Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com reports today that the rumored November 27 fight between WBA super middleweight titlist Andre Ward and Sakio Bika is nearly completed. The fight will not be part of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. Ward was set to fight Andre Dirrell in the tournament in a pivotal fight, but Dirrell recently withdrew from the event.
Ward (22-0, 13 KO) came onto the world scene last November with a shockingly dominant technical decision victory over Mikkel Kessler, and earlier this year easily disposed of Allan Green via 12-round rout. Bika (28-4-2, 19 KO) has been a contender for years. He has losses to Joe Calzaghe in 2006 and Lucian Bute in 2007, then won what was easily the best season of "The Contender" in 2007. He followed that with three straight wins before a DQ-1 loss this year to Jean Paul Mendy.
Ward has gotten his last two wins in part because he's really molded himself into an effective bully fighter. There's no getting around the fact that he'll use his head as a weapon, as he did against Kessler, and he shoved Green around the ring at will. He beat up on both guys. Despite having top skills (he was an Olympic gold medalist), Ward doesn't rely on athletic ability. Without a big punch, he's start to become an intimidating fighter.
But that's why this fight is kind of interesting. Bika isn't near the class of boxer that Ward is, but Bika himself is known for roughing up his opponents. It's highly unlikely that Ward will be as easily able to push around Bika as he was Kessler and Green, and any foul play is likely to be returned from the Cameroonian. It could turn into a chippy, mean-spirited fight in a hurry if both fight up to their recent reputations.
As for the fight not being in the Super Six, it doesn't surprise me. Bika is not exactly the most reliable guy. He recently turned down a spot in the tournament, and earlier this year dropped out of a proposed fight with Green to determine the replacement for Jermain Taylor. Trying to lock Bika into upwards of three fights probably isn't worth the headaches.
The bout will take place at Ward's home arena, the Oracle Arena in Oakland. Showtime's broadcast will go head-to-head with an HBO triple-header, headlined by Juan Manuel Marquez-Michael Katsidis for the lightweight championship of the world.