Boxing


Sakio Bika “Likely” To Replace Andre Dirrell, Face Andre Ward

By James Slater: Almost as soon as Detroit’s Andre Dirrell withdrew from the ongoing “Super Six” tournament, fans everywhere wondered who it would be that would be brought in as his replacement (there has been the need for three “Super Six” replacements as of now if you’re keeping score).

Well, according to Dan Rafael over at ESPN.com, a suitable fighter has been found to step in for Dirrell, who is reportedly suffering from serious neurological problems. The word is Cameroon-born Australian-based Sakio Bika will replace “The Matrix,” and if so, he will box the unbeaten Andre Ward on Nov. 27th.

It’s not a done deal yet, as Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer explained to ESPN.com

“We’re working on that,” Schaefer said of the Bika plan. “Bika is definitely interested in doing the fight. It’s not done, but it’s being worked on.”

Back when Jermain Taylor was forced to pull out of “Super Six,” Bika’s name was mentioned as a possible tourney replacement (“The Scorpion” may have been considered before that, I can’t remember), and all along experts like Steve Bunce have suggested the teak-tough warrior as an ideal tournament entrant. And Bika, who has often complained at not being able to get the big fights, has wanted to be part of the Showtime Boxing Classic for a long time.

Back when Glen Johnson was brought in to replace the injured Mikkel Kessler, it was reported how Bika had been offered that spot. However, the 31-year-old with the 28-4-2(19) pro record declined due to his father having just passed away. Now, in what would be his first fight back after being disqualified for hitting Jean Paul Mendy after he had knocked him down legally, Bika could be set to rumble with the man many people feel is the world’s best super-middleweight: “S.O.G” Andre Ward.

Of further interest, and also reported by Rafael, is the fact that Ward-Bika, a fight that will contest the WBA belt held by Ward, might not be included as part of “Super Six.” It may be that the fight goes ahead as just a regular fight - Ward is already safely through to the semi finals, and the Bika fight could well be just a title defence for the young fighter who wants to keep himself busy.

“We’re working on that too,” Schaefer said on whether or not the Nov. 27th bout will be part of the tourney.

What is known, is how tough a fighter Bika is. Best known for his losing bout with then IBF and WBO 168-pound king Joe Calzaghe, who out-pointed Bika in a rough affair in 2006, the never-stopped Australian has also fought Lucian Bute (LU12) and Markus Beyer (DTD4) in word title challenges.

Before the July 31st DQ loss to Mendy, Bika had won six on the spin; including stoppage wins over Jaidon Codrington and Peter Manfredo Junior. Bika may not be anywhere near as naturally skilled as Ward, but he is one courageous and hard fighter. And he is hungry. Could Bika even test Ward like no other fighter ever has?

Article posted on 14.10.2010



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