The CBZ Newswire

Andre Ward Earns a Lopsided Decision in Rough Fight with Sakio Bika

by on Nov.30, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

ward1Andre Ward looking supremely confident in his ring walk.

Photos and report by Christopher Morgan at ringside

OAKLAND, CA, November 28, 2010 — Once again boxing fans and experts were quick to point out the strength’s of Andre Wards challenger, “Sakio is has a long reach, great power and is tough as nails”, or a similar quote could be read on boxing forums across the internet.   This seems to be the pattern now for Ward fights, after completely dominating Edison Miranda, Mikkel Kessler and Alan Green, he will still be questioned and doubted before his next big fight.

Sakio ‘The Scorpion’ Bika, (28-4-2, 19 KO’s) of Sydney, Australia by way of Cameroon, Africa entered the ring first as the challenger to some warm reggae tunes, bopping to the rhythm with a smile and calm demeanor, when a guy is all smiles entering a big fight you have to think he’s either crazy, dangerous or both.  With Andre Ward the house fighter, Bika was loudly booed with chants of, “This is America” and “you’re gonna get knocked out!!”

Andre Ward’s ring entrance was all business as he walked as fast as possible to the ring to begin his nights work.

The first round started with Bika assuming the role of aggressor and firing off a right hand that fell short allowing Andre Ward (22-0,13 KO’s) to counter with a quick jab to the body followed by a flush jab to Bika’s face.  After 10 more seconds of posing and feeling each other out both fighters fell into the first of the many clinches that were to come with Bika smartly using the opportunity to rough Ward up with hard shots to the body and head, something that Ward’s past opponents have failed to do. Once out of the clinch, Ward began measuring BIka with the jab, still being patient to feel Sakio out before committing to anything serious. A wild miss from Bika at the end of the round before another very rough clinch with Bika’s strength inside very apparent, Ward looked a little uncomfortable at the end of the first as he walked back to his corner.

The second started with Ward making Bika miss followed immediately by BIka making Ward miss, Bika then rushed in and both fighters heads clashed together with no apparent damage as a result.  A prolonged clinch ensued in center ring for much of the round.  Ward began to employ the feint in this round, not using it to set up yet, just walking Bika down with it, near the end of the round Bika started to throw some wild, looping left hooks from ten feet away which of course had no chance of landing on the defensively acute Andre Ward.

Andre switched up his game plan suddenly darting out of his corner at the start of the third and landing a hard lead right hand to the jaw of Bika followed by a clinch with Bika still using rough but legal tactics in the clinch but with Ward getting a little stronger and starting to give some rough stuff back.  Bika landed a double jab to Ward’s face then unleashed a wild roundhouse left hook that missed.  With around 30 seconds left in the round Andre landed a hard, clean left hook that appeared to shake Bika throwing him back into the ring ropes.

ward2Andre Ward lands a hurtful right hand on Sakio Bika

Rounds 4-6 featured a newly aggressive Ward now taking compete control of the outside and inside game landing two punch combos to the head, at one point in the fourth Bika fell to the canvas which was ruled a slip by the ref.  The heads came together again in the fifth round at which point is was now very apparent that Bika was completely frustrated by Ward’s style and his own inability to do anything about it.  Ward also began fighting in spots with his left hand held low, a definite sign that he feels like he is in complete control of the bout. 

Rounds 7 through 9  were fought mostly in an ugly, mauling clinch, most of the clinches appearing to be initiated by Sakio BIka with the ref warning him several times for the constant clutching.  Ward did not do much work outside of the clinch in round 7, mostly feinting and defending against the increasingly wild shots from BIka that were always thrown one at a time, with nothing to set them up and always without a prayer of even coming close to landing.  Round 9 completely fought in the clinch with Bika complaining more and more.

ward3Sakio Bika complains to the Ref

Round 10 opened with more clinches followed by a hard clash of heads at which point Sakio Bika turned away from Ward looking mentally broken, fell into the ropes and allowed Ward to move in for the kill and land some hard shots before taking the fight back to ring center.

The last two rounds, 11 and 12 were fought more in the center of the ring with both fighters trading jabs, Bika landed a hard right hand in the middle of the 11th but by this time his punches did not have any more steam as Ward showed no ill effects and continued to move forward.   Andre Ward fought tentatively at for the first minute or so of the 12th and final round while Bika threw more desperate wild, one at a time punches.  Bika continued to complain to the ref causing the crowd  to began yelling “Shut Up”!!  Andre suddenly opened up at the end of the round landing a flush right hand that staggered BIka who landed a desperation hook that might have stunned Ward at the end but too little too late at all three judges scored unanimously in Andre Ward’s favor, 120 – 108, a shutout and two tallies of 118-110 giving two rounds to Bika which sounds about right, I gave him the first two rounds.

