Ward vs. Bika: Does Sakio have any chance agaisnt Andre?
By Scott Gilfoid: The dream match between talents Andre Dirrell and Andre Ward (22-0, 13 KO’s) went up in smoke recently when Dirrell was forced to pull out of the Super Six tournament due to a neurological problem stemming from his win over Arthur Abraham on March 27th. Dirrell has since pulled out of the tournament and Ward will now have to settle for fighting 31-year-old Sakio Bika (28-4-2, 19 KO’s) in a non-Super Six tournament fight as a temporary fill in bout. While Dirrell had an excellent chance of beating Ward, Bika does not.
Bika, old looking for 31, seems to be well over his head in this fight and doesn’t have the blazing hand speed or the brilliant defensive skills that Dirrell possessed. Without these skills, Bika is left with only his ability to slug it out and play it rough to try and get an edge against the young 26-year-old Ward. Ward can’t be beaten by rough fighting, and he’s immune to being knocked out because of his sturdy chin, fast hands and sound defensive skills.
Bika really only has a puncher’s chance in this fight, and will have to land the perfect shot to knock Ward out. It’s unfortunate that a better fighter than Bika couldn’t be found, but the sad reality is that the super middleweight division really isn’t all that stacked with talent as much as people seem to think it is. There’s really only Dirrell, Ward, Lucian Bute, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham and to some extent Carl Froch in terms of quality fighters in the division.
Bika is one of those fringe fighters that has been hanging around for awhile, but who’s lost when he’s stepped up against better fighters in Joe Calzaghe and Bute. In being put in with an even better fighter than those guys in the young talent Ward, Bika has been thrust into an unwinnable situation for this fight. Bika would have stood a much better chance against WBO super middleweight champion Roberto Stieglitz, because that fighter is at least beatable and considered by many to be a paper champion.
Ward, on the other hand, is considered to be the best fighter in the super middleweight division by many boxing fans and experts. This is going to be a fight in which Bika gets badly schooled and is made to look bad in front of a large crowd at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California and for the many fans that are watching the fight from home on Showtime. Speed is the name of the game and Ward has an abundance of that quality working for him as he enters his fight with Bika later on this month on November 27th.
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