By Robert Morales
WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward (23-0, 13 KOs) appears to be the favorite to win Showtime's Super Six tounament. Aside from his victory over Mikkel Kessler in the first stage of the Super Six, he easily defeated Allan Green over 12 rounds and he took a win by forfeit when Andre Dirrell had to pull out with an injury. Later tonight he squares off with Arthur Abraham in the tournament semifinals at Home Depot Center.
In Abraham, Ward is taking on a hard-hitter who was thoroughly out-boxed by Carl Froch, losing by 10, 12 and 12 points last November. This does not bode well for Abraham because Ward is a clever fighter who can make opponents look bad. But Abraham is confident he has figured out how to go about dealing with someone more technically sound than himself.
With a knockout percentage of 76.4 percent compared to Ward's 56.5, Abraham would appear to have a clear advantage in the power department. But most of Abraham's work has been at middleweight. This will be only his fifth fight at super middleweight since moving up in October 2009. He is 2-2 at this weight, with two knockouts.
"The problems he represents remains to be seen, but his strengths are he believes in his punching power," Ward said. "They call him a puncher, they say that he hits hard and that he is physically very strong. But I believe that my physical strength is right up there with the best ever and I think he will see and notice that I hit a lot harder than what people perceive me to be.
"With that being said, it's going to be the same Arthur Abraham, in terms of stylistically. He's going to cover up and maybe open up a little bit earlier, but he is going to look for that one big shot. That's what he does."