Andre Ward is more entertaining than he was earlier in his career, but with an announced crowd of 4100, half the amount of his last fight, he needs to cut down on the inside game, the constant clinching will not win over new fans.  Andre’s next opponent is scheduled to be Arthur Abraham of Germany, it will be interesting to see if we have another casualty in the Super Six, Arthur Abraham lost earlier in the night to Carl Froch and if Froch can dominate Arthur then he most definitely has no chance of contending with Andre Ward. 

The Undercard 

The night opened with a 6 rounder between Goosen house fighter Roman Andreev (9-0,7 KOs) of Moscow, Russia against journeyman Manuel Delcid (4-3, 1 KO) of Los Angeles California, both fighters weighing in at the lightweight limit.

The fight opened with Roman instantly applying pressure throwing jabs and hard rights to the body with Manuel mostly covering up and retreating to the ropes.  More sloppy jabs from Roman thrown before Manuel suddenly turned aggressive and landed a hard shot on Roman. The remainder of the first was spent in constant clinching, the highlight of the round came when Andreev lost his balance and fell across the ring making the crowd think he had been hurt.

roman1Roman Andreev (Right) pops a jab out.

Manuel showed a little aggression at the beginning of the second before falling back against the ropes and covering up, Roman landed a big right hand before being caught with one himself eliciting a smile from Roman. 

Rounds 3 and 4 showed an apparently gassed Manuel retreating to the ropes more and more becoming a punch bag for Roman who showed absolutely zero killer instinct as Manuel was right there for the taking offering no resistance and Roman was still very patient refusing to turn on the gas.

roman2Roman Andreev (left) on the attack

Rounds 5 and 6 began to expose Roman as a fighter who needs his opponent to stand completely still before he can plant and get off, Roman would chase Manuel to the ropes, plant his feet, Manuel slips to the side and Roman has to start all over again.  In the 6th Manuel was in full on survival mode, ducking in very low and forcing clinches, at one point Manuel ducked so low that he almost fell over. 

At the end of six two judges had it 60-54 and one had it 59-55 all for the winner by unanimous decision, Roman Andreev.

The second bout of the evening featured another Goosen house fighter, local Stan Martyniouk (10-0,1 KO) of Sacramento California by way of Estonia going up against Khadaphi Proctor (6-5-1, 1 KO) of Hesperia California with both fighters scaling in at the 135 pounds.

The first was a wild one, the favored Stan opened up as the aggressor throwing fast, hard compact rights and hooks to the tough and grizzled looking Khadaphi, who sported highly visible facial scars and a mean facial expression.  Midway through the round as Stan backed straight up he was countered with a straight right from Khadaphi that sent him sprawling to the canvas for a count of 6.  Stan did not show any ill effects from the knockdown going back about his business trading shots with Khadaphi.  With about 20 seconds left in the round Stan was countered once again by Khadaphi’s straight right hand while pulling straight back and this time was dumped hard on the canvas for the second knockdown of the round. Stan was up at 8 with Khadaphi teeing off trying to force a stoppage but running out of time.

stan1Khadaphi Proctor hammers Stan Martynouk on the ropes

Stan came out for the second showing no tentativeness despite the knockdowns suffered in the first.  Some great exchanges took place at center ring with both men landing hard hooks and straights at center ring, Stan buzzed once again pulling straight back by the right of Khadaphi once more but did not go down.  Stan began holding his guard a little higher now and landed some good counters to the head and body of Khadaphi.

Khadaphi came out fast at the beginning of third after letting off the gas a bit in the second letting his hands go, most land on the gloves of Stan who was not very active deciding not to lead or trade as much and land the occasional counter.  A hard right from Khadaphi sent Stan down again at the end of the third round, with Stan’s head bouncing off of the canvas.  Showing his recuperative powers, Stan got up and walked to the wrong corner momentarily.

stan2,Stan Martyniouk (left) and Khadaphi Proctor at center ring.

Khadaphi landed a two punch combo on Stan right at the beginning of the fourth, Stan was less inclined to trade or open up for fear of being dropped again prompting Khadaphi to go all out as he trapped Stan on the ropes and unleashed brutal hooks to the head and body.  Khadaphi perhaps slightly punched out at the end of the round got stunned by a left hook from Stan.

Rounds 5 and 6 had Khadaphi looking for one more big shot to end the fight, often retreating to the ropes and luring Stan in the hopes of landing that fight ending shot.  Stan landed a couple of nice counters in the final round but his punches were too stiff by that point and he had started to fight more nervously maybe sensing that he wouldn’t be able to end the fight on his feet if he opened up too much.

