Andre Ward Coasts To Easy Win Over Arthur Abraham In Super Six Semi…WOODS

Arthur Abraham started out with energy and nasty intent early on in the main event of a Showtime Super Six semifinal which took place at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on Saturday night. But in round four, Andre Ward had sized him up, got his joints lubed up, and the American took over the scrap from there on. By the end rounds, the only drama remaining came from the question: Could Ward stop Abraham? He tried, but the ex middleweight champion still has an above-average chin left. Truth be told, he doesn't have all that much more than that. The judges spoke after 12 rounds, giving Ward the nod, via UD, by scores of  120-108, 118-110, 118-111. 

My takeaway: let's be honest, it looks like Abraham was over-touted to start the Super Six. His sole win in the tourney, beating Jermain Taylor, doesn't look all that stellar now, not for a guy seen by many as a fave to win it all. He might be better suited, if he can make 160, to head back down there. Ward, on the other hand, is a P4P top 20 guy. But an absence of pop holds him back. His power is average, and while he's technically tight, he isn't a smooth stylist. Thus, his identity as a fighter, as an attraction, is still up in the air. 

Ward went 178-444, to 158-333 for Abraham. Both men could've been a bit busier over 12 rounds. After, Ward said he did well, but wanted to be more of an entertainer. Abe, meanwhile, whined, as usual. He said he didn't think the scores were that wide, and that Ward didn't hit him cleanly. Will he go back to 160, asked Jim Gray? No, Abe said, he'll stay at 168.

Ward (WBA super middleweight champion; age 27;  from Oakland; 23-0 entering) weighed 168 pounds, while Abraham (age 31; from Armenia, living in Germany; coming off a loss to Carl Froch in SS, beat S. Bozic in March; 32-2 entering) was 167 pounds on Friday.

In the first, Abe looked better than he did in his last effort. Ward went downstairs, since Abe had his guard up high.

In the second, Abe showed fire. He looked to pile up combos. He also got warned for holding, while Ward went low with a left.

In the third, Ward's jab was steadier. But Abe's aggressiveness was still on display.

In the fourth, Abe followed Ward, who used his legs to better effect. The American had figured out the Armenian, it looked like, and got lubed up.

In the fifth, Abe was backing up more and more. Ward hit on a break, and the ref told both men to keep it clean. Abe's trainer told him to put more pressure on ward after the round.

In the sixth, Ward started righty; he'd been righty most of the way. The he went lefty, not sure why, he had things in hand as a right-hander. Abe looked a bit beat after the round.

In the seventh, things looked more bleak for Abe. His guard was high, and too often he simply blocked, and didn't even try to return fire. He threw just nine punches, and landed five.

In the eighth, Abe rushed in, looking to land meaningful hooks. His jab wasn't present at all.

In the ninth, Abe showed more fire. But Ward's jab dictated the tempo and tone.

In the 10th, it was all Ward. “Arthur, throw some punches,” his trainer told him after the round.

In the 11th, Abe still tried to land a home run, mostly via overhand rights, but Ward's reflexes wouldn't allow that.

In the 12th,  Abe landed a few hard shots. Ward's trainer probably had a mini cardiac arrest. We'd go to the cards.

Check back for David Avila's ringside report.

Follow Woods on Twitter @Woodsy1069.

Comment on this article


-DaveB :

Good fight for both fighters. I think Abraham fought the best he could and made an effort to throw punches from the opening bell. It was a refreshing change of pace to see him do that. What more can I say about S.O. G.? He improves with every fight and he has the tools to fight in many different styles. He stood up to some good punches and even fights a little dirty if he thinks it is warranted. Under certain circumstances, it should not be the norm, it can be a good thing because it shows the fighter is fighting with heart. When this tournament was first announced I predicted Abraham and Ward would be the finalists. One fighter went North and the other went South but this tournament took so many twists and turns that I feel satisfied with my picks. I now think it will be Froch and Ward in the finals with Ward taking the trophy. Even after the tournament there are other good fights waiting in this division. Even though this Super Six took some unexpected turns, and in thinking about it you would have to think that some of these things had to be expected, I think this tournament was a smashing success. A lot of these fighters would have never fought one another. And it will spawn other fights afterwards and there will be one universally recognized champion and it will be by doing it the old fashioned way, by actually earning the title and recognition through actually fighting and not by the fans debating. Perhaps this was/is a combination of prize-fighting and pride-fighting. There should be more of it.

-DaveB :

One other thing, I would have liked the referee to let the fighters work a little more and not step in immediately when they got inside. I think he got overly involved and stopped the action too soon. There were numerous times when he did that. He should have delayed his actions by maybe a few seconds to give the fighters a chance to fight and see what would have happened. I think that hurt both fighters and it would have made for a little bit better fight. But the outcome would have been the same.

