By Francisco Salazar and Rocco Morales at ringside
Photos: Big Joe Miranda
WBA super middleweight world champion and the Super Six top-seeded Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KOs) won a twelve round unanimous decision over former IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (32-3, 26 KOs) on Saturday night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Abraham came out aggressively and took the fight to Ward for the first three rounds. However, Ward upped his work rate in round four, which kept Abraham mostly covering up after that. Abraham started looking to land desperation haymakers from round eight on, but it wasn’t to be as Ward went on to a one-sided victory by scores of 120-108, 118-110, 118-111.
Abraham got off to a tremendous start and had the large contingent of Armenian fans behind him through the first three rounds. However, following the third round, Abraham appeared gassed in his corner and never was able to find a second wind to get him back in the fight.
Instead, Ward boxed effectively behind his jab and threw occasional combinations, although never committed to going for the knockout. Instead, he worked angles, occasionally switched to southpaw, kept on his toes and circled the ring never allowing Abraham to land more than a single punch at a time.
The middle and later rounds were a snoozefest with not only the Abraham fans taken out of the fight, but even the Ward fans taken out of the fight and Ward did nothing to erase the increasing sentiment that he lacks excitement.
Abraham did put in one last attempt to get back in the fight in the final round but it was too little, too late, as Ward stayed out of harm’s way.
Following the bout, Abraham stated, “I started well and I thought I did good the first three rounds. He didn’t hit me and I was blocking a lot of his shots but then I tried for the knockout and I couldn’t do it. I cramped up and got too tense. I gave it my all and I fought well until I tensed up when going for knockout. I will continue to compete at super middleweight.”
Following his victory,Ward said, “It’s a tough business. I was able to pull off a victory but I have to go back and watch the tape to see what I did right and wrong.” “Abraham was very strong and very tough. My trainer says I was able to make the necessary adjustments but I wish the ref had allowed me to fight on the inside because that is what I trained for.” “Bite down and fight back is what I did. I am going to stay humble and work hard. I want to be champion for a long time and get hit as little as possible.”
With the victory, Ward moves on to the Super Six finale against the winner of the May 21st semifinal between Carl “The Cobra” Froch and Glencoffe Johnson.