At the end of this very entertaining scrap, two judges had the fight scored correctly at 58-53 for Khadaphi, while one judge had it 56-55 also for Khadaphi, after the reading of the scores, Antonio Tarver who was seated above me commented, “They had one judge paid off, they should have bought all three”.

The third bout of the evening while only lasting for 1 round, provided the most entertainment for the crowd out of all of the fights that night.

Undefeated power puncher Cornelius ‘The Beast’ White (15-0, 14 KO’s) of Houston Texas took on Washington DC vet Demetrius Davis (20-24-5, 8 KO’s) in what was billed as a Cruiserweight fight but both men scaled in below the Light Heavy limit with Cornelius at 171 and Demetrius at 166.

Both boxers touched gloves to start the first initiated by White.  White worked behind a standard guard and steady jab while Davis moved erratically from side to side with his left hand held low.  30 seconds into the round Davis was dropped with a hard right hand and immediately started complaining to the ref that it was a slip. Upon rising White took his time setting Davis up with the jab before dropping Davis a second time with Davis Complaining that the second knockdown was another slip.  After being dropped for a second time, Davis now bounced around the ring from side to side ducking and running away from the rushing White at one point Davis retreating movements became so wild that he fell halfway out of the ring before the ref helped him back inside.  Near the end of the round, Davis, who had been taking a one sided beat down suddenly unleashed a highly visible bolo punch before teeing off with sloppy hooks to the gloves of White, this sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy, Davis might have been losing badly but he sure was entertaining.  Unfortunately, Davis was unable to entertain the crowd anymore as the doctor stopped the fight between rounds, no reason given.

white1Cornelius White (right) strolls to a neutral corner after dropping Demetrius Davis.

The fourth bout pitted prospect Michael Ruiz (6-0, 3 KO’s) of Fresno, California against Jonathan Alcantara (4-3-1, 0 KO’s) of Novato California in a Bantamweight matchup.

The first round was literally devoid of action as both fighters stared at each other for three minutes.

ruiz1Michael Ruiz (right) and Jonathan Alcantara take a round to look at each other.

In round two, Alcantara started to use a style of backing to the ropes, luring Ruiz in and then throwing fast herky jerky combos and then moving to the side.  This strategy worked for half the round as Alcantara was able to land some clean scoring shots but Ruiz quickly figured him out and used his superior strength to muscle Alcantara to the ropes and score with heavy one two’s.

Rounds two and three showed both fighters clinching and trading more shots with a slight edge to the harder shots of Ruiz that could be heard at ringside thudding into Alcantara’s body

By the fourth round Ruiz has become the eternal stalker as Alcantara is constantly in retreat mode, when Alcantara clutched onto Ruiz, Ruiz started to force his way out of the clinch instead of waiting for the ref to break them up. Some good body shots were traded in this round with Alcantara able to sneak a couple around the guard of Ruiz.

ruiz2Joseph Alcantara (left) attempts to hide behind the ref

By round 5 this fight had become an entertaining back and forth scrap with both guys active and giving their all, slight edge to Ruiz for the harder shots.

In the sixth and final round Ruiz mainly looked for one shot fighting with his hands down , Alcantara showed an excellent chin as he absorbed some crushing shots from Ruiz but made it to the final bell.

One judge had it  57-56 for Ruiz, the second judge had it 57-56 for Alcantara and the third judge had it a draw for the final verdict of a split draw.

In the final bout before the main event, 2008 US Olympian Javier Molina of Commerce, California put his 4-0 all by knockout record on the line against Mexican club fighter Francisco Rios-Gil, (11-12, 7 KO’s)

The difference in hand speed and technique was immediately apparent at the start, Molina much more schooled in the fundamentals came out behind a strong jab, all of Rios punches were much too telegraphed in the rare moments that he did throw to land on Molina.

molina1Javier Molina (right) winds up a shot to the body of Francisco Rios-Gil

Rios came out for the second a little more confident putting more pressure on the untested Molina, mauling him and landing vicious body punches.  Most of Rios punches were wild but it appeared that Molina wasn’t comfortable with the pressure forcing Molina to begin to employ more movement while sticking to the jab using the jab as the main weapon for the remainder of the round and scoring well.

In the final two rounds of this four rounder, Molina used more movement and timed the rushes of Rios, at this point Molina was making Rios look like a wild street fighter with nothing of significance landed from Rios who mostly lands on gloves and air.  To Rios credit, he was too tough for Molina to take out. 

All 3 judges scored 40-36 in Molina’s favor.

molina2Javier Molina has his hand raised in victory.

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