, however, Ward attacked Bika's body with vicious shots in succession.

Ward was initiating most of the action by round eleven, and caught Bika, who was bleeding from his left eye, in the face with a clean left hook.

Ward, displaying a cut on the bridge of his nose, was throwing wide shots with Bika when they got out of the clinches. Once again, Ward showed he is a complete fighter by adapting to yet another style tonight.

In his next bout, Ward will continue in Showtime's "Super Six" Tournament when he collides with Arthur Abraham, who lost by a wide margin on the scorecards to England's Carl Froch earlier in the night. Froch will now square off against Glen Johnson, who replaced Mikkel Kessler and recently defeated Allan Green.

Bika's style somewhat emulated what Ward can expect to see from Abraham. Abraham is a strong, pressure fighter, although Bika is known to be more fluid with his hands. At the moment, Ward seems well-prepared for a clash with the Armenian warrior. So far, Ward has proved he can acclimatize to any style, and is quickly rising to stardom in the boxing world.

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