Ward dominates Abraham, advances to Super Six final
By John J. Raspanti at ringside (May 15, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor, DHB)
Andre Ward vs Arthur Abraham
Heavily favored Andre Ward (24-0, 13 KOs) retained his WBA super middleweight title with a hard fought unanimous decision over Arthur Abraham (32-3, 26 KOs). With the victory, Ward, earned a spot in the finals of the Super Six Boxing Classic. Carl Froch and Glen Johnson, are set to face off  June 4, with the winner meeting the undefeated Ward. 
  The fight started slowly, as both fighters showed plenty of respect for each other. Ward set the tempo by feigning and jabbing, while Abraham followed. The former middleweight champion did land a glancing left on the side of Ward’s chin that might have won him the round. Ward came out moving and jabbing in round two, catching Abraham with a left to the body and head. Abraham was having no success finding Ward’s chin, and switched his attack to the body, landing a few left hooks.
   In round three Ward continued to land his jab, while Abraham connected with a left uppercut that caused his raucous fans to roar. The action was similar in round four with Ward landing a jab and left hook to the head. The bout was halted briefly in the round after Ward hit on the break. Abraham backed Ward into the ropes, and unleashed a combination to the body that Ward effectively blocked. 
 Round five started with Ward penetrating Abraham’s peek-a-boo defense with a clean right to the  chin. He continued the onslaught a few seconds later with slick combination to the head and body. Ward was spitting his  jab out like a cobra, and most were landing. Abraham had no answer and looked disenchanted as the round ended.  
 Ward kept his rhythm going in rounds six and seven. Abraham was throwing one big shot at a time and running out of steam, while Ward was growing stronger. Andre continued to box smartly in round’s eight and nine, keeping Abraham off balance with different angles. Abraham picked up the pace in the middle of the round and let his hands go, landing a clean left hook that slowed Ward down for a few seconds.
 Round ten saw Abraham trying to shake some life into his arms. He continued to stalk but rarely landed anything of importance. Ward’s consistent jabbing had caused his right eye to swell. He switched to southpaw half way through the round and landed some effective rights and lefts. The next round was a near copycat of ten with Ward finding a home for his jab, and Abraham looking to land the knockout punch.

   The last round was the most competitive since round six with Abraham obviously going for the knockout. Ward was caught with a couple of strong left hands, but instead of retreating he fired back, stopping Abraham in his tracks.
All three judges had Ward winning easily by scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 118-111. 
 Ward was circumspect after the fight.
  “I think this was a good victory for my progress. Abraham is not only a hard hitter but he’s difficult to fight. He does some awkward things in there”.
 Ward lamented the fact that he couldn’t work the body.
“The referee did a good job tonight, but I really felt like he could have let me fight on the inside. That was a major part of our game plan. Arthur Abraham does not like it to the body”.
  Abraham was obviously disappointed by the outcome of the bout but offered no excuses.
“What can I say, I really started out well until the third round and then I made a tactical mistake. He was a lot more active at the end. I really tried hard to knock him out because I didn’t think I could win on points in America. I’m very disappointed that I have let my fans down tonight but I will comeback.”
  Andre Ward’s trainer Virgil Hunter gave his charge a high grade for his performance.
  “From ringside I would have give him an a. I’ll look at again later, but I thought he did very well”. 
 Heavyweight contender Chris Arreola told this boxing scribe that he was tired of walking around with sunglasses on after fights.

    The noticeably thinner Arreola (31-2, 27 KOs) scored an impressive third round knockout over Nagy Aguilera (16-6, 11 KOs). Arreola came out agressively, landing a couple of nice left hooks and right hands. He picked up the pace at the beginning of round two, walking Aguilera to the corner, and pounding him with clean left hooks and right hands. 
 Aguilera tried to land a sneaky right near the end of the round but came up short. Arreola kept up the pressure in round three causing the man from New York to stagger. The popular Arreola continued to throw right hands and strong left hooks. He backed Aguilera into the corner and unloaded. After Arreolo landed another right left combo to the head the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.
 The time was 1:58 round three. Arreola can leave his shades at home.

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