-Robert Curtis :

Ward did more than enough to win. But he probably could have gotten a KO if he had used his left more to set things up and followed through with precise counters and more punches in bunches. KO opportunities don't create themselves. Abraham has a chin and grit, but he was just way outclassed. Abraham grabbed and wrestled so much that points really should have been taken away. He threw more headlocks around Ward's neck than he threw right hands. Seriously. Abraham also did some ridiculously unskilled things that left him wide open. The pro Andre crowd was laughing loud at him. The proud Armenians in attendance could only shut up when Arthur would lunge like a schoolboy trying to recover his stolen hat and then teeter and struggle to regain his balance. I have to say I wasn't too impressed with Cris Arreola's 3rd round KO over Nagy Aguilera. All Cris did was brawl like a rock-'em-sock-'em robot. That might work over another chubster like Aguilera. But Cris didn't show me anything that would get him another title shot or have any kind of chance against another Klitschko. Arreola can only fight forward, has no head movement and only one speed and it's as slow as a jazz one-two count and not all that jazzy. Radam used to call Cris the next Brown Bomber or Cali Crusher before his cry-baby loss to Vitali. But I still think the only thing Cris can crush with any regularity are empty pizza boxes and overweight, outclassed opponents. At 234, or whatever Arreola actually weighed at the opening bell, he is still not lean enough in my opinion. Also, I was about fifteen feet away from him, and if he's really 6'3" then so was my grandma. Cris should fight at 220, tops. On the undercard, Dominik Britsch really impressed me with his punching power. As a middleweight, Dominik's shots were as strong as anything heavies Cris and Nagy threw later on. Britsch's loud, hard body shots made everyone in the first ten rows grab their ribs and say Ouch! At 23, Dominik might have a future. But he'll have to get his punch count up if he's going to fight on a championship level, unless he expects to win all his fights by KO. I missed two one round knockouts while I was trying to get a slice of pizza at the Home Depot Center's concessions. All in all, it's a sub par venue. The ringside seats are puny plastic folding chairs that barely fit a normal-sized behind and there are absolutely no monitors to watch the fights on when you're away from your seat. The mics were bad too, but I suppose folks at home could hear Jimmy Lennon Junior just fine. I couldn't. To end on a positive note, I'd have to say the Corona ring girls were about the most gorgeous and yummy I've ever seen. I thought I wasn't going to stop seeing long legs and big behinds. I never knew which round it was 'cause my eyes never went high enough to see the cards. Whoever hired them all must be an ass man like me. Yes. That's what all my friends tell me: You're an ass, man! Peace.

-undisputed34 :

too bad i missed it..but i figured andre would win... i thought abraham was overrated when he almost got killed by pantera..if ward keeps fighting this way i dont think anybody @ 168-175 lbs can beat him..what little flack he gets at the moment, if he runs his record up to about 35-0, they'll be calling him the new pound for pound king..i think glen johnson gives him more trouble than froch could..he barely beat jermaine and got embarrassed by a too green dirrell. froch cant handle a dynamic "slick, innercity african american boxer"(that was an inside joke by the way lol)..if Ward matches up with glenn and beats him more convincingly than dawson did (i.e. the way b-hop did back in the day) who can stand against him?

-MisterLee :

Andre Ward 2012!!

-Big Daddy :

Andre just doesn't seem to have KO Power. Maybe that's why resorts to getting physical in the ring. I really wanna be HomeBoy's Biggest Fan, but without a legitimate chance of KO in any of his fights... It's hard to get overly excited. Either way, I will still root for him.

-DeadRinger :

Very good fight. As a Ward fan, I'll admit that I was a nervous wreck beforehand. Even though he's been exposed thrice in the last four fights, Abraham has scary power. Aside from the first few troublesome rounds, Ward took care of him easily. He fought a more game version of Abraham than Froch did, which is what made it even more impressive. Ward has all the tools to become a great champion. The only flaw I see in his game is that he's a slow starter, which may come to hurt him in competitive distance fights, but so far that hasn't mattered much. He's somebody who gets the job done and always acts professional. As long as he keeps winning, or at least puts up a competitive front, he doesn't need to be knocking people out the way boxing writers keep complaining he needs to. What was with those Compubox stats? Not to sound like I know more about counting punches than those people do, but those numbers simply CAN'T be right. Most of Abe's punches missed wildly and the ones that connected landed on Ward's elbows and shoulders. There's no way he landed only twenty less punches than Ward. That was about the difference between Leonard and Hagler, which was a close fight unlike this one.

-amayseng :

the first few rounds were exciting and interesting as AA brought it. then, ward got busy and started to slow down AA's output by putting him on defense. then AA barely threw at all the last 4 rounds or so. AA does not counter punch, if you stay active he just stands there. i think one of the late rounds he threw only 9 punches, 9 PUNCHES, ONLY 9 PUNCHES, then in the interview stated that ward didnt land clean on him, uh, if u only throw 9 punches a round ward could have shadow boxed and still won it.... i just dont think AA has the right mentality, i mean does he not get it, or is his endurance awful and hes just a 4 round fighter like pascal??? either way, ward did a good job. secondly, Glen johnson beats froch.

