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Andre Ward is Super
Normal 0NEW YORK (BASN) — Andre Ward (22-0, 13 KOs) looked sensational during his twelve-round drumming of Allan Green (29-2, 20 KOs) to retain the WBA super middleweight championship last Saturday at the Oracle in Oakland.
The victory, Ward’s successful first defense of the 168-pound title, was the final bout of the Group Stage 2 portion of SHOWTIME’s marvel Super Six: World Boxing Classic tournament.
All three judges scored the bout a shutout, 120-108, for the hometown hero.
Ward’s impressive win against Green elevates him to four points for the overall lead and clinched a spot into the tournament’s semifinal round.
Ward is also the only undefeated fighter remaining in the tournament.
Other previously unbeaten including Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch, and Andre Dirrell have all lost. Froch and Mikkel Kessler entered the tournament as champions, but have lost their titles. Kessler dropped his belt to Ward in November on a technical decision, but captured Froch’s WBC belt in March after a brutal war in Denmark.
Although it has been difficult for people to pick a winner, it is clear that Andre Ward has emerged the favorite to win. It’s not because Ward is unbeaten and that all three of his Group Stage bouts were held at the Oracle in Oakland.
Ward is favored to win the tournament because, there are strategic blueprints on how to beat the other participants — Kessler, Froch, Abraham, Green, and Dirrell. However, no one has been able to figure out the blueprint on how to beat Ward.
Ward is also favored to win because he has experience having fought both domestically and internationally. Fighting European fighters is nothing new to Ward, as Abraham (Armenia), Froch (Britain), and Kessler (Denmark) are European fighters.
Remember too, Ward is the last American boxer to win an Olympic gold medal. He did it in the 2004 Athens Olympics as alight-heavyweight. Ward has experience beating bigger and stronger guys not with power (although Ward is strong), but by using speed, reflexes, and a series of different fight tactics.
As Ward displayed in his two wins against Kessler and Green, he can change his fighting style at any given moment. Ward mainly kept his fight with Kessler in the middle of the ring and simply attacked at will.
Ward stabled the pace of the fight and counterpunched effectively. Unlike Froch, Ward wasn’t a stationary target throwing the same sequence of punches. Ward attacked from different angles and often caught Kessler with one punch at a time.
It was masterful!
Against Green, Ward fought a different fight. Ward didn’t have to become a counter puncher against someone like Green. Ward simply took the fight to Green. He was right there in Green’s face on the inside and Ward simply bullied his challenger.
Ward smothered Green with hooks and uppercuts.
Ward used his shoulders, forearms, and his chest to position Green against the ropes to get pummeled with punches.
It was as though Ward was punishing Green in a slow execution. Ward also showed his superior boxing skills on the outside — jabbing and even switching his stance from southpaw to conventional.
Ward reminded his writer of a sharp Andre Dirrell, who coincidentally won a bronze medal for the U.S. at the same Athens Olympics Ward won captured his gold medal.
The heavyweight division heats up – sort of!
There have been a lot of talks, perhaps too much talk, on whether which Klitschko brother is going to fight David Haye. Well, forget about it because it won’t happen. Forget about the Klitschkos being openly vocal about fighting Haye.
Don’t worry about Haye’s massive insults toward the brothers. Focus not on the irrelevant video Team Klitschko created in an attempt to bully Haye into signing a contract for a fight.
Don’t heckle Haye for pulling out of scheduled fights with both Klitschkos in ’09 because, if both sides really wanted to fight one another, it would have happened already.
Nevertheless, there will be a series of meaningful heavyweight title fights that will occur this fall.
Unified IBF/WBO and unrecognized IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (54-3, 48 KOs) will finally defend his titles against unbeaten 2004 Olympic gold medalist Alexander Povetkin (19-0, 14 KOs) in September.
Povetkin defeated Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers in an IBF elimination tournament to become the No. 1-ranked contender more than two years ago.
Klitschko-Povetkin hasn’t happened for a number of different reasons, but at last Klitschko will be fighting an opponent that has power in both fists and can box.
Povetkin doesn’t have Wladimir’s size, but he is very young and strong. It will be a challenge for Wladimir. Klitschko-Povetkin is also interesting because, both fighters are Olympic gold medalists.
Klitschko won gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and has an amateur background of 140 fights. Povetkin has had just as many amateur fights as well and he has stopped a lot of guys in big fights.
A June 29th purse bid is scheduled. The fight will most likely occur in September.
Meanwhile, as WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko awaits his next opponent, Haye (24-1, 22 KOs), the WBA heavyweight champion appears closer toward a fight with Audley Harrison (27-4, 20 KOs) in November.
Haye became the first Brit to win a heavyweight title since Lewis retired more the six years ago. Haye outpointed a 7-foot-3, 320-pound Nikolai Valuev before embarrassing John Ruiz for a first successful title defense. Haye
Haye vs. Harrison is interesting because, it will be the first time two Englishmen fought one another for a heavyweight title since Lennox Lewis dispatched Frank Bruno in 1993.
In 2000, Harrison sent shockwaves throughout the British boxing scene by becoming the first fighter to win an Olympic gold medal the he super heavyweight division.
Since his pro debut in May 2001, the 6-foot-4 southpaw who was once endorsed by Lewis, has become one of the biggest busts in the history of heavyweight boxing.
Harrison has been outclassed by an overweight Danny Williams, beaten by an underachieving Dominic Guinn, KO’d by a horrid journeyman named Michael Sprott, and in 2008 outpointed by a Michael Rogan.
In April, Harrison fought Sprott in a rematch three years in the making. Harrison, behind on the judges’ scorecards, knocked Sprott out cold on his back with a booming left hand to the jaw in the twelfth and final round.
The 38 year-old Harrison saved his career as a prize fighter and will have an opportunity to challenge Haye for a heavyweight title.
David Tua vs. Monte Barrett on Pay-Per-ViewFormer heavyweight title contender David Tua (51-3-1, 43 KOs) resumes his comeback on Saturday, July 17 against Monte Barrett (34-9, 20 KOs) at the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
The event, promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, will be televised live on pay-per-view by Integrated Sports beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
Tua’s career has been derailed by inactivity and series of nasty lawsuits against his former manager Kevin Barry. The lawsuits and time away from boxing (2003-05 and 2007-09) has hurt Tua’s career as a prizefighter.
Overall, Tua has a record of 13-0-1, 10 KOs in his last 14 fights and hasn’t lost in nine years. Tua will be fighting a struggling Barrett who hasn’t won a fight in two years. Barrett, loser of three in a row, has been stopped in two of his last three fights.
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. takes on John Duddy on Pay-Per-View
The son of a legend, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (41-0, 30 KOs) steps up the level of opposition in a serious way when he battles Ireland’s exciting John Duddy (29-1, 18 KOs) at the Alamodome in San Antonio Saturday night.
The scheduled 12-round middleweight fight will be televised live on pay-per-view at a suggested retail of $39.95. Also on the card, Marco Antonio Barrera (65-7, 43 KOs), famous for his trilogy with Erik Morales, his two fights with Manny Pacquiao, and the only man to defeat “Prince” Naseem Hamed, takes on Adailton DeJesus (26-4, 21 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round lightweight fight.
The pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT).