Andre Ward defeats Arthur Abraham to Enter the Super Six Finals
By Gabriel Montoya, from (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 deal.

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, follow him on Twitter at 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 Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

* Special Thanks

© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing Inc. 1998-2011