Photos by Laura De La Torre/ Goossen Tutor Promotions
World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight champion Andre Ward has a lot to be thankful for as he gets ready to defend his title against contender Sakio Bika on Saturday at Oracle Arena in Oakland, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). Sure, he’s considered one of the top-10 pound-for-pound boxers in world. And, yes, he’s and Olympic Gold Medalist and the tournament points leader in the SHOWTIME Super Six World Boxing Classic. But what is Ward truly thankful for?
“I’m most thankful for my beautiful family,” Ward said. “While I won’t have the chance to spend this Thanksgiving with them, I look forward to Saturday’s fight with Sakio Bika and am blessed to perform in a sport that I love. I truly appreciate all of my fans and their support, and wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.”
With his world title at stake on Saturday, the Oakland native knew he couldn’t take Thanksgiving off to enjoy the traditional turkey and fixings and instead spent the day in the gym training for the second defense of his 168-pound title. .
The 26-year-old Ward (22-0, 13 KOs), has already secured a berth in the Semifinals of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. 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, who will be making his third world title appearance.
The World Championship night of boxing will begin at 4 p.m. featuring undefeated junior middleweight and 2008 US Olympian Javier Molina (4-0, 4 KOs), Sacramento’s undefeated lightweight Stan Martyniouk (10-0, 1 KO), 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 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 fight of the split-site doubleheader on SHOWTIME, “King” Arthur Abraham will meet Carl “The Cobra” Froch in the final Group Stage 3 bout of tournament for the vacant WBC super middleweight world title. The world title match will be televised on same-day-delay from the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland.