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Abraham to fight a tune-up in February before Ward bout?

By Sean McDaniel: Down on his luck former IBF middleweight champion Arthur Abraham (31-2, 25 Ko’s) is reportedly kicking around the idea of fighting a tune-up bout in February against a still to be determined opponent to get his confidence up and regain his form before facing unbeaten Andre Ward (23-0, 13 KO’s) in the semifinals of the Super Six tournament in April or May. Abraham, 30, has lost two out of his last three bouts, including his last two fights to Andre Direll and Carl Froch in the Super Six tournament.

Surprisingly, Abraham is still in the tournament and will be allowed to fight Ward, but few boxing fans are giving him any chance in this fight. Abraham, 5’10”, seems to be lacking in height, reach and work rate against the bigger super middleweights in the division. But more importantly, Abraham’s low work rate appears to be his biggest flaw.

He’s just not throwing enough punches to beat the better fighters that he’s been facing recently. This isn’t a new problem. Abraham has been suffering from a low work rate since his 12 round decision win over Lajuan Simon in 2009. Abraham’s lack of work rate likely won’t be fixed even with a tune-up fight. He’s got bigger problems than that which may be impossible for him to fix even with four or five tune-ups. Abraham is going to have to come up with more of the same that bailed him out of fights against Jermain Taylor and Mahir Oral if he wants to beat Ward. That’s probably Abraham’s best strategy. He doesn’t have the stamina to beat Ward over the long haul.

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