Tonight a semi-final contest will take place, part of the Showtime Super Six Boxing Tournament. In one corner, the favorite, Andre Ward, 23-0, 13 KO’s, owner of the WBA Super Middleweight Title, and across the ring, the former middleweight champion and hopeful spoiler, Arthur Abraham, 32-2, 26 KO’s, in a 12 round showdown.
On November 21st, 2009, Ward captured the title against once defeated Mikkel Kessler, a favorite in the tournament’s infancy. The clutching, grabbing, mauling style has confused everyone he has faced. He has found a way to smother his opposition while getting off his punches. A great example of this was his June 19th, 2010 fight with Allan Green.
Green couldn’t solve the puzzle and became very frustrated, losing nearly every round as he was muscled into the ropes and smothered. Can Arthur Abraham figure him out?
Abraham has lost 2 of his last 3 fights, one to Andre Dirrell, a man he hit while he was down, losing via DQ. It was a fight where he was hopelessly behind. He took on Carl Froch next and was schooled, losing a wide UD. He had a confidence building fight against Stjepan Bozic, winning inside of two rounds, and he began the tournament in great fashion, knocking out Jermain Taylor in scary fashion in the final round.
Confidence is what he is desperately lacking at this point in time. He mentioned after the Froch fight that he wasn’t a true super middleweight and couldn’t deal with the bigger guys, and now he is not only facing a big guy but a strong guy that will push him around the ring if he allows it.
There is a silver lining here for Abraham. He has a destructive jab and expect him to use it. If he can land it with regularity, he may be able to set up his other punches, and he has a good punch. Nobody has been able to figure out the puzzle yet, but Ward has been dropped before, and that has to be some ray of hope for “King” Arthur.
American heavyweight, Chris Arreola, 30-2, 26 KO’s, has put together two straight victories since his defeat to Tomasz Adamek, but his weight has always been an issue. According to reports, he is significantly lighter then he has been for previous fights and is taking the challenge of Nagy Aguilera, 16-5, 11 KO’s, seriously.
Aguilera has lost three of his last four, including a stoppage at the hands of Sam Peter (KO-2) and decisions to smaller men in Maurice Harris and Antonio Tarver. He is, at this point, nothing more than a journeyman. His best win was a first round stoppage of Oleg Maskaev in 2009, which led to a title eliminator which he lost.
Arreola in shape does not help the chances of Aguilera. Expect an early KO for “The Nightmare.”
Watch Ward – Abraham tonight on Showtime.
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