-the Roast :

Excellent ringside coverage from one of TSS best, Robert Curtis. I saw the Arreola fight on youtube and I wasnt impressed either. Chris was less fat than usual but very wide with the punches.

-the Roast :

So whats next? We got Pascal-Hopkins next week. Who wins that one? Who makes the adjustments? Pascal is younger and faster but B-Hop has the guile and the mental edge. I think Hopkins will win a chess match. I hope its a good fight whoever wins it.

-amayseng :

i think hopkins beats pascal 12 rounds to none next saturday. i had him winning 10 rounds in the first fight. it is obvious hopkins has figured pascal out. hopkins is pissed off and i think makes a complete statement for the boxing world. what would be nice is for him and the sport to get some sportscenter coverage before and after this historic event.

-"B" :

Hows everybody doing in the out there? I want to pick you guy's brains about Ward. I love the guy to be honest. He is definitely a throwback fighter in my opinion. He has one of those styles where it is very hard to look good against let alone win against. I want to first say that I think he is just what boxing needs and is an extreme talent. I just have noticed a few things about his style that just drive me crazy. He has a rare combination of athleticism and ruggedness that you usually do not see. Most guys who are that physically gifted do not like to get "dirty" if you know what I mean. This is a great quality but I think at times his willingness to allow clinches and infighting take away from what he could do to some of his opponents. If you watched Ward's last few fights he makes guys miss a lot and has so many opportunities to counter and run them into some big shots but he usually dives under and smothers guys. This is a part of boxing and he makes his self very hard to hit. It also frustrates the heck out of fighter. The point i am trying to make is that I would love to see Andre develop his right hand from distance and as a counter shot instead of allowing guys to fall in or fighting on the inside so much. I think if he threw his right more he would be knocking guys out. But I think he may be converted by the way he fights. I am not sure but he fights like a conventional guy who is really left handed. You guys tell me if i am wrong. His jab is no joke but his right hand is very underused. If you guys want tape of what I am talking about just watch fights of Benard. I think Ward would benefit greatly from Looking at Hopkins since Benard is one of the best right hand guys whether he throws it as a lead or as a counter. What do you guys think?? Be Blessed!!!!

-Radam G :

Don't be surprised if the Cali Crusher fool everybodee and dey momma and become KING of the RING! Boxing is da serious "Theatre of the expected." Cris is training down in Texas. Dude is constantly smellin' horse and cow sh** and Texas oil. That jive is some strong stuff. It will make you ruff. And the Cali Crusher is gettin on his buff. Yall betta' watch out. Dat Texas climate spitted out Jack Johnson and [Rev.] Big George Foreman. That place is known for striking up the firsts. I see it now: ole Jackie Johnson, the first black champ; old Rev. Georgy, the first and only fighter to regain the belt at forty-something; and now here come the Cali Crusher. He may just be the first Mexican American to conquer the heavyweight crown. Holla!

-Robert Curtis :

You know, deep down, I think Arreola could become another Marciano. But against what? The secret to the real Rock's success was training. He was a devastating and fearless puncher who was immaculately conditioned and was the most dedicated student in the class of the hurt business. Arreola's gameness I don't doubt. I still need to see him fight better men with more skill. The Klits may retire by the time he gets his next shot. Who will he fight then? A kangaroo or a caraboa water buffalo?

-the Roast :

I saw Arreola's fight on youtube. He was in good shape for him, but his punches were wide and sloppy. I can forgive Chris for losing to Vitali but Adamek? No. Now he's working his way back up fighting Nagy and he's gonna be on FNF soon vs another no name? It's a little late for that. Time to move on to that kangaroo.

-Robert Curtis :

The heavyweight division seems to be some sweet plump gal no one wants to make an effort to pursue. I don't know why. It was the glory of all sport within my lifetime. Maybe it doesn't pay enough these days for all the hurt that's involved? In the 1970s, I worshipped Ali and Larry. The big boy's division is wide open for talent in 2011, but perhaps all the smart large guys are playing football where they can at least get a half-assed contract for their self-endangering efforts? There is so little between the average man and the biggest crown of boxing than ever today. I can't see Arreola as anything but a sparring partner in any great era. He might have beaten Tyson. Tyson, with all his talent and training, always crapped out when any big guy forgot to get scared and called his bluff.

-the Roast :

I agree with you RC, at one time not too long ago, the Heavyweight Champion of the World was the most coveted crown in all of sports. The baddest man on the planet. Now, the general public has no idea who the champ is. I was too young for Ali but Holmes,Tyson and Holyfield were known by everyone. Somone has got to come along and seize the mother F-ing day! As for Big Chris, I couldn't see him beating Tyson. Maybe the faded Tyson who lost to Lennox or Kevin McBride but not the pre-jail Tyson. He would have went down like fat Tony Tubbs.