Ward dominates Abraham to book place in Super Six final

Andre Ward retained his WBA super-middleweight title after winning a decision over Arthur Abraham in the Super Six semi-final.

SOG: Ward (l) lands on a defensive Abraham at the Home Depot Centre in Carson, California Pic: ©Craig Bennett/Goossen Tutor Promotions

Andre Ward won a unanimous decision over Arthur Abraham on Saturday, May 14 to retain his WBA super-middleweight title. The victory over the former middleweight champion also secured Ward a place in the Super Six World Boxing Classic final where he will meet the winner of Carl Froch v Glen Johnson later this year.

The 27-year-old Ward started a little cautious, showing respect to his older, more experienced opponent. Abraham, with his usual peek-a-boo style defence, took no chances as he fought behind a high guard. However his high guard may have been a comfort factor because it was soon being penetrated by Ward’s sharp jabs in the early rounds.

Abraham, 31, was keen to make his mark on America with this bout but failed to deliver such a performance despite having a strong support from Armenian-Americans. It was Ward who stole the show and showed his discipline as he stuck to the game plan to wear down and break through Abraham.

The undefeated Ward, whose record now stands at 24-0 (13 KOs), stepped up the pace in the fourth round as a fight broke out in the boxing ring. Abraham’s physical stature allowed him to dominate inside and, following a few clinches, the pair traded blows with Ward landing strong combination s late in the round.

By the half-way mark Ward’s ability to remain focussed and not get carried away allowed him to take control of the fight. He had Abraham up against it and rocking on the ropes at one point but didn’t look like ending it at any point in the fight. Abraham answered back with strong body shots but struggled to land with any consistency as he encased himself in his high guard at the hint of an oncoming shot making counter punching that bit more difficult.

Abraham complained of two low-blows from Ward, but referee Luis Pabon failed to acknowledge his pleas.

The final rounds were more back and forth but once again it was Ward who landed the cleaner shots with more frequency. Abraham fought back with more ferocity in the final round but it was too little too late as Ward took the fight on all three judges scorecards.

Abraham was the undefeated middleweight champion entering the Super Six and much was expected of him. However, he now exits the tournament having lost three of his four fights and failing to make a name for himself as he so much had hoped.

Ward meanwhile is now in the final where he awaits the winner of Froch v Johnson and regardless of what happens there, the Oakland native has definitely landed with a bang in the super-middleweight division.