Boxing


Andre Ward faces Sakio Bika at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA on November 27th

OAKLAND, CA (Oct. 24, 2010) - Undefeated hometown hero and points leader in the innovative Super Six World Boxing Classic, Andre "SOG" Ward (22-0, 13 KOs) will return home to the Oracle Arena, when he defends his World Boxing Association (WBA) super middleweight championship a second time against tough world contender Sakio "The Scorpion" Bika (28-4-2, 19 KOs) of Sydney, Australia, via Douala, Cameroon, on Saturday, Nov. 27.

The World Championship night of boxing will begin at 5 p.m. with the main event featuring Oakland's finest starting at approximately 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $150, $75 and $35 and are available beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 29 at the Oracle Box Office or visit www.coliseum.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Buoyed by spirited, supportive fans each time out, The Oracle has been the site of the 2004 United States Olympic Games Gold Medalist's greatest and most memorable accomplishments since he turned professional in December 2004.

Ward's road to superstardom actually began at the Oracle. In his Oakland debut on May 16, 2009, the last U.S. boxer to bring home a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics impressively outpointed rugged, hard-punching Edison Miranda across 12 rounds. In what figured to be Ward's toughest assignment to date, the smart, talented, two-fisted boxer-puncher had his way, winning by the scores of 119-109 twice and 116-112.

Interestingly, the stakes have only grown higher with each ensuing Oracle Arena outing. Yet, the more the bar is elevated, the more proficiently Ward performs.

On Nov. 21, 2009, Ward shocked the boxing world by capturing the WBA 168-pound championship with a brilliant, totally one-sided shellacking over defending champion Mikkel Kessler in a Group Stage 1 World Boxing Super Six Classic bout on SHOWTIMEŽ.

Ward dominated the highly regarded Kessler from the outset, the pre-Super Six tournament favorite whose only other loss came to Joe Calzaghe. By the time the one-sided proceedings were halted at 1:42 of the 11th-round, Ward had cut up, battered and badly bruised the Danish star much to the delight of the 11,000 strong in attendance. At the time of the finish, Ward was ahead on all three of the judges' scorecards (98-92 twice and 97-93).

In his most recent start, Ward hurled a 36-minute shutout over Allan Green in his lone defense and second start in the Super Six last June 21 at Oracle Arena. Ward made the dangerous, hard-hitting Green look pedestrian and amateurish, winning every round en route to a 12-round unanimous decision. The judges all had it 120-106.

The 6-foot-1, 26-year-old Ward, who has already locked up a semi-final berth, will risk his belt against Bika in a scheduled 12-round fight that will be staged outside the Super Six Tournament format.

Bika, who has never been knocked out, is a fierce competitor with a granite chin, will be getting his third world title opportunity. He is 0-1-1, having lost a decision to Calzaghe in October 2006 and being forced to settle for a controversial draw against Marcus Beyer in Germany in May 2006.

A 2000 Olympian for Cameroon, Bika has fought some of the division's elite champions, but has long accused the big-name super middleweights of avoiding him. Two of his most noteworthy victories came when he crushed Peter Manfredo, Jr. (TKO 3) in Nov. 2008 and when he outpointed Sam Soliman across eight rounds in Oct. 2007.

Doors will open at the Oracle Arena at 4:30 p.m.

The Ward-Bika world title fight will be televised live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast). It will be preceded on SHOWTIME by a Super Six showdown between "King" Arthur Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs), of Germany, and Carl "The Cobra" Froch (26-1, 20 KOs), of Nottingham, England. The Abraham-Froch 12-rounder, which also will be for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) 168-pound title, will air on same day-delay from the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki.

Article posted on 26.10.2010



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