Photos by Laura de la Torre
WBA Super Middleweight Champion Andre Ward and World Contender Sakio Bika both landed on the exact 168-pound weight mark on Friday, one day before their world title clash on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. Oakland’s Ward will make the second defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight championship against world-ranked contender Bika, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
Ward (22-0, 13 KOs), who has already secured a berth in the Semifinals of the SHOWTIME Super Six World Boxing Classic, will be making the second defense of his 168-pound title. The 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and tournament points-leader will face the tough Bika, (28-4-2, 19 KOs) of Sydney, Australia, via Douala, Cameroon.
The World Championship night of boxing will begin at 4 p.m. featuring undefeated Mexican Jr. middleweight and 2008 US Olympian Javier Molina (4-0, 4 KOs), Sacramento’s undefeated lightweight Stan Martyniouk (10-0, 1KO), Houston’s power-punching Cornelius White (15-0, 14 KOs), plus four other bouts with the main event featuring Oakland’s finest starting at approximately 7 p.m.
Tickets are priced at $150, $75 and $35 are on sale now at the Oracle Box Office or visit www.coliseum.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Goossen Tutor Promotions and TNT Boxing are promoting this night of World Championship boxing, with the championship bout in association with Golden Boy Promotions, the promoter for Bika.
In the first bout of the split-site doubleheader on SHOWTIME, former world champions “King” Arthur Abraham (31-1, 25 KO’s) of Germany and Carl “The Cobra” Froch (26-1, 20 KOs) of England will battle in the final Group Stage 3 bout of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. from Helsinki, Finland.
Here’s some of what the fighters had to say on Friday:
“I had a date to fight and I wanted to keep it. I wanted to choose the next best available boxer and we did that with Sakio Bika. Plus, there weren’t a lot of other options.
“I’m a competitor. I don’t like to lose at anything be it pickup basketball or a game of cards with my family. But they all like to beat me because of it. Even my family conspires to beat me at cards.
“Boxing is one of the only sports that if you’re pinned with one loss your pay scale definitely decreases. It’s important for me and my family that I get this win tomorrow night.
“I don’t care who wins tomorrow night’s first fight on SHOWTIME (between Abraham and Froch). I’m so locked into my own. I won’t even ask and I don’t care if anyone tells me. It doesn’t matter. I’ve never been so focused for a fight as I am for this one.”
“We have studied what we need to do and we just have to do it. We have to do stuff that other fighters have not been able to do.
“We are not going to be like the other fighters he’s faced and go for the knockout. We just want to go for the win.
“People have labeled me a rough and tough fighter, even a dirty fighter. I will show that I can truly box and that I belong with the elite of this sport.
“Andre Ward is a champion. He wants to remain a champion. It’s my job to disrupt that and shake up the Super Six by pinning him with his first loss.
“I didn’t even watch him weigh in. I didn’t need to check him out. I’ve seen him before. I know what he looks like.”