Boxing


“King” Arthur Abraham To Take Quality Tune-Up Fight Ahead Of May “Super Six” Showdown With Andre Ward

By James Slater: With his win-at-all-costs “Super Six” tournament semi-final fast approaching, Arthur Abraham has chosen to take a tune-up fight ahead of his clash with the unbeaten Andre Ward. The semi-final is expected to go ahead on May 14th, venue still to be agreed upon, and “King” Arthurs has told BILD that he will first box on Feb. 12th in Germany.

The former middleweight ruler, who is coming off that heavy loss to Britain’s Carl Froch, says he wants the tune-up fight - against Croatia’s capable Stjepan Bozic - so as to rid himself of any rust ahead of the crucial clash with Ward. But perhaps the biggest reason Abraham has opted to take a tune-up is so as to restore some much needed confidence. Abraham was badly and comprehensively beaten by “The Cobra” in November, and no fighter likes to enter a big fight coming off a loss.

If the 30-year-old can do a number on Bozic, 24-4(15) and look good doing it, he may well rid himself of some of the demons and self doubts the UD loss to Froch gave him. But Bozic is no mug, and Abraham may have to be at close to his best to ensure victory next month.

“I want to get rid of any rust. This is why I’m taking the fight against the Croatian,” Abraham said. “Otherwise the pause would be too long to me leading into this important fight against Andre Ward.”

Six months between fights isn’t all that big of a deal nowadays (Abraham had eight months between his loss to Andre Dirrell and the fight with Froch), but Abraham clearly wants to be as perfectly prepared as possible for the fight with “Super Six” favourite Ward. Will he have everything his own way against 36-year-old Bozic though?

The Slovenian-born contender has met some good names in his time and he has also challenged for a major title. In his last-but-one fight, Bozic was stopped in the 6th-round by Dimitri Sartison, in a fight that contested the vacant WBA 168-pound title. And before that, Bozic had earned himself good wins over the likes of Lolenga Mock and former two-time WBA 154-pound ruler Julio Cesar Vasquez. These impressive showings make it clear that Bovic, as a tune-up foe, is a potential danger to Abraham - certainly the Armenian could’ve picked an easier opponent.

Stopped just twice as a pro, Bozic has bounced back and won a quick stoppage since the 2009 loss to Sartison. Not a big puncher, the man from Croatia could still give Abraham a hard night’s work. And if Abraham does struggle or even loses in February, what would that do to his chances against the classy Ward?

That semi-final (along with the other semi featuring Froch and Glen Johnson) looks set for May. The venue remains a question mark, but seeing as how Ward’s last three fights (two of them “Super Six” bouts) took place in his hometown of Oakland, California, it will be unfair if the Abraham bout takes place there also. Boxrec have the fight down as May 14th in the U.S. Will Ward manage to get hometown advantage yet again!?

Article posted on 17.01.2011



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